2018 Chateau Lynch Bages

Year: 2018
Appellation: Pauillac
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 96-99
Wine Advocate: 96-98
Vinous Media: 93-96
James Suckling: 97-98
Jeb Dunnuck: 96-98+--Wine Enthusiast: 95-97--Jeff Leve: 96-98
Red Wine


Price :


"Dark cassis, plum and cherry fruit flavors stream through in this red, harnessed well by bolts of iron along the way. Sweet tobacco detail echoes through the finish, which is seriously long. An extremely rock-solid wine in the making here.—J.M." (WS)

"The 2018 Lynch Bages is made up of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot aging in 75% new barriques. Very deep purple-black in color, the nose is quite coy and restrained to begin, fanning out to offer pure, ripe blackcurrants, black cherries and preserved plums with wafts of red roses, cigar box, incense, cardamom and fenugreek with savory touches of black olives, Marmite toast and smoked meats. Full-bodied, the palate is built like a brick house, with a solid foundation of very firm, very ripe, grainy tannins and superb freshness supporting the generous black fruit layers, finishing long with provocative ferrous suggestions.

“The early start of the season was nerve-racking because of the mildew pressure,” Jean-Charles Cazes said. “We had to monitor the vines constantly and react. But we were equally worried about the dry period. We were concerned about getting vine blockage, like in 2003, but it didn’t happen. The rains we had in the spring really helped the vines sail through and reach full maturity. Our harvest dates are pretty much on average, a little early for Lynch Bages, but again not like 2003. Sorting wasn’t really a problem, everything was sanitary. The vintage reminds me of 2010, but more forward, like 2016.”

I asked Cazes about their biggest challenge this year. “The challenge was not to overdo extraction," he said. "That was the biggest challenge in the cellar. We had smaller berries, so the ratio of skin to juice was high. This is also why there is so much richness." (WA)

"The 2018 Lynch-Bages is a potent, racy wine endowed with real textural depth and intensity. Even so, it retains terrific nuance and vibrancy. All the classic Lynch-Bages signatures are present, but amped up, with huge tannins and equally huge fruit. The 2018 is going to need at least a few years to shed some of its baby fat. Today, it is decidedly rich and unctuous in style. Rose petal, lavender, mint and sweet spice add striking layers of aromatic nuance. The blend is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot." (VM)

"This is incredibly powerful and structured with so much tannin backbone and length, yet it’s cool and fresh with a compact palate and great length. Muscular." (JS)

"Cassis, graphite, blackberries, scorched earth, and graphite notes all emerge from the 2018 Château Lynch-Bages, which is a rich, blockbuster style beauty up with the finest vintages to date from this historic estate, which by the way, is just about complete with a massive new cellar construction project. Checking in as a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot, brought up in 75% new French oak, it's incredibly concentrated, opulent, and sexy on the palate, with building underlying structure, a stacked mid-palate, and a great finish. It reminds me of the 2009 with its fleshy, powerful style. The IPT, or amount of tannins, is a through the roof 95 and it hit 14.1% alcohol with a pH of 3.66. It’s going to live for just about forever." (JD)

"95–97. Barrel Sample. This vintage shows the elegant side of a typically powerful wine. It offers dense black fruits that are balanced by the stylish wood aging and bold tannins. This impressive wine is likely to age well." (WE)

"Blue-black with purple accents, the pure crème de cassis aromas stand out easily. This wine combines power with layers of ready, succulent, dark penetrating fruits. Even though this is probably the densest Lynch Bages I recall tasting, the unique vintage character keeps the wine light on its feet. All this strength and purity is wrapped up nicely with ripe tannins and a long finish. Clearly, 2018 is a contender for the best vintage of Lynch Bages ever produced -- and with their string of hits, that's a real statement! Produced from 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 14.1% alcohol. The picking took place September 18 to October 9 and 65% of the harvest was used to produce the Grand Vin. " (JL)