2012 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac


(Courtesy from WS on Google; infringement not intended)

We never like Lynch Bages to the extent some of the connoisseurs do. Its high and stable standard of making even in times of difficult vintages such as 2012, however, always made Lynch Bages a good quaffing wine. A wine that is relatively reliable to turn to. A wine that wont really break your bank. A wine that combines structure, finesse and elegance, which is offering generous aromas in its youth and developing some complexities with bottle age, even though it does not have lots of nuances as the other giants do on ageing. The rest is marketing. Lynch Bages transliterated from the name of a then household Cantonese opera artist in Hong Kong by the name as “Lang Chi Bak” and thus making the Chinese brand name homely 'Chinoiserie'; numerous tastings with leading wine circles here in Hong Kong; international fame; relatively low price from 1960s to 1980s; tasty.

The 2012 Lynch Bages is still very enjoyable. Seems that this 2012 Lynch Bages for now needs a nice decanting. Composition is classic 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot created a wine that will be aged in 75% new French oak. A la style somewhat later harvest of Jean-Michel Cazes, this wine is ripe and simple to start, giving classic Pauillac tones, that of blackcurrant, mint, ginseng, truffle and flint, massive tannin. On decanting, it gives more on palate shades of celery, blueberry, graphite, lavender, thyme and roasted chestnut and sweet tea. Yes, it does have some complexities. Finish is shorter than expected and does well for a vintage such as 2012.

We don’t feel the long finish as discribed by JS; RP’s ‘foursquare’ reflects our views about its relative simplicity and is thus a good food wine; IWC tasting has a bit of poise and so it WS’; JR is a bit harsh(on tight and taut).

Leading tastings on 2012 Lynch Bages are as follows:

93-95 points Wine Enthusiast

Barrel sample. The wine is very dry, layered tannins giving a major sense of structure. It will always have this dry, dense character, very firm, solid and powerful. (4/2013)

93-94 points James Suckling

A fruity wine for the vintage with dense tannins. Full body, with impressive structure. Long finish. Generous and attractive. I like the balance and precision for the vintage. (4/2013)

90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Tasted en primeur at the chateau. The Lynch Bages 2012 is a blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot picked between 12th and 18th October and is being raised in 75% new oak just before the rains. It has a very attractive bouquet with crisp blackberry, sous-bois and graphite aromas that are very controlled. No frills here, but it does not need them. The palate is medium-bodied with taut tannins and again, crisp acidity. I like the line here – nicely focused with a grainy finish. Very fine. Tasted April 2013. (Neal Martin's Wine Journal) (5/2013)

92 points Wine Spectator

This has a very solid core of dark plum, crushed black currant and blackberry fruit, with lightly firm flesh and good drive through the finish, where alder and iron notes fill in. Shows excellent energy and depth, while harnessing the austere edge of the vintage. Best from 2018 through 2025.— (1/2015)

88-91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Deep purple. Floral blackcurrant and mineral aromas on the delicate, pure nose. Then equally delicate in the mouth, offering flavors of dark berries, graphite and cedar. Finishes clean and long, with above-average concentration for the vintage. Jean-Charles Cazes explained that the harvest reception system was changed this year, with two extra reception lines added to destem/sort and then sort again. The result was a very clean crop. (6/2013)

Jancis Robinson

Blackish purple. Lots of minerals on the nose. Tight and taut and almost painfully tart but there is energy here certainly! (4/2013)

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