The history of Lynch-Bages, situated in the lands of "Batges" at the entrance to Pauillac, is emblematic of the Médoc region.
there are records of the Bages territory as far back as the 16th
century, the history of wine production in the area really began in the
18th century. From 1749 to 1824, the vineyard was owned by Thomas Lynch,
the son of an Irishman from Galway who worked as a merchant in
Bordeaux. Thomas Lynch managed the land wisely and produced high quality
wines under the name of ''Cru de Lynch''. As part of the prestigious
1855 Classification, for the Exposition Universelle de Paris, his wine
would soon be classified as one of the fifth growths.
on, Jean ''Lou Janou'' Cazes, a ''Montagnol'' (a term used to describe
farmers from the austere upper valleys of Ariège), came to the Médoc to
earn a living. In the 1930's, General Félix de Vial, a descendant of the
Cayrou family, leased the vineyard to Jean-Charles Cazes, the son of
''Lou Janou'' and a farmer at Château Ormes de Pez in Saint-Estèphe.
Cazes went on to purchase both properties in the wake of World War II.
Lynch-Bages has been run by the Cazes family ever since.
old vat-house represents a rare example of traditional winemaking
equipment the Médoc area. Its slatted flooring which introduced the
advantages of gravitational design now used in modern vat-houses, was
invented by Skawinski in 1850.
then, grapes were transported in a cart pulled by horses and then being
lifted by crane and emptied into a wooden tank on wheels and tracks.
One or two winemakers inside the tank then crushed the grapes, making
the juice flow out through openings into vats on either side. A
rope-pulley-bucket system and no less than six workers were then
required to remove the leftover grape skins from the fermentation vat.These
remarkable winemakers had a hard and quite dangerous job. The last of
them was the exemplary Xavier Tibur, who ended his career at Lynch-Bages
in 1975. The old Lynch-Bages vat-house is open for visits and will
transport you to another era.
the heart of the Médoc on the banks of the estuary, Pauillac (Gironde,
France) has been the true birthplace of Grand Cru Classé wines since
1855. The Lynch-Bages vineyards are planted across 100 hectares in the
region.Its enjoys a mild climate, homogeneous geology and a
topography of well-defined outcrops in the South and South-West of the
town. These factors all contribute to bringing Lynch-Bages' soils their
warmth and excellent natural drainage towards the river which ensures
optimum water supply to the vines.
Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, Merlot in some parcels on the banks of the
river and in the South of the Chenal du Gaët, or Cabernet Franc. An
analysis of Lynch-Bages' soils has allowed us to define an optimal
planting ratio. The average age for vines is 30 years with some being as
old as 60.
three out of four of the Médoc's Premier Grand Cru Classé wines, the
Pauillac appellation's reputation is only at times matched by its famous
châteaux. Pauillac wines are rich, dense, deep and develop highly
refined flavours and aromas over time. They reveal a broad aromatic
palate and finely textured tannins.
« If we had
to classify the Bordeaux communes, Pauillac would certainly come out on
top. Pauillac wines combine soft, fresh fruit with oak, dryness,
subtlety and structure, a hint of cedar and tobacco and an inkling of
smoothness underpinned by strength. Wine lovers consider them to be the
perfect example of their ideal wine. »Hugh Johnson - World Atlas of Wine
1855, Napoléon III asked the brokers and merchants affiliated with the
Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce to establish a classification that would be
presented at the Exposition Universelle de Paris (World Fair). Ever
since, this reference list represents a hierarchy of wine domaines as
well as a hommage to the region's history and a commercial benchmark.
The legendary ''Grand Cru Classé en 1855'' is the only one of its kind
in the world.
Lynch-Bages, although the key stages take place in the vineyard with
Franck Debrais and his team, the utmost care and attention is given to
all stages of the winemaking process, from the sorting of the grapes in
the vineyard up until their fining in the calm and dimmed environment of
responsibility of Nicolas Labenne, a team of 35 people are involved in
the daily monitoring of the Lynch-Bages vineyards. The structuring of
the vineyards has undergone remarkable improvements since 2006 with the
use of satellite technology combined with surveys on soil quality. This
improved attention ensures the preservation of Lynch-Bages' genetic
winemaking heritage and has allowed us to establish a precise mapping
and re-structuring of vine parcels in order to preserve, enhance and
develop the specific nature of each terroir.
support from cutting-edge technology for real-time supervision and
analysis, human hands orchestrate harvests and vinification according to
grape varieties, ripeness levels and terroir. The aim is to construct
individual personalities for each parcel. Once the alcoholic
fermentation is complete, the wines are drawn from the vats using the
phenolic potential of each vat.
the processes of maceration, drawing off, pressing and malolactic
fermentation, blending then takes place in December. The complex
composition of this fine wine varies from one year to the next depending
on the parcels' behaviour in relation to the climatic conditions of the
vintage. A panel of experts chaired by Jean-Charles Cazes and the
Lynch-Bages technical team (Daniel Llose, Nicolas Labenne and Jérôme Le
Roux) then develop and define the blend with outstanding cellaring
potential that makes this fine Lynch-Bages wine.
first and second wines from Lynch-Bages are drawn off into split
stave-wood oak barrels with optimum aromatic capacity, made by reputed
barrel-makers, before being aged in our cellars. Before being enjoyed,
they are required to rest for a period of time in order to soften out
and fully integrate the aromas imparted from the oak. The winemaker's
skilled craft involves regular racking and fining for harmonisation
before the wines are bottled at the château and aged.
has implemented a series of measures that aim to reduce the impact of
winemaking on the environment. These include cover crops, soil
maintenance, environmental selection of products, the use of sexual
confusion capsules (to protect against the Cochylys and Eudemis vine
moths), mass selection of Petit Verdot and the use of wastewater
innovative and with a reputation for often being the last to harvest,
Jean-Charles Cazes defined the style of Lynch-Bages in the 1930's. The
wine's distinctive character has earned it a place amongst Pauillac's
greatest. It combines structure, finesse and elegance, offering generous
aromas in its youth and developing deeper complexities with bottle age.