Robert Parker 91
The 1996 Lynch Bages has a delightful fresh, minty bouquet that does not quite deliver the complexity of recent vintages, nicely perfumed with hints of wilted rose petal developing with time. The palate is well balanced with a fine line of acidity, fresh from the start with blackcurrant pastilles, a touch of tobacco with a tightly coiled, minerally, slightly sharp finish that perhaps just needs a little more depth. I appreciate that lingering pencil lead note on the aftertaste, completing a solid if unspectacular Lynch Bages. It’s the kind of Pauillac I would grab from a restaurant list at the right price. A point. Tasted July 2016.
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2036
(79% cabernet sauvignon, 13% merlot, 6% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot; 5.2 g/l total acidity; 13% alcohol): Dark ruby-red with a hint of garnet. Cabernet sauvignon-typical aromas of blackcurrant, violet, tobacco, dried herbs and minerals, complicated by a touch of smoky oak. In a distinctly firm, structured style, but with juicy acidity intensifying the dark berry and mineral flavors. Building flesh and sweetness on the back half counterbalances the wine’s firm spine, spreading out nicely on the lingering finish. Though currently a little clenched and austere, this wine offers excellent precision and wonderful balance.
Mid ruby. Savoury nose reminiscent of wet stones and then a real weight of ripe fruit. Still some greenness on the finish but this seems a bit more set for future development than most.
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030