A vintage like none other, 2016 at Chateau Lynch-Bages enjoys a profile characterised by intense colour, very clear fruit aromas, a relatively good acidity and very powerful, yet velvety, tannins. Despite the uneven weather conditions, the 2016 vintage turned out to be quite remarkable! A recap of this year at Chateau Lynch-Bages:
Climatic Conditions of the Vintage
The season began with a relatively mild winter and late rainfall. The 500 mm of precipitation in the second part of the winter (between January and March) replenished the water reserves of the soil, which were left impacted after the 2015 vintage. These winter weather conditions resulted in a relatively early but consistent budburst – on the 20th of March for Merlots and 28th of March for Cabernets-Sauvignons. The vines developed rapidly during April due to mild temperatures in the first few days, which allowed for the even spread of budburst. The post-budburst vegetative development then slowed, due to the cool and humid weather in April and May. The vines, fortunately, escaped frost. On some of the most sensitive plots, fungal diseases like downy mildew appeared; special attention was required to minimise their impact on the foliage and blooming flowers.
The first flowers appeared at the end of May on the early Merlot parcels with more or less one week of delay compared to a typical year. A dry and particularly warm period followed in the beginning of June, establishing a meteorological window ideal for even flowering, the beginning of a good fruit set. The moisture then returned on June 25th when the chateau recorded 610 mm of precipitation over the first 6 months of the year. Over time, the rainy episodes became shorter, with only 11 mm of precipitation recorded between June 25th and September 13th. The summer set in with beautiful high temperatures throughout the season, not to mention a heat wave with occasional peaks of over 35 ° C. These hot and dry conditions resulted in the spreading out of phenological stages and, more particularly, the veraison, which occurred late considering the terroirs and grape varieties.
The first “veraised” grape appeared on the 21st of July with stable health conditions. At Chateau Lynch-Bages, the winter rains and clay levels of the subsoil allowed the vineyard to continue its optimal development and, more particularly, the qualitative nourishment of the berries. However, vines growing in porous soils developed some symptoms of stress towards the end of August; these included defoliation and yellowing. The heavy rains of September 13th allowed for the ripening of the berries to restart. Thanks to favourable climatic conditions, the ripening of the fruits was gentle and of great quality. The grapes achieved a remarkable phenolic richness! The risk of Botrytis remained low or non-existent. Even in a year divided into two successive phases: a wet beginning from January to June and dry ending from July to September, the fruit of the 2016 vintage turned out to be of excellent quality. The health status of the vineyard and the weather conditions at the end of the season allowed for a peaceful grape harvest.
Ideal Grape Harvests
The harvest of the white varietals began on September 13th with a first sorting of Muscadelle under ideal climatic conditions despite the rainy / stormy weather that followed the same evening. The grape harvest continued on the 20th of September for the second sorting of Semillon.
In the case of the reds, the harvest began on the 28th of September for around ten hectares of Merlots. These took place under very favourable conditions, yielding extremely healthy and high quality grapes. It took the team of grape pickers at Chateau Lynch-Bages three days to collect the Merlot and eight to harvest the Cabernet and Petits Verdot. The harvest finished at the end of the day on the 12th of October, having started one week later than in 2015 and having achieved perfect technical and phenolic maturity.
The run-off took place after 20 days of vatting, from October 18th to November 2nd. At this point, the signs of a great vintage were already beginning to appear: complete maturity of all grape varieties, noticeable especially in the tannins from the seeds and skins; absence of vegetal flavours thanks to the temperature peaks of the summer; small berries, especially in the case of the Cabernets, which increase the marc / juice ratio and allows for a more concentrated richness in the wine (in terms of both structure and aromas); a very present acidity and perfect health.
As in the previous vintages, one third of the malolactic fermentations took place in vats and two thirds of them in barrels. Fermentation occurred relatively quickly, ending at the end of November for all parcels of the chateau that are included in the blends.
Chateau Lynch-Bages 2016
Chateau Lynch-Bages is a 5th Classified Growth red wine produced in the Pauillac appellation. The vineyard’s terroir includes soil composed of gravel from the Garonne, typical of the appellation. The wine is aged in barrels, 75% of which are new. The 2016 vintage blends 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.
Chateau Lynch-Bages 2016 displays a deep garnet-red colour, which indicates exceptional maturity. The nose is truly expressive, exuding aromas of blackcurrants, Morello cherries and subtle notes of fresh mint. The attack on the palate is powerful and fresh, allowing for a wonderful unctuosity. In combination with beautifully wrapped tannins, the result is excellent. It should also be noted that despite the wine’s tannic youth, the presence of tannins simply remarkable.Chateau Lynch-Bages – Primeurs 2016
Echo de Lynch-Bages 2016
The Echo de Lynch-Bages is the second wine of Chateau Lynch-Bages, produced in the Pauillac appellation, from a vineyard planted on the hillsides of the Garonne. Echo de Lynch-Bages is aged exclusively in barrels and consists of a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot. The 2016 vintage at Chateau Lynch-Bages was one that produced exceptional wine despite extreme weather conditions.
The Echo de Lynch-Bages 2016 emits plenty of fresh fruit fragrances, complemented by woody and spicy notes, by-products of the ageing process. The wine is well-balanced; revealing well-rounded and seductive tannins. This second wine beautifully combines flexibility and power.Echo de Lynch-Bages – Primeurs 2016
Blanc de Lynch-Bages 2016
The 2016 vintage of Blanc de Lynch-Bages blends 52% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Sémillon and 18% Muscadelle. This wine is aged in barrels, of which 50% are new.
The Blanc de Lynch-Bages 2016 displays a pale yellow colour with green reflections. The nose reveals wonderful aromas of citrus and exotic fruits, with subtle hints of sweet spices. This wine is particularly fresh on the palate, due to the Sémillon. The wine offers a very long and lingering finish.Blanc de Lynch-Bages – Primeurs 2016
Discover the advice of Jean-Charles Cazes, Managing Director of the Chateau: