Tasting Group Dinner - Lynch Bages

JP's American Bistro, Minneapolis
Tasted Tuesday, December 4, 2007 by Siggy with 565 views

Introduction

Our regular tasting group met at JP's American Bistro on a snowy Tuesday evening to share some Lynch Bages. In attendance were Dave Dalluge, myself, Chris Larson, Brad England, Chris Palm, Steve Orloff, and Brad Weiss. We opened 9 vintages in mini-flights of two, all tasted non-blind. We reversed our usual serving order by starting with the youngest and finishing with the oldest, which seemed to work very well. The service and food were excellent, and we had plenty of wine to share with chef JP Samuelson and the waitstaff. JP's paprika fries, calamari, pizzas, and perfectly prepared seared hanger steaks with hoisin sauce matched beautifully with the wine. I loved both the 1989 and 1990 and picked both as my co-wines of the night.

Flight 1 (1 Note)

Flight 2 (1 Note)

  • 1982 Château Léoville Poyferré Flawed

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    This showed an expressive, plummy nose, but mostly coffee and acid on the palate. Short finish. Much less exuberant than it should have been. We debated whether this was a bad bottle, and I believe it was probably slightly corked.

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Flight 3 (2 Notes)

  • 2003 Château Lynch-Bages 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Single decanted for approximately 6 hours. Super-ripe and California-like on the nose. On the palate, this shows creamy, jammy dark fruit, mocha, and dark chocolate. Hard to identify as Lynch-Bages at this point in its development, although the herb/tobacco/leafy flavor signature is there if you hunt for it.

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  • 2000 Château Lynch-Bages 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    This was closed, but hinting at very interesting things. The nose shows more Pauillac pencil lead and cedar than the 2003. Coffee, dark fruit, licorice, and chocolate, with a hint of the classic Lynch-Bages herbal/leafy tobacco flavor profile. Seems very true to its terroir. Tightened up considerably after an hour in the glass. My score may be conservative here.

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Flight 4 (2 Notes)

  • 1996 Château Lynch-Bages 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Redder fruit than the 2000. Mid-weight plummy fruit and expressive, complex secondary flavors of mushrooms, tobacco, and herbs. Long finish. Seems to be coming into its own. I was expecting this to be dense, blockbuster, and hugely concentrated, but it was actually quite elegant and full of finesse.

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  • 1995 Château Lynch-Bages 89 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    This bottle was consistent with my prior tasting notes, and undoubtedly suffered alongside the 1996. Light cherry fruit and plenty of tobacco and herbs. Light- to medium bodied. Good minerality, but not quite enough depth of fruit.

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Flight 5 (2 Notes)

  • 1990 Château Lynch-Bages 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Now we're talking! Enchanting nose featuring dark fruit, spice, pencil lead, and tobacco. Gorgeously ripe black fruit, herbs/leaves, with a smoldering, smoky finish. Youthful. Silky minerality on the palate. Wonderful balance. Co-WOTN for me.

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  • 1989 Château Lynch-Bages 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Big deep nose of rich dark cherries and herbs. The palate shows layered dark fruit, coffee, and licorice, framed by tobacco and herbs. Grew richer and more expressive as it sat in the glass. Great minerality. Marginally more structured and slightly less ripe than the 1990, and equally thrilling to drink. Co-WOTN for me.

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Flight 6 (1 Note)

  • 1984 Château Lafite Rothschild 87 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    I expected this to be DOA given the horrible character of the vintage, and wow, what a pleasant surprise. Ripe red fruit (rhubarb) on the nose, with a hint of VA. The nose is gorgeously expressive. On the palate, this shows red cherries, baking spices, herbs, and light funk. Light-bodied and fully mature (somewhat over the hill), but still lively. This was undoubtedly a super-clean bottle and an unusually good example of this wine.

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Flight 7 (1 Note)

  • 1970 Château Lynch-Bages 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Beautiful nose after an initial touch of VA blew off. Youthful color with no amber. Very ripe, fresh, dark fruit. Plums, spice, and tobacco. Complex, layered, and expressive. Well-resolved tannins. Probably an unusually well-stored example of this wine. Delicious.

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Flight 8 (2 Notes)

  • 1988 Château Lynch-Bages 89 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Great expressive nose of dark fruit and mushrooms. On the palate this shows coffee/espresso, green herbs, and some black fruit. Still quite tannic. The palate is not very expressive, bordering on stern and hard-edged, but the nose is interesting enough to make this a fun bottle.

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  • 1986 Château Lynch-Bages 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Much more fruit than the 1988. Dark coffee, melted licorice, smoke, and tar/asphalt. The tannins seem to be coming around, and the fruit is still youthful and fresh.

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Flight 9 (2 Notes)

Flight 10 (2 Notes)

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