Kitchen Tasting Group does Lynch Bages

Tasted Tuesday, December 4, 2007 by Dave Dalluge with 509 views

Introduction

The Kitchen Tasting Group decided to get together to sample 10 vintages of Lynch Bages at JP American Bistro. Due to the weather and other commitments we were unable to assemble the whole group. Fortunately Steve Orloff and Brad Weiss were able to join the group. It was a snowy day in Minneapolis, and travel was treacherous. Fortunately, most of us were close to the restaurant. Most of us actually arrived early -- shortly after 6:00. By the time we finished dinner -- well after 10:00 -- the streets were cleared and travel home was pretty safe.

Flight 1 - Pre-Dinner Warm-up (2 Notes)

We had planned the white as the starter. However, a couple of attendees were late due to the weather so we sipped the 1982 LP to pass the time until all attendees had arrived.

  • 2003 Peter Michael Chardonnay La Carrière 93 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Knights Valley

    Deep gold color. The nose is exotic and expressive giving candied lemon and orange zest, citrus fruit, butter/oak, and smoke. Nice. On the palate this is thick and syrupy with honey, butterscotch, candied lemon and orange, butter and floral notes. Great intensity on the palate. Great length on the finish. An excellent way to kick off the evening.

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  • 1982 Château Léoville Poyferré

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Deep ruby red with slight bricking. The nose gives a stern expression of black fruit, coffee, and a slight barnyard. There is also an aroma reminiscent of good Pichon Lalande. On the palate this gives more black fruit and coffee with some tannin. Really nice. Consensus was that this was an off bottle. I'll defer to their expertise as this is my first time with this wine, but I did enjoy this immensely.

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Flight 2 - 2000s Lynch Bages (2 Notes)

We decided to pour youngest to oldest tonight. On a couple of occassions Rico has been adament that this was the proper way to pour a vertical and I thought we should put this advice to a test. It proved to be excellent. It was easier to appreciate the young wines at the start of the night, but it did nothing to detract from the older wines served later.

  • 2003 Château Lynch-Bages 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Dark red color. The nose gives an exhuberent expression of red fruit, mocha, brown sugar, tobacco and lilac/flower. Extremely ripe but very nice. Equally big in the mouth, showing big, soft red fruit, cocoa, coffee and oak. Opulent texture. Decent length on the finish. This should develop nicely with additional bottle age, as there seems to be enough structure to balance out the fruit.

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  • 2000 Château Lynch-Bages 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    I throught this was even more impressive than the 2003. The nose is deeper and more brooding offering dark fruit, dried herbs, tobacco and coffee. In the mouth this appears much more structured, but the concentrated fruit is equally impressive. Great, silky texture. An impressive wine that needs many more years to develop fully.

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Flight 3 - 1990s Lynch Bages (2 Notes)

The 1996 showed better than the 1995, but both were very enjoyable. It will be interesting to track this pair to see of the 1995 ever loosens up and surpasses the 1996.

  • 1996 Château Lynch-Bages 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Deep blackish red color. Expressive nose offering syrupy red fruit, tobacco, mushroom and smoke. Awesome. In the mouth the texture is thick but silky. Dark fruit complemented by tobacco and coffee. This is still very tannic. Nice length on the finish. This is a great bottle of wine.

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  • 1995 Château Lynch-Bages 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Deep black-red color. The nose is a bit less expressive than the 96, but offers a nice blend of red fruit, coffee and tobacco. The palate impressive is compressed and tannic. Good fruit concentration, but not much flavor expression. If anything this lacks a bit of mid-palate punch. The tannin is fine grain. Good length on the finish. I'm more optimistic that this will develop nicely than some of the others at the dinner.

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Flight 4 - 1989/1990 Lynch Bages (2 Notes)

What a great pair of wines. They were distinctly different but both tasted awesome. I waffled back and forth as to my favorite during the night and ulitmately decided to calll this a draw.

  • 1990 Château Lynch-Bages 96 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Dark red color. Looks extremely youthful. Soaring nose gives an impressive expression of black fruit, tobacco, mushroom, funk and floral notes. Ever so slightly roasted fruit. Awesome. In the mouth this gives complex flavors of dark fruit and tobacco with some mineral notes. The texture is divine. Perfect balance. Smooth tannins. Great length on the finish. Really good with great potential to develop further with additional bottle age.

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  • 1989 Château Lynch-Bages 96 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    The nose on this one explodes from the glass with black fruit, mushroom and floral notes. The taste delivers a big whallop of iron/mineral with black fruit and tobacco. Great texture. Extremely tannic. Long and satisfying finish. An awesome bottle of wine.

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Flight 5 - Older Lynch Bages (3 Notes)

The 1970 showed beautifully, but not quite as well as the bottle shared by Brad in Colorado a few months back. The 86 and 88 are both quality wines, but nowhere near the quality of the 89 and 90.

  • 1970 Château Lynch-Bages 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    The color is a dark red -- almost black. Very youthful looking. The nose is extremely intense and complex with a lovely blend of dark fruit, tobacco, earth, and dried flowers. Had a touch of VA that seemed to disippate. Remarkable. On the palate this is concentrated and expansive -- giving complex dark fruit flavors are everywhere. Good minerality. This gives an interesting palate impression as it is seductive but also seems rustic/chunky. The finish is long and satisfying. Not quite as good as the previous bottle, but pretty darn good.

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  • 1988 Château Lynch-Bages 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Dark red color. The nose gives sweet black fruit, tobacco and floral notes. Slightly roasted fruit. The palate impression is more subdued than the previous wines. Stern black fruit. Tannic. Nice, but not up to the level of the other wines tasted.

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  • 1986 Château Lynch-Bages 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Dark red/black color. Awesome nose featuring black fruit, tobacco and a slight funk. This drops off a bit on the palate but gives a nice expression of black fruit, coffee, and mineral. Plenty structured. Long satisfying finish. A very nice bottle of wine.

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Flight 6 - Other Bordeaux (5 Notes)

We finished with all the remaining wines that were brought. I thought the Lafite showed amazingly well -- at least relative to expectations set by published reviews.

  • 1984 Château Lafite Rothschild 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Deep ruby red color. The nose gives a beautiful expression of red cherry, dried herbs, mushroom and barnyard funk. Deep and husky with great intensity. An aweome nose. The palate isn't nearly as good. Good cherry fruit but thin. Pretty well balanced. Tannin is resolved although this is a bit dusty on the finish. I had originally rated this higher, but acquiesed to group consensus (great nose, weak palate).

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  • 1986 Château Lagrange (St. Julien) Flawed

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    The cork exploded while being opened and the wine had to be filtered. It didn't help, though, as this was an off bottle.

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  • 1990 Château Lagrange (St. Julien)

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Minimal notes taken. The nose gives dark fruit and coffee aromas. This has a great impression on the palate giving concetnrated red fruit and licorice. Tastes rustic. Tannin is chunky and drying. Needs time, but should continue to develop nicely.

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  • 1989 Château Climens

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Barsac

    Minimal notes at this point. The nose is very sweet with caramel and citrus fruit notes. I wrote d'Yquem-like. On the palate this is well balanced, with good acidity to offset the sweet, concentrated fruit. Long, lingering finish. A great way to end the tasting.

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  • 1995 Château Lynch-Bages Blanc de Lynch-Bages

    France, Bordeaux

    Opened after all the other wine was gone. This showed mainly mineral/rust and oak. The taste is dominated by more oak and mineral. Interesting, but not showing too well.

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Closing

The members of the KTG, the weather, the festive atmosphere, the empty restaurant and the great food prepared by JP Samuelson conspired to make this a truly enjoyable evening. Since there were only eight of us, we ended up sharing a lot of wine with the staff. Since the restaurant was empty (due to the weather) they semed to really enjoy joining in on the party with us.

I couldn't decided between the 1989 and the 1990 as WOTN. Both were special wines.

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