2003 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This sexy, evolved, dense ruby/purple-tinged 2003 reveals notes of smoke, herbs, black currant jam, licorice and graphite. Full-bodied, opulent and flamboyant, it is another example of a stunning 2003 northern Medoc that can be drunk now or cellared for 10-15 more years. This irregular vintage hit its zenith in the northern Medoc and in a handful of limestone terroirs in St.-Emilion. In contrast, other areas, particularly Pomerol, Graves and the sandy, gravelly soils of St.-Emilion, experienced difficulties in 2003.
Pretty, clean, and perfumed, with a milk chocolate and berry character. Full bodied, with round and velvety tannins and a long finish. Polished and very beautiful, caressing. Pull the cork after 2014.
Wine & Spirits
The terroir of Lynch-Bages shines through in '03, with a wine that tastes like it grew somewhere-somewhere stony. The dark scent is funky, with a fresher blackberry flavor underneath. Richness powers the flavor, but the tannins keep it elegant and sophisticated, their tough grip becomes the center of the wine, berries grown in stone. After a sip, you can breathe in the structure; it's all tannin, but it has life. This should be great 12 to 14 years from the vintage.
Considering the reputation of Lynch-Bages as a rich, polished wine, it is not surprising that, in 2003, the team of Jean-Michel Cazes and Daniel Lhose produced a superlatively ripe, opulent wine, one that could almost have come from Napa. But not quite: The fruit is compact and dense, with layers of acidity that speak more of Bordeaux than California.
Loads of rich, plummy fruit with vanilla undertones follows through to a full-bodied palate, with soft tannins and a long, long finish. Gorgeous.--Lynch-Bages non-blind vertical. Best after 2010. (Web-2007)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep ruby-red. Superripe aromas of red cherries macerated in alcohol, leather, lead pencil and sweet spices. Very forward and open-knit on the palate, with earthy black fruit flavors complemented by coffee, licorice and bay leaf notes. Turns quite tannic on the moderately long finish. This does not appear to have reached full polyphenolic maturity. Though there is no denying the wine's initial fleshy appeal, I find it a little too astringent and grainy.
75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. 13.1% abv.