2003 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac

SKU #1023398 95 points 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.  (8/ 2011)

94 points James Suckling

 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.  (3/ 2011)

94 points 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.  (10/ 2006)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 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.  (5/ 2006)

92 points Wine Spectator

 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.  (1/ 2012)

K&L Notes

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

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Specific Appellation:

Pauillac

- Pauillac is probably the most famous village in Bordeaux. Located between St. Julien and St. Estephe, it has more of the top ranked chateau than the other four appellations of the Haut Medoc. This area has three of the five premier cru classe wineries: Lafite Rothschild, Latour, and Mouton Rothschild. There are two of the top second-growths (Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron) as well as several outstanding fourth and fifth-growth chateaux including Lynch Bages. Because of the gravely soils and great drainage, Pauillac has the ideal conditions to grow great Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines from this village are some of the longest-lived in Bordeaux.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.1