Classifications often fail to reflect the current state of a Château, and that's certainly the case for this Pauillac Fifth Growth. Lynch-Bages makes rich, powerful, full-bodied wines capable of long life. Often dense, solid and somewhat medicinal in the early years, the wine turns fleshier and more supple with a decade in bottle.
Founded in the 1600s by the Dejean family, the estate got its name from its location -- the small town of Bages, southwest of Pauillac -- and from the Lynch family, who acquired the estate by marriage in 1749. After 75 years in the family, the estate passed through several owners until the eve of WWII when Jean Charles Cazes got his hands on the deed. Lynch-Bages has been owned and run by the Cazes family ever since.
The vineyards at Château Lynch-Bages, totalling 100 hectares, cover three main plots: one on each side of Bages and a third to the south, on the border with St. Julien. The red wine vineyards are planted to 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. A separate vineyard on 6 hectares of rugged, gravelly soil, is dedicated solely to white varieties -- 53% Sauvignon Blanc, 32% Semillon and 15% Muscadelle. Production of the Grand Vin usually tops out at about 25,000 cases per year, plus a second wine, Haut Bages Averous, and a white Bordeaux.