An incomparable vintage, 2016 at Chateau Lynch-Bages is characterized by its intense color, fruity aromas, great balance and powerful velvety tannins. Despite the uneven weather conditions, the 2016 vintage was quite remarkable! An in-depth look at this year’s Chateau Lynch-Bages:
The vintage began with a relatively mild winter and late rainfall. The 500 mm of precipitation in the second half of winter (between January and March) replenished the soil’s water reserve that were affected in 2015. Winter was followed by a relatively early but homogenous bud break, March 20th for Merlot and March 28th for Cabernet Sauvignon. The maturation in April was fast. Thanks to mild temperatures, the bud bursts took place during the first few days. The vegetative development was much slower due to cool and humid temperatures in April and May. Fortunately, the vines avoided frost damage. Some areas that were more sensitive suffered from fungal diseases, such as downy mildew, and required special attention in order to minimize their impact on foliage and emerging grapes.
The first flowers appeared at the end of May on the plots of Merlot, a week later than expected. June was a dry and particularly warm period. Flowering occurred homogenously under these weather conditions. During the first 6 months of the year, 610 mm of precipitation was recorded. From June 25th to September 13th, only 11 mm of rain fell. The summer brought average temperatures, with a few peaks above 35°C. The hot and dry conditions slowed down the maturation process, more specifically, veraison.
The first signs of veraison, or grapes that changed colors, appeared on July 21st. At Chateau Lynch-Bages, the winter rains and clay allowed the vineyard to continue its optimal development process. The clay retained moisture that provided the vines and grapes with much needed nutrition. However, vines that were located on dry soil started showing signs of water distress at the end of August: loss of leaves and yellowing. September 13th brought rain that allowed the berries to continue maturing. Thanks to favorable climatic conditions, the final stages of maturation were smooth and bountiful. The grapes attained a remarkable phenolic richness. The risk of Botrytis was almost non-existent. Despite a year of two very distinct weather phases: wet from January to June and dry from July to September, the grapes are very elegant and of the highest quality. The health of the vines and the calm weather at the end of the season allowed for the harvest to take place without any issues.
The white grape varieties harvest started on September 13th with the first sorting of the Muscadelle grapes under mostly ideal weather conditions, ignoring a storm that took place that evening. Harvest continued on September 20th with the second sorting of Semillon.
As for the reds, harvest started on September 28th with approximately 10 hectares of Merlot. The grapes were extremely healthy and qualitative. It took 3 days for the grape pickers to collect the Merlot and 8 days for the Cabernet and Petit Verdot. Harvest officially ended on October 12th. In comparison to 2015, they began a week later. This extra week allowed the grapes to reach perfect phenolic maturity.
From October 18th to November 2nd, running-off took place after 20 days of vatting. The characteristics of a great vintage began to emerge: all grape varieties were mature (notably the tannins, seeds and skins); there were no vegetable odors, thanks to the peaks in the summer temperature; the grapes were small especially Cabernet, which increased the must/juice ratio and concentrated the richness of the wine (structure and aromas).
Like previous vintages, 1/3 of malolactic fermentations occurred in vats and 2/3 in barrels. The fermentation ended relatively early, at the end of November, for all of the plots before proceeding to the blending process.
Chateau Lynch-Bages 2016
A blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, Château Lynch-Bages’ red has a deep garnet color. The color is the first distinction of a remarkably vintage. The nose, full of expression, is characterized by notes of dark fruits such as blackcurrants and black cherries with notes of mint that bring an amazing freshness. The attack is unctuous and reveals an incredible texture that is both sustained and fresh. Lynch-Bages 2016 has tannins that melt away…Chateau Lynch-Bages – Futures 2016
Echo de Lynch-Bages 2016
Echo de Lynch-Bages 2016 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (73%) and Merlot (27%). It develops aromas of elegant fresh fruit that are complemented by notes of woodiness and enticing spices (products of the aging process). In the mouth, Echo is perfectly balanced and its tannins are round and coat the entire mouth.Echo de Lynch-Bages – Futures 2016
Blanc de Lynch-Bages 2016
A wonderful blend of 52% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Semillon and 18% Muscadelle, Blanc de Lynch-Bages 2016 is a stunning pale yellow with green reflections. The nose presents fine aromas: citrus and exotic fruits with subtle notes of spices (vanilla). On the palate, the attack is fresh and ample thanks to Semillon. Blanc de Lynch-Bages 2016 has a remarkable aromatic persistence.Blanc de Lynch-Bages – Futures 2016
Discover Jean-Charles Cazes’ interview, General Director of Chateau Lynch-Bages: