Château Lynch-Moussas 2016
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• Domaine: Château Lynch-Moussas
• Appellation: Pauillac
• Classification: Fifth Growth, 5ème Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
Château Lynch-Moussas is a Fifth Growth property in Pauillac. The wines from this estate are richly concentrated, with a lot of body and good structure. The grand vin of Château Lynch-Moussas is an excellent option for oenophiles who enjoy bolder Cabernet-centric wines that don’t require a tremendous amount of aging. In terms of scores, buyers should take note: Lynch-Moussas a consistent producer that yields excellent wines during most vintages after the mid 2000s. Château Lynch-Moussas is without a doubt a must-know estate for the Bordeaux drinker who adores Pauillac terroir and wants a great value, quality wine.
Château Lynch-Moussas hails from the enormous Lynch estate that was originally owned by the Mayor of Bordeaux and exiled Irishman, Count Jean-Baptiste Lynch during the 18th Century. The breathtaking grounds served as a hunting and vacation spot for nobility, including the King of Spain. It seemed like a natural choice for a man of Count Jean-Baptiste’s elevated social status. The property was so large he had to split the massive swath of land into two parts. One portion became the most ubiquitous property in all of Bordeaux and the first wine to go into space - Château Lynch-Bages - and the other was Château Lynch-Moussas.
Yet despite the fanfare of Château Lynch-Bages, Jean-Baptiste had a very personal attachment to Lynch-Moussas. He resided there until the end of his days near the turn of the century, occupying its lavish bedrooms and wandering the extensive grounds around the striking estate. The impressive, classical looking structure that sits in a place of prominence on the 150-hectare estate is where the current owners, Philippe Castéja and his wife, reside. Five years after the exquisite château was built, in 1855, Château Lynch-Moussas was classified as a Fifth Growth. In 1919 it was purchased by the Castéja family and they have been in charge ever since.
If the Castéja name sounds familiar, it should. The Castéjas are linked with the well-respected négociant arm, Borie-Manoux, which owns numerous other estates in the Médoc and the Right Bank including Château Batailley and the Saint Émilion Premiere Grand Cru Classé estate, Château Trotte Vielle. The Castéjas managed the property throughout the 20th Century and revitalized the estate, particularly after a bad period during the financial crisis of the 1960s. The property was nearly abandoned, but the Castéja family would not allow Château Lynch-Moussas to fall into obscurity as the terroir had too much promise. In 1970 the vineyards were revitalized and were planted to a healthy 60-hectare parcel of Cabernet and Merlot vines.
Château Lynch-Moussas makes wine in a very traditional style. The grapes are tended to by one team who oversees everything from pruning to harvest. The 25-year-old vines are harvested by hand when they reach optimum ripeness, then vinified in a mixture of temperature controlled stainless steel tanks before being aged in oak. This yields a fresher, fruit-forward wine with supple tannins that can be enjoyed on the younger side after a few hours of decanting.
"The 2016 Lynch Moussas is a blend of 17% Merlot an 83% Cabernet Sauvignon cropped at 48 hectoliters per hectare between 3 and 19 October. Matured in 60% new oak and the remainder one year old, this has a concentrated bouquet that offers tobacco-infused black fruit, briary and then with aeration, veins of pencil lead. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannin cloaked in plenty of black fruit, quite spicy for Lynch Moussas with a touch of orange rind developing towards the finish. I appreciate the salinity on the aftertaste here. This is excellent and may well surpass the impressive 2015 last year." - Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate (4/28/2017, Issue 230), Ratings: 92-94, Drink: 2022-2045
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