Sunday Lunch in Bordeaux

Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac 1990
Thomas Matthews
Posted: December 27, 2010

After two weeks of intensive visits and tastings in Bordeaux with my colleague James Molesworth, I rendezvoused with Sara at the home of an old vintner friend in Entre-Deux-Mers for some quiet time in the country.

We had Sunday lunch at home with Philippe and his daughter, Louise, and it was a true family occasion. We ate a blanquette de veau that Philippe’s mother had cooked and left for us, and he opened a 1990 Château Lynch-Bages that his late father had given him several years earlier. We sat in his cozy dining room overlooking vineyards he has tended for nearly 30 years, just down the hill from the château where his grandfather lived. We reminisced about the time Sara and I had lived nearby, back in the 1980s, and all the good times and sad times that had flowed by us since then.

The wine somehow bound everything together—the food, the moment, the friendship. It was maturing but still combined power and grace, with ethereal aromas of dried fruits, forest underbrush and exotic spices. It supported the rich veal stew and mingled with the wood smoke from the fire of burning vines. It evoked people and places we shared and loved, and created its own memory for us to carry forward into the future. Though rating the wine seems superfluous given the context, as a critic, I scored it 96 points, non-blind.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review and check the current auction price for Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac 1990 (94 points, $43 on release).

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Bordeaux reds.

Member comments   6 comment(s)

Jeremiah Morehouse — Sacramento CA —  December 27, 2010 12:48pm ET

Sounds wonderful. I am a Sommelier from California getting to experience Bordeaux for the first time currently and am absolutely in love. I discovered Max Wine Gallery and am impressed. How do you feel about Le Wine Bar in St Pierre?
JNM
www.jnmwines.blogspot.com


Stephen Stewart — new mexico  —  December 27, 2010 9:54pm ET

You guys had christmas in bordeaux? Lucky devils!


Jeremiah Morehouse — Sacramento CA —  December 28, 2010 5:59am ET

its pretty cold here, i could go for some New Mexico december weather right about now!


Michael Schuette — St Saphorin, Switzerland —  December 30, 2010 4:20am ET

Nice story, and an excellent wine. We recently did a "horizontal" and somewhat limited (half) blind (as we knew which three wines were served, but not which of the three we had in the glass) tasting of 1990s Bordeaux - first a Mouton Rothschild, then a Monrose, and then the Lynch Bages. To be honest, all four of us rated the Mouton Rothschild 3rd, Monrose 2nd, and felt that the Lynch Bages had most character and finesse, and came out 1st.

Monrose had 100 points from Parker ...

Tasting is and remains subjective. All three are great wines. But the Lynch Bages, we not only liked best - it is actually the least expensive. 1990s are really good to drink now.


Sean Scannell — Providence, RI —  March 7, 2011 11:09pm ET

My wife and I were fortunate enough to enjoy a 1986 Lynch Bages last week that was given to us for our wedding this past October. As soon as I pulled the cork the aromas were just screaming and I decided that aeration wasn't necessary and we went right for it. Such an approachable wine where the layers seemed to linger for minutes after a sip. We felt that it was a perfect example to step away from our American style of power that we all love and appreciate finesse that is not often displayed these days. It made for a great night for us and I'm happy to see that the 1990 made for a great day for you as well.


Sean Scannell — Providence, RI —  March 7, 2011 11:16pm ET

My wife and I were fortunate enough to enjoy a 1986 Lynch Bages last week that was given to us for our wedding this past October. As soon as I pulled the cork the aromas were just screaming and I decided that aeration wasn't necessary and we went right for it. Such an approachable wine where the layers seemed to linger for minutes after a sip. We felt that it was a perfect example to step away from our American style of power that we all love and appreciate finesse that is not often displayed these days. It made for a great night for us and I'm happy to see that the 1990 made for a great day for you as well.


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