Wine Advocate 89 points - Evolving quickly, the dark plum/garnet-colored 2004 reveals notes of tobacco leaf, forest floor, black fruits, new saddle leather, licorice and earth, good, rather than great, depth of fruit and medium body. Drink this mid-weight effort over the next 10-15 years.
Cinquièmes Crus Classés (Fifth Growths)
89 PTS – International Wine Cellar
Fully saturated inky ruby. Captivating nose offers redcurrant, black cherry, tar, tobacco, graphite and cedar aromas. Sweet, lush and ripe, with pure blackberry, cocoa and coffee flavors accented by a hint of shoe polish. Very good balance and sound acidity keeps this light on its feet. Finishes a bit warm and simple, with average length but good texture for the vintage. An excellent example of how good some of the 2004 Bordeaux can be: this would make an excellent wine-by-the-glass choice in a restaurant, or could be enjoyed now and over the next few years while your 2005s and 2006s mature in the cellar. (01/2012)
87 PTS – The Wine Advocate
Evolving quickly, the dark plum/garnet-colored 2004 reveals notes of tobacco leaf, forest floor, black fruits, new saddle leather, licorice and earth, good, rather than great, depth of fruit and medium body. Drink this mid-weight effort 2011-2026 (#196 Aug 2011)
Château Lynch Bages, a 5ème Cru Classé, is one of the best-known Médoc estates and has always had a particularly strong following. Since 1973 it has been owned by the enigmatic Jean-Michel Cazes and is now run by his son, Jean-Charles. Lynch Bages's vineyards are superbly sited on a plateau west of Pauillac town, in the small village of Bages.
The 90 hectares of vineyards (Red: Cabernet Sauvignon 75%, Merlot 15%, Cabernet Franc 10%) lie on deep gravel beds over limestone. For the reds, fermentation is temperature-controlled with extensive 'remontage' to ensure concentration and depth of colour. A special system of pipes transfers the wine from the cuves to the oak barriques (60% new) where it matures for 15 months.
Lynch Bages can be surprisingly soft and approachable when young. However, when fully mature, it develops a succulent richness and a heavenly bouquet of minty blackcurrants and cigar boxes. As Oz Clarke says "Lynch Bages is impressive at five years, beautiful at ten years and irresistible at twenty."