How is 1985 Lynch Bages at this point?

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How is 1985 Lynch Bages at this point?

Postby Covert » Wed Nov 01, 2006 7:26 pm

A friend of mine bought a case of 1985 Lynch Bages, probably in 1988, to present this year to his daughter on her 21st birthday. She said she didn’t want it, and apparently didn’t even pay enough attention to the gesture to realize that she could at least sell the case for a few bucks.

The questionable-ness of picking a case of soft 1985 Pauillac to begin drinking 21 years hence notwithstanding, the reaction was still sad. I had the same general thing happen to me when I presented my niece with two very nice 1996 Leoville Poyferres for Christmas, just to have her reject them.

My friend offered to sell me as many bottles as I would like. I will buy at least one, no matter what, but I am wondering...has anyone here tried one recently?
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Re: How is 1985 Lynch Bages at this point?

Postby Dale Williams » Wed Nov 01, 2006 7:37 pm

Why would anyone question aging an 1985 Pauillac (and what would be soft about it)?

From 2 years ago:
1985 Lynch Bages (Pauillac)
Ripe sweet fruit and great balance, cigarbox, forest floor, and a little
spice, showing very well indeed. Truly a pointe.
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Re: How is 1985 Lynch Bages at this point?

Postby Otto » Wed Nov 01, 2006 8:07 pm

Dale Williams wrote:Why would anyone question aging an 1985 Pauillac (and what would be soft about it)?

From 2 years ago:
1985 Lynch Bages (Pauillac)
Ripe sweet fruit and great balance, cigarbox, forest floor, and a little
spice, showing very well indeed. Truly a pointe.


Well, it was a low acid year, hence soft! :) But even though I love my acids, I have also loved 1985s - this is one of the many mysteries of wine I have! We had the Lunch-Bags at a tasting about 6 months ago and it was like Dale says it is. Ripe is the right word, but still somehow savoury enough for the likes of me. À pointe sounds right also, but I have a feeling this will be à pointe for several decades.
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Re: How is 1985 Lynch Bages at this point?

Postby Dale Williams » Wed Nov 01, 2006 8:29 pm

Otto,
I think most '85 Rights I have are pretty low acid, but that hasn't been my impression of the more-Cabernet-centric wines. Not high acid by any means, but not noticably softer than average, such as '82 & '90 wines. But I could be wrong- for some reason I seem to run across less '85s than any other major vintage of last quarter-century. But none of the Pauillacs I have had are noticably low-acid.
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Re: How is 1985 Lynch Bages at this point?

Postby Covert » Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:04 pm

Otto Nieminen wrote:
Dale Williams wrote:Why would anyone question aging an 1985 Pauillac (and what would be soft about it)?

From 2 years ago:
1985 Lynch Bages (Pauillac)
Ripe sweet fruit and great balance, cigarbox, forest floor, and a little
spice, showing very well indeed. Truly a pointe.


Well, it was a low acid year, hence soft! :) But even though I love my acids, I have also loved 1985s - this is one of the many mysteries of wine I have! We had the Lunch-Bags at a tasting about 6 months ago and it was like Dale says it is. Ripe is the right word, but still somehow savoury enough for the likes of me. À pointe sounds right also, but I have a feeling this will be à pointe for several decades.


Cool! Thanks to you both. Can't wait.

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Re: How is 1985 Lynch Bages at this point?

Postby Paul Winalski » Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:11 pm

Covert wrote:A friend of mine bought a case of 1985 Lynch Bages, probably in 1988, to present this year to his daughter on her 21st birthday. She said she didn’t want it, and apparently didn’t even pay enough attention to the gesture to realize that she could at least sell the case for a few bucks.

The questionable-ness of picking a case of soft 1985 Pauillac to begin drinking 21 years hence notwithstanding, the reaction was still sad. I had the same general thing happen to me when I presented my niece with two very nice 1996 Leoville Poyferres for Christmas, just to have her reject them.

My friend offered to sell me as many bottles as I would like. I will buy at least one, no matter what, but I am wondering...has anyone here tried one recently?


How sad, indeed. Unless she just plain doesn't like wine.

1985 Bordeaux was one of those wonderful vintages that was forward when young, and yet that has aged with grace and dignity, and has well rewarded those with patience. Lunch-Bags did very well in 1985. It was sooo irresistably seductive when it was young, and yet it remained enjoyable for so many years. Now you've got me making a note to check my own cellar to see if I still have any left. Based on my experience with 1985 Lynch-Bages, I'd say it is fully mature, but if well kept unlikely to yet be over the hill.

Your friend's daughter will be lucky if she's matured as well as the wine has. :)

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Re: How is 1985 Lynch Bages at this point?

Postby Tim Ramey » Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:26 pm

I had in in August for MY daughter's 21st birthday and it was great. Not the only thing we had for her birth year but it was always a favorite of mine. A bit on the bretty side, but not untypical for Lynch Bages. Oh and my daughter Charlotte loved it, loves wine and deserved to get a great bottle to celebrate. We also had the 1985 Lafite on the beach for a bbq at Cannon Beach OR and it was a peak experience.
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Re: How is 1985 Lynch Bages at this point?

Postby Charles Weiss » Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:16 am

Covert,
I'd bought this as futures, and it has been consistently good since about 1995 and continues to be, though it is certainly for drinking. It is has been more about intensity than subtlety in a Califonia kind of Bordeaux vintage, and maybe that's why it was the Wine Spectator wine of the year when released as I recall. Stephen Tanzer's in the International Wine Cellar, Issue 103: July/August 2002 gave a positive note and estimated the drinking window as from then (2002) to 2015.
Hope that helps.
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Re: How is 1985 Lynch Bages at this point?

Postby Covert » Thu Nov 02, 2006 7:44 pm

Tim Ramey wrote:I had in in August for MY daughter's 21st birthday and it was great. Not the only thing we had for her birth year but it was always a favorite of mine. A bit on the bretty side, but not untypical for Lynch Bages. Oh and my daughter Charlotte loved it, loves wine and deserved to get a great bottle to celebrate. We also had the 1985 Lafite on the beach for a bbq at Cannon Beach OR and it was a peak experience.


I love brett in Bordeaux. I can only hope mine will show some. The down side is, if I love the bottle, I might have to shell out for the case.

Glad to hear about your daughter's affinity. It must have been a relief for you when that was verified.

In 1994 I got invited to my first “offline” when I didn’t know what the concept meant. The guy who invited me provided a bottle for me to bring: 1985 Leoville Barton, which I reimbursed him for. There were sixteen people and sixteen 1985 classed growths, including all the firsts. That’s how I got stuck on Bordeaux. I can almost re-experience the firsts. I liked Cheval Blanc (which I consider a first; although it isn’t technically, of course) the best and Margaux second best and Lafite third. There was no Lynch Bages, though.
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Re: How is 1985 Lynch Bages at this point?

Postby Covert » Thu Nov 02, 2006 7:53 pm

Charles Weiss wrote:Covert,
I'd bought this as futures, and it has been consistently good since about 1995 and continues to be, though it is certainly for drinking. It is has been more about intensity than subtlety in a Califonia kind of Bordeaux vintage, and maybe that's why it was the Wine Spectator wine of the year when released as I recall. Stephen Tanzer's in the International Wine Cellar, Issue 103: July/August 2002 gave a positive note and estimated the drinking window as from then (2002) to 2015.
Hope that helps.
Charles


Thanks Charles. It answer's one piece of the mystery for me. The Wine Spectator rating is very likely why the guy bought that particular wine for his daughter, while he doesn't have an interest in drinking it himself, at this point. I asked him why he didn't just drink the wine, since he manages a wine store and knows a lot about wine. He said he doesn't care as much for Bordeaux as some other regions. Like father like daughter: kind of like the Red Violin in reverse.

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Re: How is 1985 Lynch Bages at this point?

Postby Lou Kessler » Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:57 pm

Storage is important. 82s were low acid also. Many of them still drinking beautifully. If stored properly 85 Lunch Bags an excellent wine every time I'v consumed it.
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Re: How is 1985 Lynch Bages at this point?

Postby Jenise » Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:28 pm

Interesting thread. The other day I read a pitch by a retailer that cited the 85 Lynch Bages as a turning point in the history of Bordeaux, that it's success (with, I presume, the American marketplace) was the fork in the road that caused many Bordeaux producers to rethink the way they made wine. Hadn't read/understood that before.
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Re: How is 1985 Lynch Bages at this point?

Postby Covert » Fri Nov 03, 2006 2:43 pm

Jenise wrote:Interesting thread. The other day I read a pitch by a retailer that cited the 85 Lynch Bages as a turning point in the history of Bordeaux, that it's success (with, I presume, the American marketplace) was the fork in the road that caused many Bordeaux producers to rethink the way they made wine. Hadn't read/understood that before.


Geez, you are making me feel like a traitor for even drinking this thing. I am on my way in a few minutes to pick up the bottle. But if it has brett and horsey barn flavors, how can it be a poster child for the Parker/Rolland conspiracy?
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Re: How is 1985 Lynch Bages at this point?

Postby Jenise » Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:03 pm

Covert, don't know! Let me see if I can dig out the comment--it might have been on that Garagiste flyer I sent you a week or so ago.
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Re: How is 1985 Lynch Bages at this point?

Postby Jenise » Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:09 pm

I was right, that's where I read it. And it's their trademark hyberbole, but still: "What happened to Bordeaux? Was it the 1985 Lynch Bages? The 1989 Pichon-Baron? It's tough to pinpoint who made the decision to
compete and copy the New World but somewhere in the mid to late
1980's the Bordelaise discovered extraction technology and a
new breed of Bordeaux was born - one that would change the game
forever. If you could somehow taste a 1983 Margaux and a 2000 Margaux directly after bottling, side-by-side, you would know what I mean."

Don't chicken out, you'll love it. It'll have all those wonderful secondary characteristics and what it tasted like 20 years ago will be a moot point.
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Re: How is 1985 Lynch Bages at this point?

Postby Charles Weiss » Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:10 pm

Covert,
I don't see the wine as at all a traitor to Bordeaux, and I share your expressed taste. It was in general a more fruit-forward vintage than classic, and a very well-made wine. I'm sure that 85 matched the broader american palette much more than 1983 for example, and even more than 1982.
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Re: How is 1985 Lynch Bages at this point?

Postby Covert » Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:18 pm

Jenise wrote:I was right, that's where I read it. And it's their trademark hyberbole, but still: "What happened to Bordeaux? Was it the 1985 Lynch Bages? The 1989 Pichon-Baron? It's tough to pinpoint who made the decision to
compete and copy the New World but somewhere in the mid to late
1980's the Bordelaise discovered extraction technology and a
new breed of Bordeaux was born - one that would change the game
forever. If you could somehow taste a 1983 Margaux and a 2000 Margaux directly after bottling, side-by-side, you would know what I mean."

Don't chicken out, you'll love it. It'll have all those wonderful secondary characteristics and what it tasted like 20 years ago will be a moot point.


I have to get it because I already said I would buy it. But I am looking forward to seeing what it is all about. What is the new extraction technology, actually? I should know; I might have just forgotten. You extract more by just leaving the grapes to macerate longer, don't you? And if you start with super ripe grapes, you get concentrated, ripe, big wine, right?
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Re: How is 1985 Lynch Bages at this point?

Postby Steve_LW » Sat Nov 04, 2006 7:59 pm

I am not sure of the "New Style" discussion, but I have had that wine on 3 occasions, two of which I include in the "one of the finest wines I have ever tasted" category. The other time it was corked. And I generally dislike ripe, fat, gobby wines. The last thing that comes into my mind tasting 85 Lynch Bages is "modern". Its extremely earthy, leathery, mineral, tertiary, and completely Pauillac. Its an absolutely stunning wine (when not corked or otherwise abused) for those who like traditional Bordeaux.

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