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Monday, 31 January 2011

Château Lynch-Moussas 2004, Pauillac‏

I was recently given a bottle of Lynch-Moussas, a 5th-growth Bordeaux from Pauillac by Alex Barr of Genlead (thanks Alex!). According to a couple of experts I checked with, the 2004s are not set for long aging and are ready for drinking more or less now, so the other day we opened it up with a simple roast-beef dinner.

Bordeaux is my favourite source of red wines generally, but not having had a "classed growth" wine before, I was intrigued about what to expect - how would it be different from every other, non-classed, Bordeaux I have had ?

The nose showed initially rich blackcurrant followed increasingly by a delicious woodsiness and forest floor, with hints of vanilla and spice; the texture is very smooth texture, almost custard-creamy, and the finish is long and concentrated,with a gentle tannic grip and a slightly herbaceous edge. There is lots of juicy bramble fruit and a slight smokiness, almost like beeswax church candles.

What was, for me, most surprising about this wine is how soft and approachable it is, even at just 6 years old - I had expected something rather chewier and more tannic. Beyond that, it was a very well-made and enjoyable wine, but not stellar.

And with hindsight, plus a bit of research on the Internet, that stands to reason - according to the website 90plus Wines:

- Wine Spectator gave it 88/100 on 31 Mar 2007 and said it shows aromas of currant and sandalwood.

- Jancis Robinson rates it 17.5/20 on 06 Aug 2008 calling it quite complex and interesting. Real vivacity

These are good, solid scores and reviews, but not earth-shattering.

The Wine Doctor, Chris Kissack, says: Chateau Lynch-Moussas (Pauillac) 2004: Dense fruit here and overtly toasty oak marks the nose of this wine. On the palate there is a good grip and depth, with lots of firm structure and an appealing depth of berry fruit with a nicely composed substance. Good vigour, lots of ripe tannins, good acidity too. It is perhaps a touch on the lean side but it has potential for sure. From a 2004 Bordeaux tasting at four years of age. 16+/20

At first, I had wondered whether I was missing something, whether I should have been more impressed by the wine, whether it should have felt like it was in a completely different league from all else - on reflection, it is a very good and enjoyable wine, albeit from a less than stellar year, perhaps with more finesse and elegance than force of personality.


Lynch-Moussas - http://www.lynch-moussas.com/

The Wine Doctor - http://www.thewinedoctor.com/

Genlead - http://www.genlead.co.uk/


  1. We had the 2006 Lynch Moussas from Laithwaites in 2010 (see here: http://wineblogforthefrugal.blogspot.com/2010/09/bank-holiday-wine-off.html )
    Similarly to you, we were a little underwhelmed with the 5th Growth but this is generally regarded as one of the (I hate to say) "poorer" properties. Not that I have tried it, but Lynch Bages is VERY highly regarded for a 5th Growth and simlarly Pontet Canet. I wonder how much better these wines are?

    However, in a uniformly good year like 2009, I'm sure this Lynch Moussas could offer great value drinking. What is it, about £20 a bottle? Then again, a reasonable Cru Bourgeios could compete with this for a few £ less too!

  2. WBFTF

    In my case, with hindsight, the underwhelm came from a sense of expectation, rather than the innate quality of the wine itself, so the conclusion I draw is never trust your expectations.

    Also, there is a whole debate (if not a PhD thesis !) to be had on the nature of value here - a topic close to both our hearts.

    My two top Bordeaux of recent times would probably be the Rousseau de Sipian and the Troplong Mondot, both reviewed on the blog here.

    Cheers, Tom

  3. True, the underwhelm was definitely from the expectations of grandeur that the 1855 Classification can generate. Hype and "Name" cause high espectation.

    And indeed, some of the wines that I've enjoyed most have been ones that I wasn't expecting anything from - but both suprised and delivered a great experience.


  4. LOL that should have been "expectation"!

  5. Phew - for a minute, I thought you meant "expectoration"!