1996 Lynch-Moussas 


Much of aristocratic Pauillac has become too expensive for many wine-lovers in recent years. That classification back in 1855 went straight to its head. Yet, there are gems to be discovered…if you know where to look. At a recent tasting, Frédéric Castèja, whose family owns several properties as well as the négociant, Borie Manoux, asked if I would like to taste any older vintages of Lynch-Moussas? I left him to pick a vintage. This estate has improved over the last 4-5 vintages, so I was not expecting fireworks when he proposed a 25-year-old wine. But I was pleasantly surprised.

The 1996 Lynch-Moussas is still surprisingly deep in colour, quite limpid, with little sign of its age. The bouquet is classic ‘old school’ Pauillac with pencil shavings infusing the black fruit, touches of cold black tea and mahogany bureau. The palate is medium-bodied with an East Asian-tinged opening, hoisin and a pinch of white pepper. This displays better than expected substance and cohesion, lightly spiced on its finely-tuned and quite vigorous finish. The 1996 is drinking perfectly now and, on this showing, should give another 12-15 years of drinking pleasure. 90/Drink 2021-2035.