TN- 2016 Lynch Bages, 2017 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese #15 Auction

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Tom Reddick
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TN- 2016 Lynch Bages, 2017 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese #15 Auction

#1 Post by Tom Reddick » May 12th, 2019, 8:52 pm

2016 Chateau Lynch-Bages

Small sample from a bottle that had been open for approximately 4 hours

Very deep red/purple color, on the nose large scaled cherry cough syrup and cassis with a persistent yeasty note and significant quantities of oak, on the palate full bodied and somewhat velvety with ripe and- in my opinion- overly extracted fruit that does a nice job of covering the massive tannic structure to make it surprisingly approachable given the sheer scale of all its components, very long finish dominated by oak notes leading to a sourish tail end, this is the ultimate expression of the modern bigger is better style and not to my liking at all, that said- to be fair this is fairly well balanced though I think the oak will have a stronger presence than I would like, this is built for big comparative tastings and I expect it will soundly throttle a great many wines that cost a great deal more, whatever happens in the long term- there is a long wait ahead for full maturity.

(*****) for what it is, (**)+? for me personally comparing it to the good old AFWE days, 2036++.

[Note- to clarify in advance, there is no sarcasm intended in the above note. Much as I do not care for the wine- it really does work in its way.]


2017 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese Auction #15

pale lemon color, a lovely and rich nose but interestingly very much driven by earth and almost herbal notes, some orange notes and a hint of peaches, on the palate suave and relaxed- and as with the nose driven more by the earth notes than the fruit, as with the nose- citrus and peach but also a bit of blueberry, fine long finish with good acids but in the interlude after the midpalate leading into the finish it falls off for a moment acid-wise before recovering itself, the following day little changed except that more fruit is now evident and the wine remains fairly closed, two days later the nose has shut down and is a bit broody, mineral notes now evident, on the palate luscious with bright blood orange, peach and a hint of red raspberry, the acid is much better integrated and far more obvious now into a very long finish, the fruit itself has the mass of Auslese but very little honey or other overt sweet notes to it, rather this is coming off as more of a super-Spat if you will, zesty bursts of stones and lime acids pop out here and there with a bit of extra heft to them, this is a most singular wine and quite good at the very least, but a great deal of time is needed to see if it can rise to the heights achieved by the magnificent Spatlesen this year, I think it could well do that- but like many great wines in singular vintages this is in an unusual place right now and a bit difficult to pin down, I look forward to seeing where this goes and think a wait of at least 10 years is merited before revisiting.

(****)+?, 2035++
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Re: TN- 2016 Lynch Bages, 2017 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese #15 Auction

#2 Post by Jason T » May 12th, 2019, 11:45 pm

Good to know about the Lynch-Bages. I didn’t realise they had crossed over to the dark side. Any idea when that shift happened?
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Re: TN- 2016 Lynch Bages, 2017 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese #15 Auction

#3 Post by NoahR » May 13th, 2019, 6:34 am

Tom, have you had any other 15 and 16 Bordeaux major houses that have been more restrained?

Did a longitudinal tasting of Lynch Bages last year and really didn’t find the newer ones to be all that glossy or overly oaked. But I’m also never surprised when a recent, ripe vintage of Bordeaux has all the balance of an IPA - every element shouting at full volume - given that this seems to be the new normal since 2009 at least.
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Re: TN- 2016 Lynch Bages, 2017 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese #15 Auction

#4 Post by Russell Faulkner » May 13th, 2019, 6:53 am

Auction Goldcap! :)

I only got three halves. Was pricey this year.

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Re: TN- 2016 Lynch Bages, 2017 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese #15 Auction

#5 Post by Tom Reddick » May 13th, 2019, 9:06 pm

Jason T wrote:
May 12th, 2019, 11:45 pm
Good to know about the Lynch-Bages. I didn’t realise they had crossed over to the dark side. Any idea when that shift happened?
I am not sure to be honest. I think the roots have to be in the mid 90s- the 93 and 94 came out very hard and woody in the end. Most wines of those vintages have not fared all that well, but the Lynch Bages is particularly soaked with oak. 1995 started off beautifully, but lately has been rather muted and off- which has been discussed here before.

But then the 1996 was fantastic. I have not had only lately, but I have 2-3 TNs for that dating from release and I always liked it. And the 2000 was phenomenal- I have to think that is going to be one of the greats.

2003 and 2009 are the two that really turned me off- so I would have to speculate that early 2000s is where the wines got too heavy handed and oaky for my personal tastes.
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Re: TN- 2016 Lynch Bages, 2017 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese #15 Auction

#6 Post by Tom Reddick » May 13th, 2019, 9:14 pm

NoahR wrote:
May 13th, 2019, 6:34 am
Tom, have you had any other 15 and 16 Bordeaux major houses that have been more restrained?

Did a longitudinal tasting of Lynch Bages last year and really didn’t find the newer ones to be all that glossy or overly oaked. But I’m also never surprised when a recent, ripe vintage of Bordeaux has all the balance of an IPA - every element shouting at full volume - given that this seems to be the new normal since 2009 at least.
Just Meyney and a few crus bourgeois- all of which were nicely balanced and as expected. I find the 16 LB rather a monster in the context of my experience tasting higher end Bordeaux from 92-04 at release in decent quantities and more sparingly since, except for 2014 where I have several release TNs. But I freely admit I cannot describe it in the context of 15/16 more broadly.

Agree with you that bigger vintages can be a bit disjointed with every element going at full volume at certain awkward phases. What bothered me here was both the yeasty note- which is something very new to me as a major feature in tasting a high end young Bordeaux- and the sheer painful presence of the oak.

Until a few years ago, my reference point for too much oak was 1990 Mouton- a wine I have tasted a good 7-8 times and followed with some fascination. I first tried it soon after release and it had that whisky barrel sharpness to which Parker referred in his note published in Ed 3 of his book. But the oak itself had not dominated the other elements. And over time 90 Mouton has become more interesting and balanced, though it will never be a great vintage for them.

But in a great many Bordeaux today, I am finding that oak is a far more dominant and broad part of the wine itself- and often it feels like the fruit has been as concentrated as possible to try and match. And that is where I have concern for the long term. Few great Bordeaux classically rendered will ever match the sheer volume of the bigger CA Cabs. Petrus, Lafleur, maybe Latour from time to time. But otherwise it is not normal in the context of wines made in the past century and to which many of us are accustomed.
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