One of the Finest Bordeaux Values of the Year
Truly stellar under-$20 bottles of Bordeaux are among our harder targets to hit. So when we found one made by Jean-Michel Cazes — the legendary figure behind Médoc powerhouse Château Lynch-Bages, lauded as one of Bordeaux’s “most highly regarded figures” by The New York Times — we grabbed every bottle we could get. Under Cazes, Lynch-Bages has piled up numerous 97- to 99-point scores, acquiring a reputation for producing what Robert Parker has called “quintessentially hedonistic Pauillac.” In an effort to offer Médoc that would drink beautifully now at a fantastic value, Cazes created the Michel Lynch line. The plan was simple: source impeccable Left Bank fruit, and let the same acclaimed team behind Lynch-Bages get to work. That plan played out brilliantly in the highly collectible 2015 vintage, called the best since 2010 by Wine Spectator. The result is this plush, velvety, aromatic Bordeaux red, available exclusively at Wine Access. A fraction of the price of its Pauillac sibling at $19.99, this is one of the finest Bordeaux values of the year.
For Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, 2015 was a reminder that “no other region touches Bordeaux when it fires on all cylinders.” The growing season sprang to life with a picture-perfect spring, epitomized by a crystal-clear, sun-dappled April that sent growth into hyperdrive. A dry, hot summer stressed the vines, creating concentration and amassing sugars in the grapes. Precipitation arrived in the nick of time, presaging an ideal September and October that pushed even, perfect ripening right up to the finish line. The hype, for once, was merited: Vinous’s Antonio Galloni called it “the strongest vintage in a number of years.”
The region’s peerless First Growths will always be there for those willing to pay top dollar. But industry watchers have rightly argued that Bordeaux’s true genius lies in its ability to produce stunning wines at every price level. Where else can you find a bottle with this outsized pedigree for under $20? Highly recommended for European red value-hunters.