T he Cazes family is inextricably linked to Bordeaux, the wines, the region and its ethos, and Château Lynch Bages is the ultimate expression of their hard work and devotion. The element that marks them as exceptional is the respect for both tradition and innovation. Both Jean-Michel Cazes and his son Jean-Charles are at the cutting edge of new developments in both viticulture and vinification, seeking to marry modernity with what is fundamental to the quality of Bordeaux at its Best.
Whether it is sustainability or marketing, design or adaptability to climate change, they embrace new ideas and retain all that is necessary to preserve the very essence of place in all their wines. I admire them unreservedly and have witnessed all the developments along the decades, the perfect illustration of what great family ownership brings to the making of landmark wines.
Producing wines of real interest and unfailing fidelity to their origin is a constant, evolving process and the Cazes family is at the vanguard of what being the proprietor of part of Bordeaux’s vinous history is all about. In my very early days in Pauillac, I revelled in the dark, cask-filled cellars of Lynch Bages, breathing in Médocain wine-filled air and tasting from barrels. Now we see the beautiful state-of-the-art new cellars and how they can finesse the wine-making process at very top level. Care and selection have become ever more precise, but every drop of all their wines still speaks with its local accent, the secret of genuine vinous personality and character without which any wine is just a technical achievement.
The family combines acumen with common sense, as well as an esprit of curiosity and research which leads to forward movement. At the same time, both Jean-Michel and Jean-Charles have traversed the world of wine lovers, telling us more about the work behind the bottle. They have represented both their own wines and the whole Bordeaux region, which certainly owes them a debt of gratitude. I recall the meetings in airports and foreign cities where a Cazes family member is always present, flying the flag for Lynch Bages and getting to know those who love it. There was an epic taxi journey with Jean-Michel from Detroit to the home of a great wine collector (we made it!), to a very young Jean-Charles thrown in at the deep-end, as we say, to a large gathering in Singapore. I do not know if they represent the wine, or the wine represents them, but it certainly works and every tasting and banquet ends in sheer happiness.
And, I think, that is what Lynch Bages gives me – total enjoyment. Every vintage is satisfying, the wine speaks to me. There is the fabulous, underlying Pauillac nobility, the way of bringing to the fore the tremendous, cassis beauty of the terroir, the generosity, flavour and volume inherent in this cru. It bursts with energy when young and displays formidable seductive maturity as the years pass.
Whether I am looking at the 2016 or the 1982 comparing the diverse delights of the 2010 and the 2009 , it is always exciting, while less stellar vintages deliver delicious drinking at every stage. And one cannot fail to observe the tremendous progress at Château Ormes de Pez which now performs at an unprecedented level.
It is a great privilege to bring this direct-from-the-property sale to the international audience that the Cazes family knows so well and we are honoured to be their ambassadors in this extraordinary release of vintages and formats, visits and experiences, that will all create such unforgettable memories. And I raise my glass to the Cazes dynasty, its talents and its brilliance.