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Travelling in Wine – Château Lynch Bages

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實力非凡.靚次伯

Château Lynch Bages,因譯音與香港一名粵劇紅伶相似,所以又名「靚次伯」。在香港愛酒之人一定已聽過它的大名,連香港某航空公司也用它作頭等客倉的貴賓酒。Lynch Bages位於波爾多左岸的Pauillac區,跟Château Pontet Canet同區,佔地有90畝,而平均樹齡為35年。於1855年波爾多分級制中被列為第五級,與Pontet Canet齊名。

Château Lynch Bages, transliterated from the name of a famous Cantonese opera artist in Hong Kong, is also known as “Lang Chi Bak”. It is a well-known brand among the wine-loving community, even one of the local airlines serves their first-class travellers with this premium wine. Situated in the Pauillac region on the left bank of Bordeaux, the winery has a 90-hectare vineyard which generally 35-year-old vines are grown. Producing high quality wines, Château Lynch Bages was classified as a Fifth Growth in 1855 – on a par with Château Pontet Canet.

Lynch Bages的歷史始於18世紀,在1728 年Chevailer Pierre Drouillard由Bernard Déjean手上買下酒莊,直至Chevailer Pierre於1749年臨終時將酒莊交給女兒Elizabeth,而她的丈夫是Thomas Lynch,至此之後酒莊由Lynch家族ر直管理了75年,名為「Cru de Lynch」,直至1824年瑞士籍葡萄酒商人Sébastien Jurine買下酒莊並在其兒子 André-Louis領導下於1855年波爾多分級制中被列為第五級,當時酒莊名為「Jurine Bages」。1862年,ر葡萄酒商Cayrou買下Jurine Bages並將其名為「Lynch Bages」,從此這名字便留存至今。

The hisory of Lynch Bages dates back to the 18th century: Chevailer Pierre Drouillard purchased the estate from Bernard Déjean in 1728. Upon his death in 1749, Chevailer Pierre bequeathed the property to his daughter Elizabeth, who was the wife of Thomas Lynch. Since then, the estate has been owned and run by the Lynch family for 75 years, which was then known as “Cru de Lynch”. In 1824, the property was sold to Sébastien Jurine, a Swiss wine merchant, and it was under the stewardship of his son André-Louis that Lynch Bages, named “Jurine Bages” at that time, was classified among the Clinquiè Crus in the prestigious 1855 Classification. Later in 1862, wine merchant Cayrou purchased Jurine Bages and restored the estate’s name – “Lynch Bages” has remained unchanged ever since then.

 

Cazes家族的起源

在世界大戰前夕Jean - Charles Cazes從Cayrou家族手上買下Lynch Bages,而當其時Jean-Charles已擁有位於Saint-Estèphe的Ormes de Pez酒莊,自始Cazes家族掌舵至今。Jean-Charles年屆95歲便離開人世,酒莊便由孫兒Jean-Michel Cazes打理,在1987年時他更引入法國保險機構AXA為股東因此而變得實力雄厚,優質葡萄園由波爾多擴展至葡萄牙及匈牙利,但到2001年Cazes家族與AXA分手,雖然如此家族仍繼續擴大版圖至法國南部Languedoc,隆河教皇新堡Châteauneuf-du-Pape,甚至乎新世界的澳洲。

The Cazes Family

During the pre-war period, Lynch Bages was sold to Jean-Paul Cazes, who already possessed Château Ormes de Pez in Saint-Estèphe, and since then it has been run by the Cazes family. When Jean-Charles passed away at the age of 95, his grandson Jean-Michel Cazes took over the winery and expanaded it by having the French insurance agency AXA to be one of the shareholders. Although their partnership ended in 2001, large quality vineyards expanded thenceforward abroad from Bordeaux to Languedoc in southern France, Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the Rhône region, Portugal, Hungary and even to New World Australia.

打破傳统

於1934年時Jean-Charles Cazes 接手酒莊後盡顯其大膽創新的一面,當其時很多酒莊做事極之保守,將葡萄提早收割,這對葡萄酒的質素有負面的影響。但Jean-Charles打破傳,願意冒風險等葡萄完全熟透才收割,當時全市都知道他是Pauillac區最遲收割的一間酒莊。但他的努力是有回報的,因為一般大家認為不好的vintage Lynch Bages卻可做到極出色的葡萄酒,酒身豐厚,再配合濃烈的黑加倫子及雪茄的味道就是其代表的風格,十分叫人討好及盡顯Pauillac區澎湃的本色,在1945年開始Lynch Bages已聲名大燥。

A Breakthrough Strategy

Jean-Charles Cazes decisively took an avant-garde approach in winemaking when taking over the winery in 1934. While early harvest of grapes was generally practised in other wineries, Jean-Charles pioneered in harvesting the grapes only when they were fully ripened and powerful, making it the only winery in the Pauillac region having the latest harvest. Despite this, the vintage Lynch Bages produced is an outstanding full-bodied wine characterized by its intense blackcurrants and maduro. Thoroughly reflecting the style of Pauillac, the name Lynch Bages has been well-recognized and prominent since 1945.

努力到現在

2006年Jean-Michel Cazes三十多歲的兒子Jean-Charles Cazes接手做Lynch Bages的第三代的掌門人,他放棄工程師的工作全情打理莊園至今, 他的名字剛好與其爺爺一樣。Lynch Bages現在雖是年青人接手,但品質的追求並沒有減弱。Lynch Bages深信葡萄樹就是葡萄酒的靈魂,所以每一天都有35個工作人員去照顧葡萄園‭,‬ 包括去除雜草‭,‬ 監察及防止葡萄樹受感染,修剪葡萄樹以爭取陽光的吸收(canopy management)等。所有葡萄都是人手收割,收割會由250個工人完成,為確保收割的葡萄是最新鮮,大部份收割會於晨旱進行,而收割回來的葡萄亦會經過長檯(sorting table)揀選。

Neverending Endeavours

in 2006, Jean-Michel Cazes’s son, Jean-Charles Cazes, having the same name as his grandfather, gave up the job of an engineer and took over Lynch Bages – the third generation who has been in charge of all the family vineyards till now. Although Jean-Charles was a wine novice, he had a strong quest for excellence. Believing that the soul of the wine grows on the vine, a team of 35 people are dedicated to the daily care of the vineyard, incuding removing weeds, monitoring and preventing vines from infection, pruning vines for more sunlight absorption (canopy management) etc. In addition, grapes are entirely hand-picked by 250 workers in early mornings to retain freshness and flavour before undergoing further selection on the sorting table.

發酵的葡萄室內有35個不同大小的發酵桶,Lynch Bages會將葡萄園劃分為不同的小份,而不同小份的葡萄會放在不同的發酵桶內發酵,在發酵後葡萄酒跟剩下的渣宰接觸3星期以攝取更多丹寧及色素。然後這些葡萄酒便會用地心吸力(gravity)的方法流入木桶陳年,這樣便可避免泵對葡萄酒帶來的傷害。為了減少木桶的影響而Lynch Bages只會用60%新木桶,陳年時間不會超過16個月。另外酒莊獨有之處就是木桶選用方面會揀選9間不同製造木桶(cooperage)公司,在入樽前再混和以避免葡萄酒受單ر木桶商影響。葡萄酒入樽前會經過5至6次隔渣而近期他們亦已改用人造蛋白做 fining。

In Lynch Bages, every winemaking process is done precisely. There are 35 vats of different sizes in the vat room in which each plot or each uniform batch of grapes is treated seperately. Fermented wine will then be placed together with the sediment for three weeks to absorb more tannin and colour. To reduce the damage to the wine, wine goes into the barrels by gravity flow instead of pumping. Wine is only aged in 60% new oak barrels for not more than 16 months, and the most unique vinification found in Lynch Bages is the selection of barrels – they are from nine different cooperage suppliers. As such, wine is not single-barreled, but blended in different barrels, as well as fined using synthetic egg white before bottling.

 著名酒評家羅拔柏家(Robert Parker)對Château Lynch Bages的評價甚高,所以知明度提高的同時酒價也不斷升值。Jean-Michel 經常強調如果將1855年的分級制再從新厘定,Lynch Bages一定是第一級,可見其對自己酒莊的出品信心十足。

With notable wine critic Robert Parker deeming wine from Château Lynch Bages as one of the high-rating wines, there have been an increase in its appreciation and price accordingly. Jean-Michel, however, showing his confidence in his wines, always states that if there had been a new system of the classification of 1855, Lynch Bages must have been the First Growth – the most superior class of wine.

在靚次白我試過它的2004年正牌Château Lynch Bages,2004年的副牌Château Haut-Bages Averous 及2009 Echo de Lynch Bages。不過可能因2004年不是好vintage,所以正牌Château Lynch Bages的酸度略嫌不足之外,酒精也比較高,入口有點黑加倫子及雪茄的味道,餘韻比起ر些好年如2003年要算是比較短,而副牌2004年更有ر點草青的味道。因2009年是好年,所以Echo de Lynch Bages 比起2004酒體要算豐厚一點,而因為較年輕所以黑加侖子及黑梅味比較多,複雜性亦不算高,未能發揮到最好,相信要多等三年才是最佳狀態。自2008年開始Lynch Bages 副牌已改名為Echo de Lynch Bages,Echo翻譯做中文解作再來一次,亦即是這副牌仍有主牌的影子,所以除了令整體一體化之外亦有著深遠的意義。

When visitng Lynch Bages, I tried the Château Lynch-Bages 2004, the Haut-Bages Averous 2004, the second wine of Château Lynch-Bages, and Echo de Lynch-Bages 2009. Perhaps the year 2004 was not a good vintage, the Château Lynch-Bages 2004 lacks acidity and contains higher level of alcohol despite the hint of blackcurrant and cigar on the palate, resulting in a rather short aftertaste; the Haut-Bages Averous 2004 even has a note of grass on the nose. 2009 is comparatively a better year, therefore the Echo de Lynch-Bages 2009 has a richer body with intense blackcurrant and blackberry flavours yet not complex enough. I believe it would be at its optimum when aged three more years. Since 2008, Château Haut-Bages Averous has been renamed to Echo de Lynch-Bages to better assert its lineage with the estate – “echo” means “again”, symbolizing that the second wine fits seamlessly in the line of its brother, Château Lynch-Bages.

渡假優閒中心

Lynch Bages近年大灑金錢,酒莊已發展為一個大型優閒中心,並於2011年榮獲「Meilleur Accueil dans le Vignoble」的名函,亦即是最佳酒莊旅遊勝地,景點包括Village de Bages及Château Cordeillan-Bages。

A Resort Centre

Lynch Bages is more than a winery – it combines the pleasure of enjoying wine and tourism. With attractions like Village de Bages and Chateau Cordeillan-Bages, it was award the title “Meilleur Accueil dans le Vignoble” (“Best Home in the Vineyard” in English) by a leading French publication in 2011.