Echo de Lynch-Bages

Château Haut-Bages Averous is the name of a former Pauillac property, once purchased by André Cazes. This name has long designated the second wine of Château Lynch-Bages, the result of a determined selection for the first time during the harvest of 1976 and continued every year since then.

As of the 2008 vintage, Château Haut-Bages Averous changed its name. To better assert its lineage with the estate, it became “Echo de Lynch-Bages”.

Greek mythology tells us that Zeus, when he wanted to dally with some pretty mortal girl, would entrust Echo with the task of diverting his wife Hera’s attention with idle chatter. Discovering the secret game, Hera punished Echo by condemning her to never again be the first to speak and to ceaselessly repeat the last words she would hear….

Developed as an echo of the First Wine and enjoying the same attentive care from the vine to the storehouse, "Echo de Lynch-Bages” fits seamlessly in the line of its older brother: like him he has the flavour, aroma and finish characteristic of the wines of Pauillac. It is similarly marked by its roundness and suppleness, thus requiring less storage time in the bottle. Just like the nymph whose name he now bears, he never talks first but combines charm, elegance and seductive power.

Representing 25 to 40% of the harvest depending on the vintages, “Echo” is chiefly made from the property’s youngest vines. Its final blend often differs from that of Lynch-Bages by a slightly higher proportion of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. It is characterised by its soft tannins, a light and smooth oakiness, a silky texture in the mouth and a nice complexity.

VINTAGE YEARS

Blend: 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc
Production: 65% of the total crop

« Everything comes to him who wants… »
As with the 2007 vintage, we laboured under a rather wet and depressing summer sky, before once again the weather improved late in the year, saving the harvest.
The vintage in a nutshell:
• Early but irregular budbreak
• Cool and damp summer weather
• Miraculous recovery

We began picking on 30 September and finished before the first frosts on 19 October. As with 2007, warm weather in September and October saved the vintage. This year once again, we saw that large terroirs coupled with interventionist viticulture gradually produced remarkable rich grapes.

Dark ruby in color, Echo de Lynch-Bages 2008 offers a sweet nose of red fruits, plums and a touch of jam with some creamy vanilla oak. A good example of Pauillac with silky mouthfeel leading to a structured finish.

Ageing: French oak barrels for 12 months
In barrels used for one previous vintage.
Blend: 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc
Production: 26% of the total crop

« Here comes the sun…»
A vintage that was made from gentle, progressive weather, with gradual concentration coming from perfect summer ripening, followed, continuously and without interruption, by further concentration from a perfect autumn. The year went through the gears seamlessly with no jolts.

Thanks to satellite photography, we introduced intra-plot harvesting, and harvest was performed according to the ripeness of the grapes in each small section of the vineyard.
Harvest started on September 28 and was completed on October 12.

Deep colour with red fruit aromas and elegant overtones of well-integrated oak. Good structure with ripe characterful tannin. The Cabernet in this vintage of Echo have a texture and structure close to that of the Grand Vin. This wine is both smooth and powerful.

Ageing: French oak barrels for 12 months.
In barrels used for one previous vintage.
Blend: 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot,
9% Cabernet Franc
Production: 26% of the total crop

« Bis repetita placent… »
Horace, Poetic Art, V.365.
Following the superb 2009 vintage, came 2010 to rival it…
Both 2009 and 2010 had great amounts of alcohol, tannins and colour. The big difference between the vintages is in the acid levels. Indeed, thanks to the cool nights and generally lower temperatures, 2010 had much higher levels of acidity.
In a nutshell, the growing season was extremely dry but without extremes of temperature, so the grapes were small with thick skins, rich in colour and tannin and fresh of flavour. The relatively cool, sunny weather that prevailed during ripening was propitious to preserving fruit and acidity.

The harvest started in summery weather on Monday September 27, and was completed on October 14.

Representing 26% of the total crop, Echo de Lynch-Bages 2010 is dense and richly seductive, with a terrific finish.

Ageing: French oak barrels for 12 months.
In barrels used for one previous vintage.
Blend: 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc
Production: 30% of the harvest

« The Rite of Spring »
2011 was a curious year with a remarkably warm and dry spring. Consequently, flowering took place early and in fine conditions.
July was cool and saw some rain, while August was mixed, cooler than average overall but with some heat spikes and some storms. September was warm and dry enabling the grapes to ripen fully.

Harvest began at Château Lynch-Bages (almost a fortnight earlier than in 2010) on September 12th and ended on September 28th.
Equipped with a new de-stemming system and an optical sorter, a complementary reception chain was tried out, receiving exclusively the harvest from plots deemed the most difficult or the most heterogeneous.

Echo de Lynch Bages 2011 stands out for the very high proportion of Merlot in its blending. On the nose, aromas of blackberry, cassis and red berries, along with a peppery note. The finish is tasty and exhibits good length.