Based at the entrance of Pauillac on the Bages plateau, and overlooking the famed Gironde estuary, Château Lynch-Bages has long been one of Médoc’s best-known winemaker. Originally named after Bages itself, it did not acquire its current name until Bordeaux merchant and Irish immigrant Thomas Lynch married Elizabeth Drouillard, daughter of owner Pierre Drouillard, to whom Pierre bequeathed the property in 1749. Thomas initially produced high quality wine under the name “Cru de Lynch,” which would win a spot in the 1855 Classification as a Fifth Growth. The estate remained in the Lynch family for nearly a century, followed by the next century’s ownership divided among the Jurine and Cayrou families. In 1938, the 220-acre estate was bought by Jean-Charles Cazes, who would go on to purchase not only Château Lynch-Bages but also the nearby Château Ormes de Pez in Saint-Estéphe. Both Jean-Charles and his son Andre devoted themselves to cultivating the estate for decades, until in 1974, management was taken over by Jean-Charles’s grandson, Jean-Michel. Introducing modernized facilities to the estate, Jean-Michel helped create a formidable and extensive estate for his son Jean-Charles, who assumed directorship in 2006. The château’s soil of deep gravel beds resting over limestone provide the ideal home for red grapes, with Cabernet Sauvignon claiming early 75% of the vineyards. The Grand Cru Classé of Lynch-Bages has garnered a reputation as one of Pauilac’s greats due to its perfect blend of structure, charm, power and elegance. The wine’s deep complexion and strong tannins are the foundations of its distinctive character, and its vintages before and since 1945 have been excellent. This exceptional performance has moved critics and consumers alike to call its quality more that of a Second Growth than a Fifth. Whichever number you choose, you cannot miss with Lynch-Bages.