Back to a more 'classic' wine for this one. Tasted at a mini-Bordeaux tasting that covered Pauillac, Margaux and St Emillion, Lynch-Moussas was well regarded by fellow reviewers, but has been denigrated elsewhere, so was of interest to me. Costing £26, it's hardly a bargain-basement wine, but it's reasonably priced in comparison with many of its compatriots.
I have always liked Bordeaux wines that are more subtle, smooth and structured, as I feel that the New World often does the fruity wines better than France does. This is very much Bordeaux's forté and as such, I rarely buy a Bordeaux when looking for power - I look for finesse, and this wine will be judged by that criterion.
Nose: A nice array of aromas coming through here. Not all are instantly identifiable, but they remain there long enough to be found by a trial and error process. There's vanilla and spice immediately with a hint of perfumed flowers - we thought lilac, but weren't quite sure. Behind the floral aromas there was a touch of woodsmoke and a light hint of strawberry (or perhaps very diluted cassis). A fairly typical Pauillac then, although with an almost Margaux-like perfume.
Palate: Rather lovely, but became less so after a few sips as a touch of astringency came into it. Cherry and red fruits are present and it's extremely smooth although a hint of acidity and spice came into affairs after a short time. It began to change into a sweet and sour taste of raspberry - again, I was unable to find much cassis, which I had expected would be much more prominent, which struck me as a touch odd. That lilac taste came flitting in and out and had one reviewer convinced he was drinking a Margaux. Funnily, on a re-taste an hour or two afterwards, this became a much smoother and more characterful wine. Whilst there still wasn't cassis as such, the fruit was more pronounced, softer and more interesting. Would be lovely with all kinds of food and it seems a well-structured wine.
Body: Medium-bodied, medium alcohol and fairly low tannins and became perhaps a touch thin after drinking a (very small) glass of it.
Finish: A fairly classic finish in that it softens almost imperceptibly but has a reasonable level of development as a dash of fruit makes a late resurgence to remind you to take another sip.
Conclusion: Lynch-Moussas is a reasonably sophisticated wine with an interesting array of aromas (especially the floral ones). Well-balanced and smooth, but without a great deal to really excite, I think this would be excellent with classic roasts. Mint-crusted lamb would suit it ideally.
Points: 86-87. Nice level of sophistication, but not quite enough to get into the serious points. Drinking now and unlikely to improve in the bottle, is it really worth £26?