This morning we are delighted to offer a rising star from Saint-Emilion, Chateau Lynsolence 2012. This is a wine for those in the know, a veritable secret in the UK. The reason for this is that they produce less than 600 cases a year, hence their focus on the US market which soaks up the leading Garagiste wines. Lynsolence is based in St.Emilion, taken from two vineyards. The first is sited next to Chateau Monbousquet, where the terroir is gravely with sand, with beneficial iron deposits. Their piece de resistance is found farther east near Valandraud, which boasts gravel, rock, clay and alluvial sands with the highly sought after Crasse de Fer. Crasse de Fer is found in the higher parts of the Pomerol Plateau where the local iron-rich clays, ‘Crasse de Fer’, push close to the surface, particularly prevalent in the vineyards of Chateau Petrus. This unique terroir is said to give wine fat, metallic flavour profiles which culminate into truffle. It comes as no surprise therefore that in 2012, an excellent vintage for leading Right Banks, Lynsolence was awarded 94 points from Robert Parker. What is surprising given the production and score is the price, £330 per case of 12. That is £27.50 per bottle in bond, giving a Price Over Points score of 23.6!

This price and score makes it hugely undervalued when compared to similar scoring 2012 Right Banks, reiterating its huge potential. Parker says ‘This is a star of the vintage and a great, great effort from Lynsolence. Production from the tiny 6.5-acre vineyard was a measly 22 hectoliters per hectare. Drink it over the next 15 or more years.’ The table below tells the quantitative story itself, Lynsolence’s POP score is exceptional.

Le Pin95£16,0001067
Cheval Blanc93+£3,450256
La Mondotte95£1,15077
Vieux Chateau Certan95£1,15077
Pavie Decesse95+£96062
Clos Fourtet95£68045
Le Gay94+£62043

The first vintage of Chateau Lynsolence was made in 1998 by Dennis Barraud, who named the wine after his daughter. However, both the family and the Estate have a much longer history in wine. Dennis Barraud has managed the Estate since 1971, where vines have been cultivated since the end of the 19th Century. The Barraud family owns 36 hectares of vines across Bordeaux, with a focus on Saint-Emilion.

Chateau Lynsolence is Barraud’s top cuvée, made from 100% Merlot selected from the best parcels, across just 2.5 hectares. The fruit harvested is picked exclusively from old vines, with an average age of 55 years, planted at incredibly high densities. As such, the yields are very low, producing just 19-25 hectolitres per hectare, resulting in an extremely concentrated wine and minute production. Fewer than 600 cases are made every year. The fruit is cold-soaked and fermented in oak, a mixture of 50 hectolitre vats and 400 litre barrels. Malolactic fermentation occurs in 100% new oak, where it is aged for 18 months before bottling. Jean-Luc Thunevin of Chateau Valandraud, the godfather of the Garagistes, consults for the winery. This association only serves to highlight Lynsolence’s value; Chateau Valandraud 2012 trades at twice the price of Lynsolence, while its 2005 offering has climbed up to over £2,000 per case.

This is an impressive wine, where the juxtaposition of critical acclaim, understated branding and intense style have combined to present a scintillating opportunity. Although it is slightly more well-known on the continent, we are currently the only UK merchant offering this vintage, making it a unique prospect, exclusive to our clients.

Chateau Lynsolence 2012, 12×75, £330 IB – 94 Points, Robert Parker 

An impressive, strong effort from Lynsolence, this wine, which normally is 100% Merlot, tipping the scale at 14.5%, has an almost opaque bluish/purple color that is followed by a full-bodied, very concentrated, beautifully made wine with sweet tannin, a multi-dimensional mouthfeel and almost skyscraper-like intensity and richness. This is a star of the vintage and a great, great effort from Lynsolence. Production from the tiny 6.5-acre vineyard was a measly 22 hectoliters per hectare. Drink it over the next 15 or more years.

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