Lynch Bages has always been a special wine to me. It was one of the first bottles of Bordeaux that really had an impact when I started this hobby 20 years ago. Through dumb luck I ended up buying large amounts of the 85, 89 and 90 vintages. I have tried over the years to add other great vintages like the 00, 03 and 05.
Do you remember the scene from The Highlander, the one where Connor McCloud reminisces while smelling a snifter of brandy from 1783?
1783 was a very good year. Mozart wrote his great mass. The Montgolfier brothers went up in their first balloon. And England recognized the independence of the United States.
For me Lynch Bages evokes great memories as well.
The 1985 Lynch Bages was the very first Wine Spectator Wine of the Year. 1985 was also the year I graduated from high school, so it’s always cool to open an ’85 Lynch Bages and reminisce about the the trials and tribulations of the teenage years. 1985 also saw the introduction of New Coke, the recording of We are the World, and the tragedy of TWA flight 847.
The 1989 Lynch Bages is also a stunning wine, rivaling the vintage’s first growths. 1989 is also the year I graduated from college, arguably some of the best years of one’s life. ’89 might also be remembered for the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and the launch of the Simpsons.
And so it goes… I got married in 2000 – another legendary year for Lynch Bages. My children were born in 2003 and 2006 – two more vintages that should be long-lived. We plan on saving at least a bottle of each for their respective 21st birthdays.
Other vintages of Lych Bages evoke less pleasant memories. The under rated 2001 will always make me think of the tragedy of 9/11. The promising ’05 also marks the year Bo, my 14 year-old Siberian Husky and running partner, had to be put to sleep. Hopefully the 2008 will age well and bring back better memories than the onset of the financial crisis.
Wine is more than just a beverage. It often speaks to a particular place and time as well.
Next time you raise a toast consider the context and the bottle of wine in front of you.
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