Le Pin 2011


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Tasting Notes

Caramelized fruit, coffee bean, espresso, black cherry liqueur, licorice and spice aromas jump from the glass of this dark ruby/plum-colored wine. Concentrated and silky-textured, this full-bodied, voluptuous wine is a brilliant example of the 2011 vintage. Give it 2-4 more years in the bottle and enjoy it over the next 15 or more.

Score: 95Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (212), May 2014

Coming in at 13.3% natural alcohol, this 2011 is a blockbuster Pomerol revealing loads of black currant, kirsch, and raspberry fruit intermixed with hints of licorice, spring flowers and spicy, smoky oak. As always, there is an exoticism to this dense purple-colored offering, and its opulence and flamboyance are hard to resist. This stunningly proportioned, flamboyant Pomerol is somewhat atypical for the vintage. It should drink well for 15+ years.

The Thienpont family, the proprietors of Le Pin, picked their Merlot on September 12-13. The tiny crop was a result of difficulty during flowering, a few days of extreme heat at the end of June, and the overall drought conditions that have persisted through March, 2012.

Score: 94/96Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (200), April 2012

The Le Pin 2011 was picked on 12th and 13th September at 35hl/ha and it has 13.3% alcohol with a pH of 3.7. More importantly, it is the first vintage to be vinified at Jacques Thienpont' new winery facility equipped with 15 to 45 hectolitre stainless steel vats. It has a wonderful purity on the nose that reminds me of a fine Burgundy! It has very pure small red cherries and a touch of strawberry with amazing precision and focus. The palate is medium-bodied with quite a strict entry. It is slightly pinched at the moment, a saline touch on the entry with a touch of black olive. Compared to other vintages that I have tasted at this stage, it is a little disjointed and showing some hardness towards the finish. I think this Le Pin was not showing its best on the day and that others may find a little more from it. I will seek to re-taste this at a later moment. Tasted April 2012.

Score: 89/91Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2012

This is extremely bright and exotic, with crushed berries, flowers, orange peel and strawberries. Full body with a super-refined tannin structure and gorgeous, subtle chocolate, coffee and orange peel with red fruits. You want to drink it now, but better in 2016.

Score: 93James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2014

Gorgeous nose of blueberries and flowers such as roses. Full-bodied, with racy tannins and citrus acidity. Minerally too. This is firm and lanky for Le Pin. Normally a little more voluptuous but not an easy vintage for Merlot. It was picked the 9th and 10th of September. Pure Merlot.

Score: 92/93James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2012

The 2011 Le Pin is the first to be made in Jacques' brand new winery which he describes as "my 65th Birthday present to myself!". Quite a deep colour. A very attractive, floral nose with hints of violet and lavender. On the palate it manages to be both delicate and intense with superb cream and opulence. A sensuous, supple, ethereal wine that is light on its feet yet long and lingering. Another great Le Pin.

Score: 18Farr Vintners, March 2012

The nose has a lovely fragrant spiciness misleadingly fresh as the palate has power depth richness a mass of black plum. The concentrated flavours are balanced by freshness still quite black fruited and this gives charm, elegance and complexity. It has real style.

Score: 94/97Derek Smedley MW, April 2012

Pure Merlot and 100% new oak: the recipe sounds as if it never changes at this Pomerol jewel, but Jacques Thienpont is a winemaker who knows how to adapt to the vintage, drawing the best out of his small plot of grapes. The gravelly, sandy soils have yielded a wine that is minerally and quite light, but with hidden profundities. Fine, aromatic, Merlot with a feminine touch, reflecting the influence of Thienpont's wife, the British Master of Wine, Fiona Morrison. 12+ years.

Score: 96Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2012

Restrained and elegant in style. Great purity of fruit, a silky texture and tannins and a very long finish. Somewhat in the mould of the 2006 and 2008?

Score: 17.5James Lawther MW, Decanter.com, April 2012

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.