Mind-bending aromas of red licorice, spices, bark and dark fruits. Yet reserved and balanced. The palate is phenomenal with compact fruit and polished tannins. It goes on for minutes. 62% merlot and 28% cabernet franc. This is the second vintage of Jacques Thienpont in St. Emilion with 7 hectares near Troplong Mondot. It's stunning. The onwer of Le Pin.
|Score: 98||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2015|
Tasted blind at the Southwold Bordeaux tasting. The 2012 Château L'If from Jacques Thienpont and Fiona Morrison has a broody, introspective bouquet that needs encouragement from the glass. Although it is tightly coiled, it feels well defined and the oak is nicely embedded into the fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy dark plum and blackberry fruit laced with graphite and tobacco. Masculine compared to its peers, this is another wine that will require long-term ageing. There is a lot to admire considering that the couple had only recently taken over the running of the property. Tasted January 2016.
|Score: 91||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com (227), October 2016|
The L'If is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc from Jacques Thienpont, who bought the estate in 2010. Matured in 30% new oak (decreased from the first vintage under Jacques) it has a lovely candied ripe, racy bouquet with bright red and black fruit intermingled, fine minerality showing through with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with a tensile entry, crisp acidity, good structure and a savoury notes just towards the finish. This has great potential. Tasted April 2013.
|Score: 91/93||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, May 2013|
Lots of cassis fruit but quite upright; dark, juicy fruit, showing a touch of Cabernet Franc's graphite character, attractive savoury finish. Compact but velvety texture, fresh too. (JH)
|Score: 16.5||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2013|
Deep ruby colour. Black cherry and blackcurrant on the nose, very pure, with a hint of something floral and sweet spice. The palate is cool, pure and focused. The black fruit core is given structure by ripe tannins, and given complexity from a little toasty oak. This is a serious wine which has a long and complex finish. You could just about drink it now but it is bound to improve with age.
|Score: 18||Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, June 2015|
This is the second vintage of l'If but will be the first to be released onto the market. This new property is owned and managed by Jacques Thienpont of Le Pin. It consists of 7 hectares of which 5 are next to Troplong Mondot. The encepagement is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc and the name comes from the French word for a Yew tree. Jacques is expanding his forest! Ripe black cherry fruit with a touch of kirsch and vanilla. Juicy, chocolatey with hints of violet. Sweet but focused. Smooth ripe tannins. This Saint Emilion is chunky but pure and creamy with lovely balance and a long finish.
|Score: 16.5||Farr Vintners, March 2013|