Tasted at the Pomerol Comparative Exploration tasting in London, the 2005 Le Pin has never quite lived up to the billing when compared to other vintages from Jacques Thienpont's iconic Pomerol estate, yet that is begrudging what is still a gorgeous wine. It remains very youthful and limpid in colour. The bouquet is much more Burgundian than I anticipated with raspberry coulis and wild strawberry scents, fine mineralité and poise. With time there is more blue fruit emerging. The palate is sweet and candied on the entry, plush and sensual; saturated tannin with impressive depth. You feel that perhaps it just egged on a little too much in the winery at the expense of some sophistication and delineation. However, in terms of pure pleasure it is a delicious wine, albeit one with a hefty price tag. 2020 - 2045
The 2005 Le Pin is deep garnet-brick in color. Starting off a little shy, the nose is primary and youthful, with a fair bit of oak still poking through. It eventually opens out to notes of black cherry preserves and stewed plums with hints of red roses, pencil shavings, and fertile loam. Medium-bodied, flamboyant, and remarkably young and plump in the mouth, it has a firm and grainy texture with seamless freshness and an epically long finish. While tempting to drink now, give it another 5-7 years to find its stride and drink it over the next 30 years+. Le Pin is a tiny, 6.5 acre estate high on the plateau of Pomerol, mainly composed of sand and gravel, and thus very well drained. Purchased by Jacques Thienpont in late 1970s, the first vintage was 1979. The style tends to be perfumed and exotic, delivering opulence without weightiness. Only 500 cases were made in 2005.
While I would not rank the 2005 Le Pin as highly as the 2001, 2000, 1998, 1989, 1983, or 1982, it is still a beautiful wine offering a deep ruby/purple color along with an open-knit nose of caramel, coconut, coffee, melted chocolate, and sweet, jammy black cherry and currant fruit. The alluring fragrance is followed by an opulent, luscious Pomerol with flamboyant flavors of ripe black fruits intermixed with hints of roasted herbs, meat juices, plums, and Asian spices. Unfortunately, the world’s billionaires quickly gobble up Le Pin’s 500 cases, even at preposterously high prices. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2025.
Tasted blind. Relatively pale. Smells a little simple. Austere and quite tart and simple on the end. A real disappointment.
Soft, suave, pretty 'Burgundian' red fruit notes and a depth of fine, silky tannins. Good concentration. Lovely texture. Drink 2014-2030.
Came eleventh out of 184 wines
This exotic effort tends to perform incredibly well when young, middle aged, and old, and all the complaints heard when it is first released that it won’t age well have been proven absurd. The 2005's incredibly fragrant perfume of espresso roast, melted chocolate, cedar, plums, and kirsch soars from the glass of this dense ruby/purple-colored Pomerol. Opulent, even voluptuous, and loaded, it boasts an expansive, full-bodied palate yet good underlying acidity provides definition as well as precision to this blockbuster. Sadly, only 500 cases are produced each year, and those are gobbled up by the world’s billionaires. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2025.
As usual, the 2005 Le Pin (500 cases produced) is an exotic, aromatic effort offering gorgeous aromas of cedar, plums, black cherry liqueur, espresso roast, and chocolate. This full-bodied, rich, fragrant (the Thienponts call it the “Richebourg” of Bordeaux) effort possesses supple, velvety tannin and attractive sweetness and expansiveness, as well as good freshness and definition. It should continue to put on weight and evolve into another blockbuster from this tiny vineyard. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2025.
The Le Pin 2005 has a very sweet, candied bouquet that actually reminds me slightly of a Super-Tuscan, not in a bad way either. It is a complex set of aromas that bring to mind a burlesque: red cherries, soy, undergrowth, a sprig of heather and lavender. As usual it is one of the most opulent, lascivious Pomerols on the nose and returning to my glass over ten minutes it unfurls with careless abandon. The palate is medium-bodied with fine silky tannins. But it does not quite deliver the same sophistication on the second half that is quite linear, touches of coffee and marmalade with a hint of aniseed on the finish. This is a delicious, quite mercurial Le Pin that you could broach now, though I would prefer to leave it another three or four years. Drink 2018 - 2037
Tasted single blind at Southwold. Layers of glycerine on the luxuriant nose, almost honeyed in texture with saturated plumy fruit that belies a sense of minerality underneath. A Merlot-driven entry: medium-bodied, not as tannic as I was expected but very elegant. Fine tannins, bright red-berried fruit, strawberry and a touch of redcurrant. Very opulent and lush towards the finish. Precocious. Drink 2013-2030+
This is so floral, spicy and complex. Its hard to believe. Some lavender and berry. Full-bodied, with fine tannins and a long, long finish. Very Burgundian. Not the 1998.
Mid blackish ruby. Very sweet and ripe on the nose. Then pretty solid and bumptious. Still very disjointed with the sweetness and sourness unknit. Seems light years from being ready to drink. It doesn't seem to be as thick and dense as I would have expected. But it is wonderfully clean and fresh - surprisingly. A bit angular and awkward at the moment. 13%
Borderline stinky. Very different from the rest - Tertre? Very luscious palate with a burgundian twist. Lots of pleasure here and much riper, softer tannins than most. But a bit softer than most....