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Le Pin 2016

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > Pomerol
Grape VarietyMerlot

One of the most famous and hard-to-find wines of Bordeaux thanks to the tiny production and consistently fabulous quality. Jacques Thienpont established Le Pin in 1979 and his sumptuous Pomerol is always intense yet un-forced and fine.

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Tasting Notes

I am spellbound by the aromas of crushed blackberries, licorice, black tea and violets. It’s full-bodied yet so intense and linear. Powerful tannins with superb polish and focus give an amazing texture. Complex and fascinating flavors of hazelnuts and dark fruit. The balance and strength is uncanny. Perfect wine. Very direct and superb. Try after 2025.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2019

Less hot than 2015, but drier, the 2016 Le Pin had to be picked relatively late - there was a lag between the phenolic ripeness and the sugars, according to owner Jacques Thienpont. The color is deep garnet with a hint of purple. You need to give it a minute of vigorous swirling then it explodes with scents of plum preserves, dark chocolate, licorice, and cumin seed, plus suggestions of crushed rocks, smoked meats, and black truffles. Full-bodied, the palate is rich, spicy and impactful with super-ripe, super-plush tannins and a firework display of minerals and fruit, finishing long and earthy. Heart-thumping wine, with time it could well surpass the incredibly impressive 2015!

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, December 2022

I tasted through a blend of five barrels, but they may not be the final ones. There is signficant gravel in the Le Pin soils, so they suffered a little from the heat, but the Merlot still has incredible finesse and elegance. The astonishing thing is the grilled, smoked damson and ripe wild blackberry and hawthorn perfume that rises out of the glass effortlessly. This wine is deft, elegant, and rich. A naturally low yield of 28hl/ha due to the drought, with a pH of 3.72.

Drinking Window 2027 - 2050

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2017

Glowing crimson. Smudgy sweet ink on the nose. Very pure nose. Lifted and lively and real energy. Round and quite delicate and burgundian. Real drive and elegance and polish. This is a real winner!
Drink 2025-2043

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2017

From Jacques Thienpont and a true superstar in the vintage, the 2016 Le Pin comes from a tiny vineyard of old vine Merlot and is raised all in new barrels. One of those magical wines that marries power with elegance perfectly, its saturated purple color is followed by a thrilling array of sweet kirsch, crème de cassis, graphite, toasty oak, and Asian spices. Hitting the palate with full-bodied richness and depth as well as an incredible mid-palate, it stays ethereal and elegant, with flawless tannins, awesome purity, and a blockbuster of a finish. The sexiest, kinkiest, most opulent wine in the vintage? I’d say yes. Do your best to hide bottles for 4-6 years, count yourself very lucky, and drink bottles over the following 3+ decades. Drink 2023-2053.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, February 2019

Ripe black plums depth of fruit succulent the palate has a rich mix of flavours supple and fleshy with the rich fruit underpinned by freshness a lovely balance. Layers of flavour give complexity the tannins discreet lighter and fresher at the back the finish is creamy and rich. 2027-47

Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2017

“Don’t touch this for 15 years,” Jacques Thienpoint warned tasters during en primeur. It’s certainly a bold, textured, concentrated Pomerol with plum, fig, blackberry and ginger spice notes, firm tannins and scented oak. Set for a long life. 2026-38

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2017
Read more tasting notes...

The 2016 Le Pin was made from ten different lots from the usual six, because the drought affected the different parcels and vines needed separating (indicated by paint mark on the pole). It was cropped from 4 October, the first time that picking has begun that month, at 28-30 hectoliters per hectare and there is 14.5% alcohol. It has a fresh and generous bouquet with red cherries, cranberry and pomegranate scents, the oak beautifully integrated, touches of black truffle and even a hint of smoke tucked in just underneath. The palate is medium-bodied with filigree tannin, tightly wound and taut, with a stunning sense of focus. I cannot remember a Le Pin with such tension and detail at this early juncture, perhaps even quite understated towards the saline finish, but very very precise. This is a sophisticated Le Pin from Jacques Thienpont, one that I am certain will age with style. Tasted twice with consistent notes. Drink date 2022 - 2050

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230), April 2017

There is something decadent and wild about this Le Pin. Medium to full body, yet somehow wild and crazy— exotic. What a finish! This is real Le Pin. The dry weather reduced the production. 18 hectoliters. Reminds me of the unique 1986. Yeah...!

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2017

The medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Le Pin is still very closed, revealing glimpses of preserved plums, blackberry pie and raspberry compote plus suggestions of potpourri, star anise, tobacco, fenugreek and stewed tea plus a waft of hoisin. The medium-bodied palate is opulent, rich and plush with layers of black and red fruit preserves and loads of exotic spice accents, finishing very long and very decadent. Drink 2022-2070.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (Interim En), November 2018
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.