The 2018 L'If is blended of 74% Merlot and 26% Cabernet Franc, to be aged 12-16 months in barriques, 50% new. The wine has a pH of 3.55 and 14.5% alcohol. Deep purple-black in color, it gives up a beautiful perfume of baked raspberries, mulberries and Black Forest cake with hints of fragrant soil, rose hip tea and dusty soil. Full-bodied, rich and jam-packed with generous red and black fruits framed by velvety tannins, it has wonderful savory chocolate and licorice accents and a long, spicy finish.
|Score: 93/95||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019|
A delicious and tightly wound red with blackberry and blueberry aromas and flavors. Hints of cream and milk chocolate. Ultra fine tannins. It’s full-bodied, but comes across more medium, because of the compact palate and beautifully integrated tannins. This is really structured and dynamic. The close to one-third cabernet franc in the blend is charging this.
|Score: 97/98||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019|
The 2018 L'If is an exceptionally beautiful Saint-Émilion. Fragrant and light on its feet, the 2018 is all finesse. A rush of rose petal, lavender, mint, spice and blue/purplish berry fruit infuse this striking, mid-weight Saint-Émilion. This is one of the more polished, understated wines of the vintage. Silky tannins add to the wine's air of sophistication. I tasted the 2018 from six separate lots and then the final blend (two times), which once again shows how important blending is as the final wine is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Cyrille Thienpont told me the grapes did not have a lot of juice at crush, so he opted for gentler winemaking and fewer pumpovers during a cuvaison that lasted 25-28 days. The blend is 74% Merlot and 26% Cabernet Franc, a big increase over 2016, where the Franc was 9%.
|Score: 95/98||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019|
Black core. Very pure dark Merlot fruit on the nose – black plum and mulberry and a lovely smoky note, almost smoky bacon, to add complexity and cut through the sweetness. Juicy and fresh yet with very upright tannins. Dark, chalky and fine on the palate. Definitely more classy than last year. Purity of texture as well as fruit. Beautifully aromatic, especially in the empty glass. Beautifully fresh.
|Score: 17||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019|
Deep ruby in the glass, this has a peppery, perfumed nose of violets and dark cherries. The palate is thick, rich and chalky, with dense and ripe fruit flooding the mid palate and taming the chalky tannins. The spices of new oak come through towards the finish, adding a spiciness to the exuberant fruit. Plump, polished and poised.
|Score: 16+||Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019|