|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > Pomerol|
One of the most famous and hard-to-find wines of Bordeaux thanks to the tiny production (of 100% Merlot from 2.5 hectares of vines) and consistently fabulous quality. Jacques Thienpont established Le Pin in 1979 and his sumptuous, silky Pomerol is always intense yet un-forced, smooth and fine.
An explosion of fruit and exotic spice, as is so often the case with this wine. I am tasting this at a relatively cold temperature and yet still the tannins are silky, creamy and supple, extremely impressive. As it opens, campfire smoke, hints of petrol and passion fruit, nuanced black truffle, rosemary, blueberry and black cherry fruits. This is perfumed and envelops the palate, coming in waves, just a brilliant Le Pin. 100% new oak.
The 2019 Le Pin is a rich, expansive wine that soars from the glass with aromas of raspberry preserve, plums, wild berries, rose petals and licorice, framed by a deftly judged patina of creamy new oak. Full-bodied, supple and velvety, it's broad and enveloping, with a fleshy core of fruit that's framed by lively acids and powdery tannins, concluding with a long, aromatic finish. Rich in gravel on the surface, Le Pin's vines are rooted in clay, which no doubt helps to explain how this wine can perform so well in warm, dry vintages. As is the norm these days, the 2019 was matured in 70% new oak. Drink Date 2025 - 2055
The 2019 Le Pin, 100% Merlot, is deep garnet-purple in color. It gallops out with energetic notes of crushed black and red cherries, wild blueberries, and forest floor, giving way to suggestions of cast-iron pan, menthol, and damp soil. The full-bodied palate delivers a fantastically earthy/minerally palate with beautiful harmony and velvety tannins, finishing long and layered.
From: Bordeaux 2019: The Southwold Tasting (Feb 2023)
The 2019 Le Pin is more oak-driven on the nose than its peers, creamy black cherries and blueberry fruit, lacking the intellect that one might have expected at this stage. The palate is medium-bodied with a lot of oak tannins, creamy with a torrefactory, singed leather element towards the finish. I don't quite understand this Le Pin at the moment and wonder how it will evolve? A great wine being outmaneuvered by its peers at the moment. Tasted blind at the Southwold annual tasting.
- By Neal Martin on January 2023
Tasted blind. Cool and fresh and savoury with a certain treacly intensity. Slightly sandy, drying tannins on the end. In a minor key compared with some of the greats. But quite subtle and satisfying. 14.5%
Drink 2027– 2043
Deep ruby in colour with a wonderful perfume to the nose - full of flowers and summer pudding. The toast is subtly sweet, adding to the succulent and enticing fragrance of the wine. The palate is creamy, plump and round, with seamless, silky tannins gently framing a plush core of ripe red fruits. Despite the kirsch and sweet red plums at the core there is freshness from bright acidity and subtle cigar smokiness. The finish is long and expansive. Impressive. Tasted in Bordeaux.
A classic Le Pin in its exuberant, kinky, sexy, almost over-ripe style, the 2019 Château Le Pin offers a monster nose of black cherry liqueur, red plums, tobacco leaf, mocha, orange peel, and violets. Truly exotic and one of a kind, it hits the palate with a powerful, full-bodied, opulent yet seamless mouthfeel that carries ample tannic grip, a deep, layered mid-palate, and a great finish. It has some elevated volatile acidity and won't be for everyone, but this exotic, dry port-like Merlot needs a good 5-7 years of bottle age and will drink well for 20-25 years.
The deep purple-black colored 2019 Le Pin sweeps effortlessly out of the glass with fragrant scents of black cherries, licorice, and plum preserves, giving way to fragrant notes of violets, licorice, dark chocolate, and cardamom with a touch of Sichuan pepper. Full-bodied, rich, and seductive, the palate delivers a seamless foundation of exquisitely fine-grained tannins and just enough freshness, finishing very long and with a whole fireworks display of minerals and flowers - so much energy!
The 2019 Le Pin is a Pomerol that I did not taste out of barrel when samples were being sent, so the first time I encountered it was with Jacques Thienpont in his office, together with his new right hand, Diana Berrouet-Garcia. It has a fragrant nose of brambly red fruit, touches of sous-bois and hints of dark chocolate emerging with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins, moderate weight and a touch of black pepper and clove, the former becoming more prominent toward the finish. Cohesive throughout; perhaps the alcohol (14.7°) blurs a little of the definition, but this still feels reassuringly long and sensual. Gorgeous. 2025 - 2050
Speaking to co-proprietor Fiona Morrison, she told me that they preferred not to send samples of Le Pin this year, which I quite understand, and promised that I could taste it later in the year along with a complete vertical back to 1979. The second bit is a lie, but I will taste their 2019, hopefully in September.