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Le Pin Pomerol Bordeaux Wine

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Le Pin Pomerol, Bordeaux wine producer profile, with wine tasting notes, wine ratings, a history of the property, information on wine making and terroir, along with wine tasting reviews. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

Le Pin is one of the most expensive Bordeaux wines as well as one of the priciest wines in the world. Yet, it’s unclassified and its first vintage was only a few decades ago, The first vintage of Le Pin made its debut with the 1979 vintage. With that in mind, when you look at Le Pin, it’s still truly a young Pomerol wine.

Since 1924, Chateau Le Pin had been the property of the Laubie family. The grapes were sold or blended to produce other, fine, but undistinguished Pomerol wines until 1978. That changed in 1979, when the well known Thienpont family, headed by Leon Thienpont, the father of Alexandre Thienpont bought the 2 hectare property for one million French Francs. In those days, that was a lot of money. At the time of the sale, the cellars Le Pin were in poor condition. The chai was nothing more than a shed that had been used to store gardening tools. The dilapidated house needed work, before Alexandre Thienpont took up residence at the estate after he was married. At first, it was thought that the vines of Chateau Le Pin would become part of Vieux Chateau Certan. But that idea quickly faded away.

Le Pin Cellars 300x186 Le Pin Pomerol Bordeaux Wine

The next investment for Le Pin was made by Jacques Thienpont. It was his idea for the addition of a single, 50 hectoliter, stainless steel vat. The debut vintage of Le Pin was aged in used, French oak barrels that were passed down from Vieux Chateau Certan. The cellar was a simple, small, cool cement room with the ability to hold a few rows of barrels.

The first vintage of Le Pin sold for a whopping 100 French Francs per bottle! The price was a lot lower than Vieux Chateau Certan was selling for at that time. It’s funny think about it now, but even at that low price, buyers for 1979 Le Pin were hard to find.

Following his initial purchase of Le Pin, Jacques Thienpont continued adding to holdings in the heart of the Pomerol plateau. In 1984, Le Pin grew by a whopping .6 hectares. He obtained more land in 1985 as well. Additional vines were purchased later in the first decade of the 21st century. This is when Le Pin acquired the famous “7 rows of vines” that were located next to their Bordeaux wine vineyard. However, in 2012, they were not as lucky. A neighboring Pomerol vineyard with a similar terroir came up for sale and it was quickly bought by Christian Moueix.

Le Pin Sign 300x214 Le Pin Pomerol Bordeaux Wine

The vineyard’s of Le Pin are looked over by Alexandre Thienpont, who also manages Vieux Chateau Certan. Jacques Thienpont makes and sells the wine. Le Pin took its name from the lone pine tree, situated near the winery.  The winery and chateau were, until recently, rather humble for a property befitting the stature of Le Pin, a wine that can sell for several thousand dollars per bottle! However, starting in 2010, Jacques Theinpont began construction of a new chateau and wine making facility. The new winery was completed in 2012, just in time to work on the 2011 vintage at Le Pin. The much more modern winery for Le Pin was designed by hte noted Belgian architects, Robbrecht & Daem.

Robert Parker is perhaps as responsible as anyone for making the Pomerol wine of Le Pin so famous, coveted and expensive. Prior to the 1982 vintage, not many people outside of Pomerol had yet heard of the wine.  Robert Parker’s initial review of Le Pin was lukewarm at best. By the time 1982 Le Pin began to develop, Robert Parker changed his tune. Quickly, his enthusiastic, descriptive, praise for the 1982 Le Pin vintage caused collectors to seek it out. With only a few hundred cases per year being made, it was only a matter of time until Le Pin became priced as a luxury item.

Le Pin Vats 300x218 Le Pin Pomerol Bordeaux Wine

The terroir of Le Pin is clay with gravel and sandy soil with deposits of iron oxide. The gravel is deep. In some parts of the vineyard, the gravel is close to 3 meters thick. The vines are planted to almost 100% Merlot. While some parcels contain Cabernet Franc, that grape variety is not blended into Le Pin. Situated near the Catusseau vilage, the vines average close to 35 years of age. The vineyard of Le Pin is planted to a vine density of 6,000 vines per hectare.

Le Pin produces between 400 and 600 cases per year. The entire production was declassified in 2003 as the owner, Jacques Thienpont decided the vintage was not worthy of being sold as Le Pin. The wine of Le Pin is vinified in 7 small, stainless steel tanks that range in size from 15 hectoliters up to 42 hectoliters. In the cellars, all wine s moved by gravity. Malolactic fermentation takes place in new oak. In fact, Le Pin was one of the first producers to perform malolactic fermentation in barrel in the Right Bank. The wine is aged in 100% new, French oak. Blending takes place prior to bottling.

Le Pin is an exotic style of Bordeaux wine. Concentrated with ripe fruit, the opulent, almost overripe kirsch, black cherry, plum, coconut and citrus scents are unique to the property, The decadent, glycerin filled mouth feel is a treat that in the best vintages, must be tasted to be believed.

Le Pin Barrel Cellars 300x222 Le Pin Pomerol Bordeaux Wine

Here’s a tip for you. If you’re lucky enough to manage a reservation to taste at the property, don’t spit. Make sure you swallow the wine.  Rumor has it, visitors that spit are never invited back.  That works for me.  Knowing it’s Le Pin in my glass means, there is no way I’m not going to savor every last drop!

Just in time for the 2011 Bordeaux harvest, Le Pin finished their new winery. The understated, small winery of Le Pin includes 7, temperature controlled, stainless steel vats. The new building also includes an underground cellar to accommodate the 30 to 40 barrels needed for to age two different vintages at a time.

In April, 2010, Jacques Thienpont added to his holdings with the purchase of 5 hectares in St. Emilion. The wine will be sold under the name L’IF

www.thienpont-etikhove.be

Wine Tasting Notes

Displaying 13 vintages | 35614 Views Sorted by vintage

  1. 2012 Château Le Pin

    1. Very floral in character with licorice and black raspberries, silky textures and fresh, ripe berries, this velvety wine is expressive, but lacks the length found in the top vintages. 94-96 Pts

      95 points - Tasted
      1284 Views
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  2. 2011 Château Le Pin

    1. Boysenberry, chocolate, earth and plum scents open to a fresh, spicy, supple-textured, flashy style of Pomerol ending with a silky, opulent red and black plum finish. 94-95 Pts

      94 points - Tasted
      2185 Views
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  3. 2010 Château Le Pin

    1. It's not often I am able to taste Le Pin from bottle. I know, not many others are able to taste it at all. My point is, I know it's a special treat. Le Pin is not the most consistent Pomerol producer. But when it's on, it produces an expression of Merlot that is without equal. Sporting a deep color, the wine popped from the bottle with fresh plum liqueur, chocolate, citrus, coconut, smoke, truffle and boysenberry aromatics. As good as that sounded, the experience was even better on the palate! Thick, rich, intense, pure, fresh, opulent and silky, this was pure decadence with every sniff, swallow and sip. I hope I get to see this beauty again. What a treat!

      100 points - Tasted
      2461 Views
    2. Le Pin fills the room with pungent scents of oak, spice, exotic citrus oils, smoke, plums, fennel and fresh flowers. The wine drenches your palate with silky, velvet laced textures and waves of rich, ripe, sweet, pure extract of plum liqueur, Maraschino cherries and orange rind. The long, seamless, intense finish is pure decadence. Le Pin is one of the most interesting Pomerol wines to taste. Aside from amazing high prices, its main problem is, the wine lacks consistency. It doesn't always perform as one would expect. Yet, when it is on, Le Pin is a Pomerol without peer. 97-99 Pts

      99 points - Tasted
      3934 Views
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  4. 2009 Château Le Pin

    1. 2009 Le Pin has a perfume of coconut, dark berries, black cherries, and hints of citrus flowers accompanied by spice notes. Velvety textured, and richly concentrated, this exotic wine finishes with a blast of plums. 95-97 Pts

      95 points - Tasted
      4250 Views
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  5. 2008 Château Le Pin

    1. 08 Château Le Pin has great color. The nose experiences plum, coffee, spice box, fennel, orange peel, and coffee. Ripe, rich, round fruit with silky tannins. The wine finishes with long blast of chocolate covered cherries. A suave, silky, opulent wine. 93-96 Pts

      94 points - Tasted
      1846 Views
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  6. 2006 Château Le Pin

    1. This kicks off with an exotic melange of black and tropical fruit. Very dense. Much darker and richer than their 05. The wine finished with ripe plums, spice, floral notes and orange rinds. This exotic and silky textured wine is one of the few Pomerols that performed better in 06 than 05.

      96 points - Tasted
      2176 Views
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  7. 2005 Château Le Pin

    1. Exotic, coconut tinged, black, red and plum flavors caress your palate. This concentrated wine slips, slides and dances across your pleasure meter. Le Pin offers a unique texture found in no other wine. Now, if only I could talk myself into trading a perfectly nice car for a case of wine.

      96 points - Tasted
      2265 Views
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  8. 2004 Château Le Pin

    1. This is exotic in style with its combination of licorice, black fruits and tropical accents. The palate enjoys a rich, lush, opulent, silky feel with flavors of plums, and mangos. Very tropical. Le Pin is truly the kinkiest wine in Bordeaux!

      94 points - Tasted
      4085 Views
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  9. 2001 Château Le Pin

    1. Intriguing notes of citrus, flowers, chocolate, plums, spice, truffle, fennel and black cherry. Lush, decadent and supple in texture, this rich, deep, full bodied, opulent wine offers a long, sexy, plum, black cherry and chocolate finish. Le Pin is not the most consistent Pomerol. But when it's on, it's a stunning wine that features unique aromatic and textural qualities that no other wine offers.

      97 points - Tasted
      2793 Views
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  10. 1990 Château Le Pin

    1. This is a silky, sexy slut of a wine that puts the kink back into kinky! The mouth feel is pure decadence. The wine slips and slides over every nook and cranny of your palate. The exotic coconut, over ripe dark cherry, black pit fruit, chocolate and plum tinged perfume holds your attention and does not let go. The sultry, sensuous finish remains close to sixty seconds. If I was rich, I'd buy it.

      99 points - Tasted
      3438 Views
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  11. 1989 Château Le Pin

    1. This sports an earthy nose with accents of red and black fruits, nuts, plums, espresso and flowers. Perfectly balanced with great texture, this is a stunning and unique style of wine.

      94 points - Tasted
      1940 Views
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  12. 1987 Château Le Pin

    1. This looked at least a decade or more older in color. The black plum, earth, soy and truffle nose was a treat. In the mouth, the fully mature wine offered pleasure without excitement. I was shocked to learn it was Le Pin. I was even more surprised to find it was as good as it was for the vintage

      89 points - Tasted
      1150 Views
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  13. 1985 Château Le Pin

    1. Le Pin is about delicacy and aromatics, instead of power. The wine posses layers of kinky dark cherry, plums, coconut, orange, flower and vanilla that makes it truly unique. The decadent wine feels great in your mouth.

      95 points - Tasted
      1807 Views
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