Le Pin

Le Pin

By Bordeaux standards, Le Pin is a relative newcomer. However, in its short history, it has gained a reputation as one of the most exotic and intoxicating wines in the region and has achieved cult status. Situated next to the village of Catusseau, on the edge of the plateau of Pomerol, Jacques Thienpont’s miniscule production is the stuff of collectors' dreams.

Anyone who has been lucky enough to taste or drink this rarefied nectar will attest to its wonder. It has a unique perfume, an opulence, a decadence, and a charm that is unrivaled in Bordeaux. Many tasters draw parallels to Richebourg and the great Grand Crus of Vosne Romanee, such is its aromatic complexity and refinement.

Produced from 100% Merlot on a terroir of clay, gravel, sand, and deposits of iron oxide on a gently sloping elevation, the wine's composition is exceptional. In places, the gravel is really deep (up to 3m). Jacques reportedly bought the original 2-hectare site in 1979 for one million French Francs—a considerable amount of money in those days but laughably small by modern-day vineyard transactions.

Initial vintages were hard to sell. It wasn’t until Robert Parker bestowed 100 points on the 1982 vintage that it found a following. With an average production of just 500 cases per year, demand soon far outstripped supply, and prices started to escalate. Jacques was probably one of the first wine-makers in Bordeaux to do malolactic fermentation in barrel, a practice more commonly associated with Burgundy. This allegedly happened out of necessity in the early years, as they didn't have enough tanks. However, it clearly worked, and a string of exquisite and hedonistic wines followed.

It is extraordinary to think that these spellbinding wines were produced in such a basic cellar. In 2012, the new winery was completed, and Le Pin has a fitting chai for this astonishing terroir. Jacques kindly hosted a dinner at our offices in February 2017. It was a rare treat to drink such a magnificent line-up of mature vintages. Perhaps the wine of the evening was the least revered vintage, the 1994. This was a truly magical wine that flourished throughout the evening and exemplified the Le Pin style—a truly regal wine.


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