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The Beech Boys
21 August 2020

Following in the footsteps of Le Pin and L’If, Jacques Thienpont’s latest project in Castillon has been named L’Hêtre (the Beech). Jacques was struck by the great potential of this estate, perched at the edge of the limestone plateau that runs east from St Emilion, so he bought it with his sister. To complete the family affair, he appointed his nephew, Maxine Thienpont as the estate manager, a big step up from his first job in the wine trade, a summer stage with Justerini & Brooks! We recently tasted the first full vintage made by Jacques and Maxine (2016) and were impressed by the huge qualitative strides made by the new team. The wines are fermented in concrete and oak vats and aged in a mixture of one-third new oak, one-third one year and one-third second year barrels. This allows the fruit to sing loud and clear and the 2016 positively leaps from the glass with notes of black cherry, wild hedgerow fruit, sweet alpine strawberries, cinnamon, leather, liquorice and a hint of tarragon. It would be unfair to compare this with the extravagant and decadent bouquet of Le Pin, but it certainly packs an impressive punch. The palate is brimming with bright berry fruit interspersed with some ferrous, mineral notes; it’s full of character and charm with a fragrant and pure fruited finish. As with most 2016s, there’s a real sense of drama and intensity without noticeable alcohol or weight. It leaves the palate refreshed and intrigued.    Read More

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