Tasted blind at the Southwold 2012 tasting, 2012 Le Pin put in a very strong performance. It has a strict, graphite-infused bouquet that is strangely Pauillac-like (not a trait I have noticed on other vintages; I wonder whether it is just a passing phase?). This is earthier than its peers, with hints of leather in the background and sous-bois aromas becoming more and more accentuated by time. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, elegant and understated in style with a fine line of acidity, harmonious and thankfully not screaming and shouting towards the stylish finish. This is an outstanding wine from Jacques Thienpont that might well be unfairly over-shadowed by the 2009 and 2010. Tasted January 2016.
“…the Thienponts never want to hear that this is one of those ‘cult wines.’ It has been widely imitated by others thanks to its enormous success, and as I have written many times, it is a relatively exotic take on Bordeaux.”
The esteemed Château Le Pin is located in the Pomerol district of Bordeaux, and is well known because it’s not only regarded as one of the most expensive wines in the region, but one of the most expensive wines in the world. Although technically its inaugural vintage was in 1979, what we know of as Le Pin had been vigneron business in the possession of the Loubie family since the early 1920s. With investments from the Thienpont family, Le Pin launched its wines and quickly rose to prominence for its full-bodied and sumptuous Merlot-based blends that can be drunk young but also have tremendous aging-potential. Le Pin is located on a south-facing vineyard on well-drained sandy soils which allow for only extremely low yields of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Production is obviously limited because of this, totaling to around 600 – 700 cases per vintage compared to the nearly 20,000 cases for Petrus and even more for any of the First Growth Chateaus from the Medoc. Limited cases combined with high quality result in Le Pin as a viable runner for the most expensive wine in the world.
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