Made from 100% Merlot (one percent for each rating point I've assigned), this wine is explosively rich and compelling. Dense plum/purple, it boasts the remarkable delineation and freshness that are hallmarks of this vintage. From a much smaller production than normal because of Merlot's poor flowering, the very hot, dry growing and harvest conditions, this is a super-endowed, very rich Le Pin with its exotic new oak largely buried behind its extravagant concentration, power and richness. I don't know what its natural alcohol level is, but I suspect it is pushing 15% in 2010. Rich, tannic, but exceptionally well-endowed, this is a sublime example of Merlot at its very finest. Forget it for 5-7 years (which is somewhat unusual for Le Pin) and drink it over the following three decades. Drink 2018-2048.
|Score: 100||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (205), March 2013|
2010: The 2010 Le Pin is 100% Merlot, aged in 100% new oak, but 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 2010 is the darkest colored Le Pin I have ever seen - black purple, no doubt due to tiny yields and the very small berries that were the result of the drought of 2010. Uber-concentrated, with fabulous cassis and black cherry fruit, licorice, and notes of subtle smoke and toast, the wine is full-bodied, with sweet tannin and remarkable thickness/unctuosity. It should prove to be one of the longest-lived Le Pins made in its first 30+ years of existence. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030+.
|Score: 96/98||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (194), May 2011|
Tasted blind, the Le Pin 2010 stick out like...well...a pin. The fruit is incredibly intense, much more so than just over a year ago, adorned with a hypnotic floral element that just explodes from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied and comes out of the blocks sprinting with vibrant spicy black fruit laced with cracked black pepper. The tannins feel firm in the mouth, lending this wondrous structure and precision, whilst the finish is extraordinarily long. Fabulous - Jacques Thienpont's wine is just getting into its stride. Tasted January 2014.
|Score: 97+||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, February 2014|
Jacques Thienpont has crafted an impeccable 2010 Le Pin. Cropped at 34hl/ha and offering 14.2% alcohol, it has a sumptuous bouquet of luscious blackberries and bilberries, crushed stone elements and a touch of cassis. It has certainly comes out of its shell since its showing in barrel. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, a sweet core of boysenberry and dark plum fruit, fresh acidity and a silky smooth, quite precocious cassis-driven finish that is long and sensual in the mouth. This is a beautiful '10 Pomerol that deserves a decade in bottle. Tasted November 2012.
|Score: 95||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, February 2013|
The sample taken from a blend of young vines and old vines in Taransaud and Seguin Moreau barrels, the Le Pin was picked from 24th September until 25th September, cropped at 34hl/ha. It delivers 14.2% alcohol with a total acidity of 3.20 and pH of 3.75. There was no saignée like in 2009. Tasted with the pneumatic drills in the background, it has a very pure bouquet with blackberry, crushed strawberry, limestone and a touch of rose petals, quite understated compared to recent vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with tensile tannins, good mineralité and tension here with vibrant, pure dark plum, boysenberry and cassis. Superb precision towards the finish, much tauter than the 2009, the Le Pin 2010 is a great Pomerol from the Pomerol undergoing a complete renovation (due to be completed in June 2011.) Tasted April 2011.
|Score: 93/95||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2011|
Dreamlike deep nose with blackberries, graphite and some smoky notes. Opens with licorice, vanilla and red fruit. Full and intensely fruity on the palate with lots of dark berries. Complex, dense and deeply structured with polished tannins and a great finish that just goes on and on. The balance is amazing. Even better than 2009. Drink from 2018.
|Score: 100||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2013|
This has muscles, with milk chocolate, plums and hints of wood. Very powerful, with lots of structure. It reminds me of the 1986 which is underrated and fabulous. A wine for aging. Super structured
|Score: 95/96||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2011|
Blend from different barrels. Very dark crimson and voluptuous. Lovely combination of richness, savour and freshness. A big step up. Fresh minerality on the finish. Jacques Thienpont was worried about the Merlots, and Alexandre Thienpont encouraged picking here so that he could pick at Vieux Château Certan. Most unusual freshness. Sinewy. Really racy but with great density. Had two Oz oenologists on hand in case they needed help in alcohol reduction but in the event didn't need to use them. Jacques says he would like to have waited a little longer but the results aren't too bad, are they?
|Score: 18||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2011|
Jacques Thienpont has been making miniscule quantities of this fabulous Pomerol since 1979. Such is the worldwide demand that it is one of the most expensive wines on planet earth. The 'Romanée Conti of Bordeaux', is elevaged in mainly Seguin Moreau new oak and made from 100% Merlot. However this is no blockbuster "vin de garage", Le Pin is intense yet delicate with exceptional purity.
Jacques Thienpont was in good spirits when we visited to taste on 6th April and is clearly very proud of his exceptional 2010 Le Pin. It was a small crop due to cold wet weather during flowering which particularly affected the older vine Merlot in the vineyard reducing potential yields. But there's no problem with the quality here and no doubt (in our mind) that 2010 is the superior to the excellent 2009 if that is possible….?
The wine is 100% Merlot and the grapes were harvested (quite early) in two days on 24th & 25th September 2010. The wine is being aged in 100% new oak barrels.
Cherry red in colour, the wine exhibits a highly perfumed and intense nose of violets, cherry blossom and sumptuous creamy sweet vanilla. Wonderfully precise, pure and complex. On the palate, stylistically the wine is a complete contrast to another 100% Merlot wine - the magnificent Petrus tasted just up the road. Where Petrus is a 'fire and brimstone' kind of wine with huge impact, mouth coating structure and intensity and loads of everything, Le Pin is all about purity, precision, elegance and finesse. It is a beguiling and deceptive wine as behind an apparently delicate façade lurks surprising concentration, structure and density. So balanced is the wine that we were amazed to learn that it packs an unusually high 14.2% alcohol (the level was only 13.5% in the very ripe 2009 vintage). There is a wonderful core of cassis fruit, fresh acidity and a sumptuous velvety tannin complemented with toasty, coffee bean charred oak flavours. Amazingly clean and fresh on the finish with length that just goes on and on. Grand Vin !
In the vineyard just across from the current temporary cellar, the old house (it could not be called a Chateau!) has been knocked down and a very contemporary looking building which will comprise winery, chai and reception/tasting rooms is currently rising from the ashes and is due for completion in summer 2011. The 2011 Le Pin will therefore be made in Jacques' brand new winery which he describes as "my 65th Birthday present to myself !".
|Score: 19||Farr Vintners, April 2011|
The nose is full of rich flavours lots of black plum and black cherry. Layers of fruit give complexity the sweetness of the black fruits balanced by the freshness of the red. The mid palate is sumptuous so rich but there is freshness at the back lifting the flavours and giving an elegant twist to the finish.
|Score: 96/99||Derek Smedley MW, April 2011|
|Score: 98||Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2011|
Has all the charm of the '09 but to my mind a touch more vivacity and structure. Lifted Burgundian red fruit and spice aromas and flavour. Supple caressing fruit on the palate. Decadent sweetness on the mid-palate then long filigree tannins. Drink 2020-2035.
|Score: 18.5||James Lawther MW, Decanter.com, April 2011|