Le Pin 2012


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Tasting Notes

The 2012 Le Pin exhibits a surprisingly opaque purple color, moderately high tannin, deep mocha and jammy berry characteristics, unexpected headiness, an alcoholic blast and lots of glycerin and fruit. This beauty should come into its own in 4-5 years, and last for 15 or more.

This 100% Merlot cuvee is a fresher, lighter-styled effort than this estate's blockbuster 2009 and 2010, but it is surprisingly intense with plenty of weight, clout and class. Yields were a tiny 30 hectoliters per hectare (due to poor flowering and excessive drought), and the wine was produced from fruit harvested between October 2 and 5.

Score: 93/95Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (206), April 2013

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.

Score: 95Neal Martin, RobertParker.com (227), October 2016

The Le Pin was cropped between 1st and 3rd October at 32hl/ha and achieved a relatively high IPT of 77. After fifteen day fermentation and a short maceration it was run off into new barrels (Seguin Moreau and Taransaud) on 22nd October. It offers plenty of pure dark cherry, blackcurrant and cassis fruit on the nose with superb delineation and freshness. It opens wonderfully over five or ten minutes offering a subtle brine/black olive note, the oak deftly integrated into the fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with a hint of dark chocolate on the entry. There is good weight and tension although towards the finish there is a patina of wood that should be subsumed throughout its maturation. This strict, correct and upstanding Le Pin would benefit from a touch of flesh, but it is a stylish Pomerol for sure. Tasted April 2013.

Score: 93/95Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, May 2013

This is the essence of Le Pin with incredible silk texture and beautiful fruit. A berry, sweet-tobacco, chocolate and dusty undertone. It reminds me of many wonderful and underrated Le Pins of the 1980s like 1985 or 1986. What a wine. Better in 2018. But who can wait? Cystal clear. It's like the 2001 that was always better than 2000.

Score: 97James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2015

This is phenomenal for the vintage. Aromas of roses, blueberries and clay. Full and dense yet it finishes long and agile. It goes on for minutes. Truly a great bottle here. It's the 2001 in the remake, which was better than 2000. This is 100 percent Merlot. Normally a tiny percent of Cabernet Franc too. Only 500 cases.

Score: 96/97James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2013

A compelling, totally arresting wine, the 2012 Le Pin boasts superb texture, unctuousness and pure voluptuous beauty. The 2012 is effortless in the way it opens up in the glass, with generous sweet red cherry, plum, iron, smoke and licorice. Perhaps not as rich as some previous vintages, the 2012 is nevertheless racy and quite expressive, even at this early stage. Drink 2018-2032.

Score: 95Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, January 2016

Deep dark cherry colour. Extreme fruit purity, crunchy and deep, with a mineral edge and light earthiness to counteract the fruit sweetness. Generous but not fat or slouching. Shows its origin, the well-drained gravel soils, not just the high quality of the fruit. Dry finish but not at all drying. Long and delicious. Very hard to spit even though it is a little after 10 am. (JH)

Score: 18.5Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2013

One of the most famous and hard-to-find wines of Bordeaux thanks to the tiny production and consistently fabulous quality. This is the second vintage to be made in the brand new winery and as usual it is 100% Merlot made from yields this year of 32 hl/ha. Jacques Thienpoint is a serious man and is to be trusted when he compares it to the 1998 and 2001 vintages. Super-intense, great purity, creamy, textured and concentrated. This wine has power, precision and finnesse all combined in perfect harmony. Silky-smooth with chocolate, raspberry, red cherry, vanilla and toast. Defined and refined. Ripe and juicy yet with perfect poise and balance.

Score: 19Farr Vintners, March 2013

Blackberry and red cherry refresh the nose and the start of the palate. The mid palate is serious deep with brooding black fruits all supported by ripe tannins. Towards the back it is lighter with a red fruit and bilberry freshness that gives a refined and stylish finish. 2020-40.

Score: 92/95Derek Smedley MW, April 2013

Jacques Thienpont prefers his 2012 to his 2011, but I found the wine difficult to taste from
barrel this year, partly because the oak seemed a little aggressive. For all that, it's still a very
good Le Pin, with the perfume and refinement that distinguishes this cult wine. Focused and
sweet with red berry and coffee notes and a hint of greenness.
Drink: 2020-35

Score: 94Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2013

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.