The 2014 L’If has a dense, sultry nose at first, touches of salted liquorice infusing the black, almost tarry fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with sweet but firm tannin, a core of ripe, almost sorbet-fresh fruit, orange rind tincturing the finish. I find this actually improves in the glass, developing more sappiness with time although I would have liked more persistency on the aftertaste. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting. 2020 - 2036
|Score: 92||Neal Martin, vinous.com, March 2018|
The 2014 l'If has a pretty bouquet, quite intense with hints of licorice infusing the bright and vivid black cherry and blueberry fruit. With time, there is an intriguing melted tar scent. The palate is medium-bodied with quite firm tannin. This l'If seems to have tightened up since I tasted it from barrel, yet it retains impressive focus and energy, long and tender in the mouth with that licorice touch returning on the finish. Excellent, but give this three or four years in bottle. Drink Date 2019-2032
|Score: 92||Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (Interim En), April 2017|
The Château L’If 2014, the Saint Emilion estate that Jacques Thienpont and Fiona Morrison MW bought in 2010, is a blend of 91% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc picked between 9 and 17 October, aged in 50% new oak and 50% one-year old. The nose offers up enticing licorice scents: detailed, vivacious and fresh with plenty of black fruit mixed with black olive. The palate is tightly wound with chalky tannin, that licorice note continuing through to the finish that is linear and crisp. This is an splendid Saint Emilion unapologetically elegant in style, one that as Jacques himself quipped, is the kind of bottle you finish. This is a very impressive Saint Emilion...in fact, comparing them side-by-side it might be just as good as Le Pin! Drink: 2017 - 2032
|Score: 92/94||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com (218), April 2015|
The purity and complexity of fruit on the nose are really exceptional with blackberries, cloves, nutmeg and stones. Flowers, too! Full-bodied, yet bright and reserved with everything compacted in the center palate. Acidity is delicious. A superb wine. Give it time to open and show everything, but it’s so wonderful now. Try in 2022.
|Score: 98||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2017|
A full-bodied wine but showing so much in finesse and beauty. It slowly builds on the palate to give an crescendo of subtle fruit and fine tannins. Subtle undertones of oyster shell and iodine. Unique. This only has 9% cabernet franc. Rest is merlot.
|Score: 94/95||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2015|
The 2014 L'If is one of the most flamboyant wines I tasted during my recent trip to Bordeaux. A rush of dark cherry jam, chocolate and sweet spice hits the palate. Ripe and unctuous to the core, the 2014 possesses an almost extreme level of concentration for the vintage. There is just enough Cabernet Franc in the blend to add a touch of aromatic lift and structure. At times, the alcohol peeks out a bit. This is an especially opulent style. The blend is 91 % Merlot and 9 % Cabernet Franc. In a very short amount of time, Cyrille Thienpont has done a terrific job with L'If.
|Score: 94||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, February 2017|
Tasted blind. Strange nose – savage and chewy. Almost feral. Very astringent and unfriendly for now. Stringy end.
|Score: 15.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2018|
90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. 50% new oak. They pulled out some vines and will leave them for four years. Now just 3 ha.
Deep crimson. Fresh and lush with great health and expression. Cool and round with toasty tannins on the end. Racy and sleek. Dense. Fresh and really getting there. 13.7%. Drink 2023-2030
|Score: 16.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2015|
This new property is owned and managed by Jacques Thienpont of Le Pin. It consists of 7 hectares of which 5 are next to Troplong Mondot. The encepagement is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc and the name comes from the French word for a Yew tree. Jacques is expanding his forest!
| ||Farr Vintners, March 2015|
Ripe and fleshy, with a broad feel to the plum sauce and steeped raspberry fruit flavors, backed by hints of ganache and smoldering tobacco. A light loamy edge on the finish marries with the vibrant fruit. Best from 2018 through 2026. 500 cases made.
|Score: 92||James Molesworth (Wine Spectator), WineSpectator.com, February 2017|
The best vintage yet from Le Pin's St Emilion outpost, this has the lightness of touch that distinguishes Jacques Thienpont's winemaking. Aromatic, stylish and fine, with effortless balance, filigree tannins and a long, textured finish. A property to watch on the Right Bank.
|Score: 94||Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2015|
|Score: 89||Decanter Magazine, April 2015|