The 2016 Chateau l'If, Jacques Thienpont's sister property to Le Pin, is pure Merlot picked on 19 and 20 October at 40 hectoliters per hectare and matured in 50% new oak, the remainder one year old. It delivers 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.38. It has a rich and opulent bouquet with crème de cassis and blueberry fruit, a little racy at first, but it seems to calm down in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a silky texture and very well judged acidity. There is a little more body compared to the 2015 l'If, a bit more density with layers of black cherry and blueberry towards the long, very fresh finish. The 2015 l'If was great, but the 2016 could be even better. Drink Date 2022 - 2045
|Score: 93/95||Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230), April 2017|
This is incredibly refined and long with super finesse and length. Full-bodied, deep and beautiful. Subtle chocolate and walnut aromas and flavors. Pure merlot this year. Sexy and sophisticated at the same time.
|Score: 96/97||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2017|
The 2016 L'If is a total knock-out. Dark and intense, yet also translucent, L'If captures the interplay of richness and freshness that makes 2016 such a compelling vintage. A rush of dark red and purplish-hued fruits, leather, licorice, cherry jam, lavender and rose petal give the wine notable complexity to match its layered, exquisitely beautiful personality. In 2016, L'If is 100% Merlot, as some of the Cabernet Franc holdings are redeveloped while others did not produce a crop of high enough quality to be used in the wine. Tasted two times.
|Score: 93/96||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2017|
Very deep crimson. Quite rich and dense with lots of sweetness. Sinewy and savoury end. Quite racy and energetic compared with most St-Émilions. Bracing.
|Score: 16||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2017|
This new property is owned by Jacques Thienpont of Le Pin. It consists of 8 hectares of which 5 are next to Troplong Mondot. The encepagement is 100% Merlot from 40 year old vines in 2016 and the name comes from the French word for a Yew tree.Only 6000 bottles produced. Saturated purple colour, with ripe blackcurrants and cherries on the nose, which is creamy and exotic. The palate is concentrated, generous and plush with cassis and kirsch driving a velveteen texture thanks to fine-grained, ripe tannins. This is a concentrated, round, and smooth wine with an enduring, intense finish.
|Score: 16.5||Farr Vintners, April 2017|
The nose has a fragrant fresh red fruited charm the palate starts with fresh red and black fruits. Rich in the middle the fruit is sweet and ripe the tannins fine discreet integrated and although lighter an exuberant freshness at the back the finish is rich ripe and supple. 2025-37
|Score: 91/95||Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2017|
Unlike its stable mate, Le Pin, this always contains some Cabernet Franc, although the percentage has been halved in 2016. It shows the same gentle, Thienpoint touch, with lovely perfume, fine tannins, bright acidity and subtle red and black fruits. 2023-30
|Score: 92||Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2017|
This has a deft ripple of acidity which keeps you on your toes all the way through this wine. From the Le Pin stable, it is just as seductive as you would imagine, with soft, ripe damson fruits and barely-there tannins that caress the palate. They have 5ha located by Troplong Mondot, 2ha by La Segue, and a further 1ha right on the limestone plateau. 100% Merlot, they finished picking this wine on 20th October as the soils are so late ripening. Aged in 50% new oak.
|Score: 94||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2017|