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L'If 2018

SubregionSt Emilion
Grape VarietyMerlot/Cabernet Franc

This new property is owned by Jacques Thienpont (of Le Pin) that was known as Haut Plantey before he purchased it in 2010. It consists of 8 hectares of which 5 are situated next to Troplong Mondot. A total of 5.2 hectares are currently in production. Plantings are 91% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc. The 2018 is 74% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Franc and was picked from October 1st to 8th. It will be aged in 50% new oak for 12 to 16 months. Alcohol 14.5%. Winemaking by Nicolas Thienpont's son Cyrille. 7000 bottle production.

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Tasting Notes

Aromas of black cherries, blueberries, licorice, dried lavender, nutmeg and grated milk chocolate. Pure raspberries, walnut husks and crushed peppercorns as well. It’s full-bodied with firm, racy tannins that go on for minutes. So sleek and polished with a long finish. Really amazing and perhaps the best wine ever from here. Same ownership as the legendary Le Pin from Pomerol. Slightly more cabernet franc (30% instead of 20%) in the blend may have made the difference. The rest is merlot. Clearly the best wine ever from here, since the official first vintage 2011. Try from 2026.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2021

The 2018 L’If, which sees 50% new oak and 50% one-year-old wood, has a disarmingly lovely bouquet that veers more toward red fruit than black, offering raspberry and wild strawberry, hoisin and light marmalade aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins and quite saline on the entry, with good tension from beginning to end. Harmonious and almost understated toward the finish, it leaves light white pepper and sage notes on the aftertaste. This is an excellent L’If that should give 12–15 years of drinking pleasure. Drink 2023-2035.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, March 2021

The 2018 L’If is matured in 50% new oak and 50% one-year old wood, picked between 1 and 8 October. It has a very pure and sensual bouquet with dark cherries, bergamot, a touch of hoisin developing with time. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, a lovely saline note with a vibrant and quite persistent finish. This is already showing commendable cohesion. A touch of spice develops with aeration. Excellent. Drink 2022-2032.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, November 2019

The 2018 L'If is blended of 74% Merlot and 26% Cabernet Franc, to be aged 12-16 months in barriques, 50% new. The wine has a pH of 3.55 and 14.5% alcohol. Deep purple-black in color, it gives up a beautiful perfume of baked raspberries, mulberries and Black Forest cake with hints of fragrant soil, rose hip tea and dusty soil. Full-bodied, rich and jam-packed with generous red and black fruits framed by velvety tannins, it has wonderful savory chocolate and licorice accents and a long, spicy finish.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019

A delicious and tightly wound red with blackberry and blueberry aromas and flavors. Hints of cream and milk chocolate. Ultra fine tannins. It’s full-bodied, but comes across more medium, because of the compact palate and beautifully integrated tannins. This is really structured and dynamic. The close to one-third cabernet franc in the blend is charging this.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019
Read more tasting notes...

The 2018 L'If is super-impressive, even if it comes across as a bit restrained today. Ultimately, that energy will serve it well. Dark and sensual, with striking aromatic presence and fabulous balance, the 2018 dazzles from start to finish. Dark cherry, plum, spice, new leather, menthol and mocha all build in the glass. The 2018 is bold, sumptuous and full of energy. I can't wait to see how it ages. What a wine. 2028 - 2048

Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, March 2021

The 2018 L'If is an exceptionally beautiful Saint-Émilion. Fragrant and light on its feet, the 2018 is all finesse. A rush of rose petal, lavender, mint, spice and blue/purplish berry fruit infuse this striking, mid-weight Saint-Émilion. This is one of the more polished, understated wines of the vintage. Silky tannins add to the wine's air of sophistication. I tasted the 2018 from six separate lots and then the final blend (two times), which once again shows how important blending is as the final wine is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Cyrille Thienpont told me the grapes did not have a lot of juice at crush, so he opted for gentler winemaking and fewer pumpovers during a cuvaison that lasted 25-28 days. The blend is 74% Merlot and 26% Cabernet Franc, a big increase over 2016, where the Franc was 9%.

Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019

Black core. Very pure dark Merlot fruit on the nose – black plum and mulberry and a lovely smoky note, almost smoky bacon, to add complexity and cut through the sweetness. Juicy and fresh yet with very upright tannins. Dark, chalky and fine on the palate. Definitely more classy than last year. Purity of texture as well as fruit. Beautifully aromatic, especially in the empty glass. Beautifully fresh.
Drink 2024-2033

Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019

Deep ruby in the glass, this has a peppery, perfumed nose of violets and dark cherries. The palate is thick, rich and chalky, with dense and ripe fruit flooding the mid palate and taming the chalky tannins. The spices of new oak come through towards the finish, adding a spiciness to the exuberant fruit. Plump, polished and poised.

Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019
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.