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L'If 2021

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > St Emilion
Grape VarietyMerlot/Cabernet Franc

This new property is owned by Jacques Thienpont (of Le Pin) and was formerly 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. Winemaking by Nicolas Thienpont's son Cyrille. 7,000 bottle production.

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Tasting Notes

A blend of 79% Merlot and 21% Cabernet Franc, the 2021 L'If shows considerable potential, and if it evolves as well as I suspect it will during élevage, it may make my score seem conservative. Offering up aromas of dark berries and plums mingled with loamy soil, black truffles and sweet forest floor, it's medium to full-bodied, layered and seamless, with velvety tannins and a bright spine of acidity, concluding with a long, saline finish.

William Kelley, Wine Advocate (260), April 2022

The 2021 L'If was picked October 2–16 and sees a higher proportion of Cabernet Franc (21%), as new plantings from a massal selection from Pavie-Macquin enter the Grand Vin. For the first time, I think L'If matches Le Pin pound for pound. Exuberant yet well-defined red fruit soars from the glass along with touches of shell, subtle estuarine aromas and so forth. The palate is medium-bodied with perhaps a little more concentration than its aforementioned stablemate, hints of blue fruit and iodine emerging toward the finish. The Cabernet really adds something to the blend here, and it will be fascinating to watch this evolve. (13.5% alcohol)

Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2022

2021 marks the 10th year of ownership and work at l'If for Jacques Thienpont. Four of the eight hectares that were replanted are now in production and gradually being introduced to the Grand Vin. The blend is 79% Merlot and 21% Cabernet Franc, a direct representation of plantings. Roughly 10,000 bottles will be made, about half the capacity Jacques hopes to produce once the vineyard is fully restored. Work has begun on a new winery at the property, which should be completed in time for the 2022 harvest. 13.5% abv. 50% new French oak. Deep ruby colour with dark, iron-led fruit on the nose. The extra Cabernet Franc is clearly a success here, bitter cocoa, graphite and fresher red berries all come through on the nose. The palate follows, with mocha, damsons and steeped black cherries. The tannins are succulent and add a real savoury depth. Succulent and long, this is a very successful iteration of this wine that is really starting to find its feet under the Thienpont stewardship.

Thomas Parker MW, Farr Vintners, April 2022

A serious and saline red with blue fruit, cloves, iodine and black licorice. Oyster shells, too. Medium to full bodied with fine, firm tannins that run the length of the wine. Focused. 79% merlot and 21% cabernet franc.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2022

The 2021 L'If is a blend of 79% Merlot, harvested on 2, 6, 12 and 13 October, and 21% Cabernet Franc, harvested on 16 October. Deep garnet-purple in color, it springs with lively notions of fresh blackberries, redcurrants, and boysenberries, plus suggestions of lavender, cardamom, pencil shavings, and fallen leaves. Medium-bodied, the palate has a fine-grained texture and lively acidity supporting the intense black fruits, finishing with a red berry lift. pH 3.61.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, May 2022

Cyrille Thienpont is in charge here, and he has teased out attractive blueberry fruits, along with graphite, pencil lead and gunsmoke. Chalky tannins reflect the clay-limestone soils, this is full of pleasure, even while austerity is gripping the finish. Highest percentage of Cabernet Franc to date, after including recent plantings. 50% new oak. Harvest October 2 to 16.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, April 2022

79% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample.
Smoky, dark-fruit notes with a hint of morello cherry. Juicy, sweet and aromatic on the palate, the tannins fine. Tightens on the finish to give a bit of length. Shows dynamism. Promising. (JL) 13.5%
Drink 2028 – 2038

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com, May 2022
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.