Almost Burgundian in style, the 2005 is a wine of beauty and refinement. A crystal clear hue of bright ruby-violet gleams in the glass. The smokey nose has notes of blackberry and raspberry fruit. On the palate, it is superbly ethereal and intense, yet with notable structure that carries through to the long finish. Drink 2012 - 2025+.
While I would not rank the 2005 Le Pin as highly as the 2001, 2000, 1998, 1989, 1983, or 1982, it is still a beautiful wine offering a deep ruby/purple color along with an open-knit nose of caramel, coconut, coffee, melted chocolate, and sweet, jammy black cherry and currant fruit. The alluring fragrance is followed by an opulent, luscious Pomerol with flamboyant flavors of ripe black fruits intermixed with hints of roasted herbs, meat juices, plums, and Asian spices. Unfortunately, the world's billionaires quickly gobble up Le Pin's 500 cases, even atpreposterously high prices. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2025.
This exotic effort tends to perform incredibly well when young, middle aged, and old, and all the complaints heard when it is first released that it won't age well have been proven absurd. The2005's incredibly fragrant perfume of espresso roast, melted chocolate, cedar, plums, and kirsch soars from the glass of this dense ruby/purple-colored Pomerol. Opulent, even voluptuous, and loaded, it boasts an expansive, full-bodied palate yet good underlying acidity provides definition as well as precision to this blockbuster. Sadly, only 500 cases are produced each year, and those are gobbled up by the world's billionaires. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2025.
As usual, the 2005 Le Pin (500 cases produced) is an exotic, aromatic effort offering gorgeous aromas of cedar, plums, black cherry liqueur, espresso roast, and chocolate. This full-bodied, rich, fragrant (the Thienponts call it the "Richebourg" of Bordeaux) effort possesses supple, velvety tannin and attractive sweetness and expansiveness, as well as good freshness and definition. It should continue to put on weight and evolve into another blockbuster from this tiny vineyard. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2025.
Not especially deep-coloured with very intense sweet, gamey notes on the nose. Exceptionally rich and sweet with hints of strawberry fruit - most exotic and unusual - yet neat and restrained. Extremely fresh with coffee notes. Extremely rigorous on the palate. Manages to be both broad and lively. 'Just' 13 per cent alcohol. Something slightly herbal about it. Definitely a very intriguing wine - more delicate and gentle than the 2004, which we tasted from tank just prior to bottling and which Jacques Thienpont described as more rustic than the 2005 - a relative term, one feels. Drink 2010-20.
This is so floral, spicy and complex. It's hard to believe. Some lavender and berry. Full-bodied, with fine tannins and a long, long finish. Very Burgundian. Not the 1998.
A true pioneer, proprietor Jacques Thienpont was one of the first garagistes in Bordeaux. He makeshis wine in a space under the house that could serve as a garage if it weren't in use as a winecellar. He differs from many of his fellow garagistes, in that he insists on producing terroir-driven, balanced Pomerol, while many others still produce over-extracted, ultra-ripe wines.
The small sub-region of Pomerol is situated north-east of the industrious city of Libourne. Pomerol's soils are predominately iron-rich clay with a smattering of gravel that produce wines with extraordinary power and depth. As a result of this clay-dominance, it has the highest percentage of Merlot planted in all of Bordeaux. Certain châteaux are produced exclusively from this grape, but most incorporate smaller quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc as well. Despite its hefty (if not exclusive) proportion of Merlot, many people think of wines from this region as separate entities. As one wine aficionado stated recently, "It's not Merlot. It's Pomerol." Despite the region's small size, Pomerol contains some of the world's most sought after (and expensive) wines including Pétrus, Le Pin, Lafleur, l'Evangile and Vieux Château Certan. Unlike other Bordelais subregions, there is no system of classification. The châteaux are traded on reputation alone.