The 2015 Le Pin, which comes in at a modest 13.8% alcohol, has a very perfumed and precise bouquet with raspberry coulis, crème de cassis, rose petals and cold stone aromas. This is adorned with very pure fruit, perhaps more confit-like than other vintages that I have tasted out of barrel. The palate is medium-bodied with a grainy texture on the entry and an extremely fine line of acidity. This is a decidedly more structured Le Pin from Jacques Thienpont, maybe a more masculine wine with fine backbone and lovely salinity towards the finish. There is enormous persistence that lingers long in the mouth, developing a marine-like nuance as it aerates. I like the seriousness here that neatly offsets the exuberance and precocity of the vintage, a wonderful Le Pin that will age with style and verve. Jacques suggested that it might be like the 1986 Le Pin. If so, judging by a half-bottle he then opened, a lucky few are going to be in for a treat. Drink 2021-2040
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.