- Château l'If
- St Emilion
- Cabernet Franc / Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot
- 2023 - 2040
- Case size
Goedhuis, April 2017,
85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc. This inky, deep wine has huge concentration. By harvesting the Merlot relatively late on 19th-20th October Jacques Thienpont explained, they have capitalized on the variety’s natural generosity. Intense aromas of plum, blackberry coulis and spice lead to a palate that has a refined tension between fruit density, structural oak tannins, and beautiful freshness. This is the most graceful example one could hope to find in the appellation. CP
Neal Martin, January 2019,
The 2016 L’If eschews the Cabernet Franc vines, since they did not perform as well as expected, according to co-proprietor Fiona Morrison. This is matured in 50% new and 50% one-year-old oak for 12 to 16 months. It has a lovely blackberry, wild hedgerow and crushed stone aroma that is very focused and quite delineated. The palate is medium-bodied with edgy tannin and fairly citric in style. Not deep, but fresh and well-balanced, leading to a structured saline finish. Quite a cerebral L’If that deserves a couple of years in bottle. 2022 - 2042
Neal Martin, April 2017,
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
Antonio Galloni, January 2019,
The 2016 L'If, 100% Merlot in this vintage, is going to need a number of years to be at its very best. The allure the 2016 showed as a young barrel sample has been replaced with huge structure and prominent yet well balanced tannins that both give the wine its strong-voiced personality. Readers should be prepared to be patient with the 2016, as it is going to need a number of years to be at its very best. Even so, the 2016 is super-impressive in the early going, not to mention a fabulous wine in the making. Cyrille Thienpont gave the 2016 14 months in French oak, 50% new. Drink: 2024 - 2041
Antonio Galloni, April 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.
James Suckling, 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.
Jancis Robinson, April 2017,
Sister property to Le Pin. 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. Drink 2023-2030
Tim Atkin, May 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
South of Pomerol lies the medieval, perched village of St Emilion. Surrounding St Emilion are vines that produce round, rich and often hedonistic wines. Despite a myriad of soil types, two main ones dominate - the gravelly, limestone slopes that delve down to the valley from the plateau and the valley itself which is comprised of limestone, gravel, clay and sand. Despite St Emilion's popularity today, it was not until the 1980s to early 1990s that attention was brought to this region. Robert Parker, the famous wine critic, began reviewing their Merlot-dominated wines and giving them hefty scores. The rest is history as they say. Similar to the Médoc, there is a classification system in place which dates from 1955 and outlines several levels of quality. These include its regional appellation of St Emilion, St Emilion Grand Cru, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé and St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, which is further divided into "A" (Ausone and Cheval Blanc) and "B" (including Angélus, Canon, Figeac and a handful of others). To ensure better accuracy, the classification is redone every 10 years enabling certain châteaux to be upgraded or downgraded depending on on the quality of their more recent vintages.