Le Pin 2018
Tasting Notes Le Pin 2018
The density and texture to this Le Pin is very surprising. It’s tannic and intense with an angular and stony-mineral undertone. Full-bodied yet energetic and edgy. Great structure. Reminds me of the great 1986.
This is extremely good, expansive and luxurious with a stunning texture – vibrant and powerful, and a floral side that becomes clear as it opens in the glass, lifting the whole thing not through acidity but through aromatics. The real difference with Le Pin and other 100% Merlot wines is the sumptuousness through the mid palate, it’s so wide and rich, you can’t just walk over it but lie down on it, feather pillow style. They had a yield of 30hl/ha, mainly due to thicker than usual skins with some concentration at the finish, and added a selected rather than indigenous yeast to deal with the alcohol levels. 3.7Ph. 70IPT. 2019, by the way, is the 40th anniversary vintage here for the Thienponts.
The 2018 Le Pin is made of 100% Merlot, picked the last week of September with yields of 30 hectoliters per hectare. The wine has a pH of 3.7, an IPT (total polyphenol index) of 70 and 14.5% alcohol. Deep purple-black in color, it is a little reserved to begin, offering glimpses of tar, fertile loam and truffles with slowly emerging notes of baked black cherries, stewed plums, mulberries and underbrush plus hints of black pepper, hoisin and chargrill with a waft of garrigue. Full-bodied, the palate is loaded with taut, muscular fruit and heaps of earthy accents, with a firm frame of ripe, rounded tannins and just enough seamless freshness, finishing very long and wonderfully savory.
The 2018 Le Pin is dense, rich and seductive, with all of the textural richness that is such a signature. Le Pin is, of course, 100% Merlot fermented entirely in new oak. There is a touch of new wood in the en primeur sample that needs time to fully assimilate, which I expect will not be a problem over time. More than anything else, I am impressed with the wine's freshness and overall energy. The 2018 comes in 14.5% alcohol, the highest ever here, and yet that is not especially evident. A closing burst of floral overtones and red/purplish berry fruit leaves a lasting impression.