Robert Parker 99
“Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Le Pin hits the dance floor with a completely gregarious nose of plum preserves, blackberry tart and wild blueberries, boldly accented by suggestions of Chinese five spice, cigar boxes, menthol and violets plus an earthy waft of underbrush. Full-bodied, concentrated, muscular and earthy with a firm backbone of exquisitely ripe, grainy tannins and plenty of freshness, it has an incredibly long finish featuring exotic spice and mineral layers.”
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2047
First bottle: Tasted blind. Herbal. Looks quite evolved. Inky and juicy. Lovely now but it seems rather dangerously evolved. Gorgeously ripe and long though. Very sweet and not as fresh as one would like.[I subsequently enquired whether it would be at all possible to taste a second bottle. Second bottle: Still looks quite evolved. Very sweet start but much fresher than the first bottle. Agreeable and advanced. Quite rich and solid but not thrilling nor particularly energetic. Though it does grow on the end which is rather impressive.
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2032
This 2015 Le Pin came from a half-bottle supplied by the Thienponts after a vexing showing at the Southwold tasting, where it lacked typicité. This bottle is undoubtedly better and hopefully more representative. Cranberry and raspberry on the nose display much more purity than before, and this is certainly more Pomerol in style, though not terribly complex. The palate is well balanced with fine tannin, silky-smooth texture and a dash of spice toward the finish. Thoroughly enjoyable, but not up to the standard of, say, Petrus or Lafleur. After four or five showings, I do find some bottle variation with the 2015, and I aver that Jacques Thienpont has crafted better Le Pins. Tasted from a half-bottle sent directly from the château.