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Average critic rating : 96.33 points
The 1990 Le Pin has more in common with the 1982 than most wines of this vintage. This wine exhibits concentrated fig, blackberry, creme de cassis, kirsch, roasted coffee, herb, and spice box characteristics, and incredible amounts of glycerin as well as velvety tannins. Still tasting like an adolescent, it rocks and rolls across the palate in a glorious manner. Anticipated maturity: now-2025. Release price: ($5000.00/case) Wine Advocate.June, 2009
Tasted at Bipin Desai’s Le Pin vertical in Los Angeles. Not tasted since the millennium, this remains an outrageous Pomerol to die for. Decadent and ostentatious on the nose with sweet cassis and blackberry fruit, creme de menthe, hot bricks, a faint hint of cloves (not as much as the ’89) and utterly seductive. The full-bodied palate has layers of exotic, ripe black fruits, cooked meats, a touch of menthol and just a hint of VA. Incredible level of concentration and yet it is not blowsy and poorly defined in any way. It coats the mouth with its lascivious charm. Oh la la! Lovers of “classic” Pomerol will abhor it, but it actually resembles the Petrus ’90 more than I predicted. Try to taste this just once in your life! 700 cases released. Drink now-2020. Tasted November 2008. Neal Martin, eRobertParker.com
Shows lots of ripe fruit, with almost-jammy berry and plum character. Full-bodied, soft and round-textured, with a long, caressing finish. Lots of coffee and fruit in the aftertaste. Delicious, but will improve.--Le Pin non-blind vertical. Drink now. 500 cases made. James Suckling,Wine Spectator2008
Graphs indicate market price trends as calculated by FINE+RARE’s internal market making system and are for guidance only. E&OE.
Chart showing (to 24/11/2016) market price for 12x75cl standard case:
|Le Pin 1990||+£29,660.00 (+283.12%)||Latest price: £40,136.00|
Château Le Pin: The Importance
Château Le Pin is without a doubt one of the most famous names in wine. A vinous icon and one of the three great names of Pomerol alongside Château Pétrus and Château Lafleur, it is one of the rarest, most expensive and finest red wines of Bordeaux – if not the world.
Founded in 1979, Le Pin produces just 600 or so cases per year from a tiny 1.6 hectare plot in Pomerol. The winery roared into life with the 1982 vintage and has astounded collectors and critics ever since; in the words of Robert Parker, “The first vintages were superb, and Le Pin quickly became not only one of the greatest Pomerols but also Bordeaux’s most exotic and luxurious, not to mention most expensive, wine.”
If there is one thing that stands out in people’s minds when discussing Le Pin, it is the price tag. The value of this wine has skyrocketed over the years, causing it to vie with Pétrus for the positon of most expensive wine. However, it isn’t only the wine that has changed price; while Thienpont initially bought the land for a reputed million francs (around €153000), it is now estimated to be worth in the region of one to two million euros per hectare. Similarly, a case of the vanguard 1982 vintage will now set you back more than £50,000, whereas on release it would have been just a couple of hundred.
Château Le Pin: The Insight
Le Pin produces just 600 to 700 cases each year, a truly miniscule number that is dwarfed in comparison to the Right-Bank first growths. For example, Lafite Rothschild produces around 29,000 cases a year. To put this tiny amount into perspective even the relatively rare fellow Pomerol of Pétrus makes around 4,000 cases. This rarity plays a key factor in Le Pin’s exclusivity and value, with the prestigious bottles becoming items that only a few collectors can hope to ever own. Not bad for what started as a one-man endeavour with simplicity at its heart.
Wine experts consider Le Pin’s key advantage to be its unique terroir and soil composition. Consisting of a sandy gravel topsoil on a bedrock of limestone, it is notably different from surrounding vineyards and widely agreed to add to Le Pin’s style. Neal Martin describes Le Pin as “a huge, highly oaked, exotic, hedonistic wine” that is tantalizing, charming and seductive. There are a few odd Cabernet Franc vines in the vineyard at Le Pin but the wine is 100% Merlot and, along with Pétrus, Le Pin can be regarded as the pinnacle of what can be achieved with the grape. Three vintages of Le Pin – 1982, 2009 and 2010 – are rated as 100 point wines by Robert Parker; other top vintages are 1990, 2001, 1989 and 2000.
Château Le Pin: The Background
Despite its modern day glamour, Le Pin started life with humble beginnings. The land was owned by the Loubie family for over five decades from the 1920s, during which time its wine was sold as generic Pomerol. The vineyard was then bought in 1979 by Jacques Thienpont, part of a Pomerol dynasty who also own Vieux Château Certan. Jacques bought the vineyards for a relatively small amount, a price which now seems absurd for Bordeaux’s most coveted wine.
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