If one is to believe that the iconic Pétrus does, in fact, have a viable competitor, it would have to be Le Pin. One of the most expensive Bordeaux wines as well as one of the world’s most valued, the similarities don’t stop there: both Le Pin and Pétrus are made exclusively from Merlot grapes, have never been classified, and neither château has ever offered a second wine.
A relatively young producer, Le Pin has nonetheless caught up with Pomerol’s older, more established châteaux. Owned by the Loubie family since 1924, the grapes at that time were sold or blended to help create nondescript Pomerol wines until Jacques Thienpoint purchased the tiny estate in 1979 for a little over a million francs. Jacques quickly began renovating and improving the somewhat dilapidated property, preparing it for what could only be called its total rebirth, thanks in part to Robert Parker’s love affair with its 1982 vintage. The critic’s scores were high, but his impact on overall sales was even higher, driving Le Pin to becoming a genuine luxury item and the first Bordeaux to sell for as much as, or even more than, First Growth Bordeaux wines.
As for taste and style, Le Pin has been called the most exotic of the Bordeaux, as it features an almost overripe, fruity quality that is accompanied by citrus scents and a touch of coconut. This unusual combination of notes adds to its both its decadence and its price. The complexity may be due to the terroir, which is a combination of clay, gravel and iron oxide; however, some insist that the diminutive estate is simply blessed with surprisingly immense gifts from the vine. We may never know for certain, but what we do know is that each bottle speaks to its elegance, refinement and incomparable magic.