Location: Chateau Le Pin is a tiny vineyard located in the middle of the Pomerol
plateau. Pomerol is on the right bank of the Gironde
Estuary in the Bordeaux
region of Southeastern France.
Classification: There has never been an official classification
of Pomerol. Even so, Chateau Le Pin commands prices that put it
at levels equal to the best wines of Bordeaux. Le Pin was the first
of the "garage wines" or microchateau that have become
cult collector wines. These wines defy the traditional classifications.
Vineyards: This micro vineyard
is less than 5 acres in size with a clay soil. The vines average
32 years of age. Chateau Le Pin is planted with 92% Merlot
and 8% Cabernet
Production and Vinification: The very limited production
of Chateau Le Pin ranges from 500 to 600 cases per year. The vinification
is truely done in the garage area under the house on the property
using stainless steel fermenting tanks and oak barrels for aging.
History: Chateau Le Pin was first produced in 1979. This
was the year that the Thienpont family (wine merchants from Belgium)
purchased the property from Madame Laubie, whose family had acquired
it in 1924. The Thienpont family owns six properties in Bordeaux
including the neighboring and well-known Vieux-Chateau-Certan.
The name, Le Pin, comes from a solitary Pine tree that grows near
the winemaking facility.
Drinkability: This is a wine that is made more in the style
of California and Australia
rather than traditional Bordeaux. It is very 'fruit-forward' and
has great richness. It is often described with words like exotic
and hedonistic. The wines from Chateau Le Pin are medium in body
with delicate tannins and a fruity finish. They tend to be accessible
when young and peak at about 15 years after the vintage. These wines
are very showy and tend to dominate food pairings rather than complimenting