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Chateau Le Pin

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 Franc.

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 them.