Best Bordeaux claret is produced by a Belgian

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Belgium’s Jacques Thienpont took over the Le Pin vineyard in Bordeaux in 1979 and succeeded in putting the wine on the international map

Le Pin is one of the most expensive Bordeaux wines as well as one of the priciest wines in the world. Yet, it is unclassified and its first vintage was only a few decades ago, in 1979!

The wine connoisseur Robert Parker has called Le Pin Pomerol as the best Bordeaux claret in the world and is perhaps as responsible as anyone for making this wine so famous and coveted. Prior to the 1982 vintage, not many people outside of Pomerol had yet heard of the wine. Parker’s enthusiastic, descriptive, praise for the young chateau’s wines, caused collectors to seek it out. With only a few hundred cases per year being made, it was only a matter of time until Le Pin became priced as a luxury item.

Since 1924, Chateau Le Pin had been the property of the Laubie family. That changed in 1979, when the  Thienpont family from Belgium bought the 2 hectare property. The vineyard is located in the heart of the Pomerol plateau. Additional vines were purchased late in the first decade of the 21st century. This is when Le Pin acquired the famous “7 rows of vines” that were located next to their Bordeaux wine vineyard.Le Pin vineyard Bordeaux

The  Le Pin vineyards are cared for by Alexandre Thienpont, who also manages Vieux Chateau Certan. Jacques Thienpont makes and sells the wine.

The property took its name from the lone pine tree, situated near the winery. The winery/chateau is rather a humble property for a wine that can sell for several thousand dollars per bottle! In 2010, Jacques Theinpont began construction of a new chateau and larger wine making facility.

Planted on clay soil, the 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc vines average 35 years. The property produces between 400 and 600 cases per year. The entire production was declassified in 2003. Jacques Thienpont decided the vintage was not worthy of being sold as Chateau Le Pin.

This is an exotic style of Bordeaux wine. Concentrated with ripe fruit, the opulent, almost overripe kirsch, black cherry, plum, coconut and citrus scents are unique to the property, The decadent, glycerin filled mouth feel is a treat that in the best vintages, must be tasted to be believed.

Just in time for the 2011 Bordeaux harvest, Le Pin finished their new winery. The understated, small winery includes 7, temperature controlled, stainless steel vats. The new building also includes an underground cellar to accommodate the 30 to 40 barrels needed for to age two different vintages at a time.