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Le Pin is a tiny 2.7-hectare (6-acre) property in the Pomerol district of Bordeaux. It was created in 1979 by the Thienpont family (owners of nearby Vieux Château Certan), and quickly rose to prominence to vie for the title of most expensive wine in the world.
The Le Pin vineyard is south-facing and sits on well-drained gravel and sand soils which give extremely low yields. There is also a small amount of Cabernet Franc planted. However, this not used in the Le Pin wine, and is gradually being replaced by Merlot.
Grapes are harvested by hand and fermented in stainless steel before 14 to 18 months' aging in first one new oak barrel, and then a second. Production is obviously tiny, totaling just 600 to 700 cases per year – compared with 4,000 for Petrus and 20,000 and more for the Médoc First Growths.
Le Pin is named after two pine trees at the vineyard. There is no true château on the property, though a new winery was opened in 2011, replacing an old farmhouse basement.
The medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Le Pin is still very closed, revealing glimpses of preserved plums, blackberry pie and raspberry compote plus suggestions of potpourri, star anise, tobacco, fenugreek and stewed tea plus a waft of hoisin. The medium-bodied palate is opulent, rich and plush with layers of black and red fruit preserves and loads of exotic spice accents, finishing very long and very decadent.