In 2010 Jacques Thienpont (owner of Le Pin in Pomerol) acquired six hectares of vines in Saint-Emilion, near the prestigious vineyards of Troplong Mondot and Château Valandraud, owned by Jean-Luc Thunevin. This is a rightful return to his family history, as the Thienponts – originally wine merchants in Etikhove (near Ghent in Flanders) from 1842 onwards – bought Château Troplong Mondot in Saint-Emilion in 1921. However, Georges Thienpont was forced to sell it again ten years later at the height of the crisis, and subsequently bought Vieux Château Certan in Pomerol which is now run by his nephew Alexandre.
"The 2016 L'If, 100% Merlot in this vintage, is going to need a number of years to be at its very best. The allure the 2016 showed as a young barrel sample has been replaced with huge structure and prominent yet well balanced tannins that both give the wine its strong-voiced personality. Readers should be prepared to be patient with the 2016, as it is going to need a number of years to be at its very best. Even so, the 2016 is super-impressive in the early going, not to mention a fabulous wine in the making. Cyrille Thienpont gave the 2016 14 months in French oak, 50% new." - 96+ points, Antonio Galloni Vinous
"This is a compact cylinder of ripe and fresh fruit with currant, fresh-herb and dry-earth character on the palate. So solid. Full-bodied yet refined and checked in every way. Well-defined, formed and perfect. Just a hint of volcanic salt and iron. Contemplate this one. Try after 2026." - 98 points, James Suckling
Producer: Château L'If
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
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