We're open and delivering wine as usual. Our team is on hand, and you can find their direct numbers here.
The 2018 L'If is blended of 74% Merlot and 26% Cabernet Franc, to be aged 12-16 months in barriques, 50% new. The wine has a pH of 3.55 and 14.5% alcohol. Deep purple-black in color, it gives up a beautiful perfume of baked raspberries, mulberries and Black Forest cake with hints of fragrant soil, rose hip tea and dusty soil. Full-bodied, rich and jam-packed with generous red and black fruits framed by velvety tannins, it has wonderful savory chocolate and licorice accents and a long, spicy finish.
There's more Cabernet Franc in the blend this year as more plots have reached maturity - 50% of the 8.2ha vineyard has been replanted since the Thieponts arrived eight years ago. There is clear grip and freshness through the palate, with lovely energy. It feels like it's starting to settle into its own personality. Harvested 1 to 8 October. 50% new oak.
A delicious and tightly wound red with blackberry and blueberry aromas and flavors. Hints of cream and milk chocolate. Ultra fine tannins. It’s full-bodied, but comes across more medium, because of the compact palate and beautifully integrated tannins. This is really structured and dynamic. The close to one-third cabernet franc in the blend is charging this.
The 2018 L'If is an exceptionally beautiful Saint-Émilion. Fragrant and light on its feet, the 2018 is all finesse. A rush of rose petal, lavender, mint, spice and blue/purplish berry fruit infuse this striking, mid-weight Saint-Émilion. This is one of the more polished, understated wines of the vintage. Silky tannins add to the wine's air of sophistication. I tasted the 2018 from six separate lots and then the final blend (two times), which once again shows how important blending is as the final wine is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Cyrille Thienpont told me the grapes did not have a lot of juice at crush, so he opted for gentler winemaking and fewer pumpovers during a cuvaison that lasted 25-28 days. The blend is 74% Merlot and 26% Cabernet Franc, a big increase over 2016, where the Franc was 9%.
Ready 2018 - 2028
Prices shown in bond
Young 2024 - 2042
Ready 2021 - 2034