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1982 was a milestone for the Bordeaux trade.

It came after the difficult decade of the 1970s. A decade marked through the Bordeaux crisis with the collapse of the 1972 bubble, the oil crisis and rapid inflation. On top of this there were a series of disappointing vintages.

The financial markets had stabilised by the time that the 1982 were offered in the spring of 1983 and there was a large new group of potential wine buyers. There had been an influx of new magazines about wine and good living and the public was ready to spend money. The American Dollar was high against a weak French Franc and most of all – the wines were spectacular.

There were several reasons for this.

An early, even flowering, a warm but unspectacular summer and most of all, thanks to an exceptionally hot period at the end of August and the first half of September. It was this heat that made it possible for this record size harvest to, not only to fully ripen, but also to concentrate the fruit.

The harvest started on September 14th and was finished before heavy rains commenced on October 2nd.

Another reason for the succes of the vintage was that most châteaux had invested in their cellars and were able to work such a large and hot harvest. One was now able to control the fermentation temperatures better than in earlier hot vintages like 1947.

The grapes produced wines with such a high natural alcohol that chaptalization became unnecessary, they showed deep colour, high and unusually soft tannin levels, a better acidity than at first feared and most of all – great concentration of fruit. The media hype was great, particularly thanks to the advent of new wine magazines - this was the vintage that cemented Robert Parkers reputation. The prices rose rapidly and have never looked back since. I remember all premier crus (including Pétrus) being offered to end consumers for around 50 Euro en-primeur in 1983.

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The Story

Château Le Pin, or simply Le Pin, is an unclassed Bordeaux wine from the appellation Pomerol. 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. The unusually small estate is located on the Right Bank of France’s Gironde estuary, and its wine is periodically one of the world's most expensive red wines. Le Pin was the first of the "garage wines" or microchateau that have become cult collector wines. These wines defy the traditional classifications.

Madame Laubie, whose family had owned the plot since 1924 sold the vineyard in 1979 to the Belgian Thienpont family for 1 million francs. Developed by Marcel and Gérard Thienpont on less than 2 hectares, wine was produced by microcuvée from a farmhouse basement. The property was given the name Le Pin by the Thienponts from a solitary pine tree that shades the property. By acquiring tiny adjoining plots of land, Jacques has doubled the size of Le Pin to five acres.

Occasionally the most expensive wine in the world, continually receiving high ratings from wine critics and produced in extremely small numbers, Le Pin bottles are a constant presence on the wine auction market. Le Pin produces just 600 to 700 cases each year.
Currently managed by Jacques Thienpont, additional tiny plots of land have been acquired. Some years no wine is produced.

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Vintage 1982

Château Le Pin 1982/ Annual production is very low, less than 600 cases, but in 1982 only 250 cases. Le Pin’s auction record is for a case of 1982 Chateau Le Pin, which fetched 88.000€.

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Average Bottle Price

2017 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2005 2000 1995
9 332€ +6.3% 8 778€ +55.9% 5 632€ +13.7% 4 954€ +15.6% 4 285€ -3.5% 4 442€ +23.8% 3 587€ +34.8% 2 660€ +51.1% 1 760€ +82.2% 966€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Latest Pro-tasting notes

21 tasting notes

Tasting note


Deep, Ruby red and Bright


Endless, Smooth and Lingering


Coffee, Blackberry, Blackcurrant, Toasty, Mineral and Licorice


Intense, Complex, Seductive and Ripe




Average in Acidity, Warming, Medium tannin, Perfectly balanced, Concentrated, Well-structured, Youthful, Full-bodied, Focused, Ripe, Harmonious and Silky tannins


Good everyday wine and Well made

Written Notes

Now the Emperor was just showing off, pulling out a spectacularly good bottle of 1982 Le Pin. I have an on-again, off-again love affair with Le Pin. Some vintages are everything I could ever want, yet others I find disappointing, bordering on uninteresting. This ’82 was an exciting bottle. ‘From strength to strength,’ was said, and this was a perfect bottle. It was rich, chocolaty, chunky and lush. Chocolate merged into chocolate bar in the mouth, with more raisin and nut flavors. I never had an ’82 Le Pin this good; it was delicious (97).
  • 97p

1982 Le Pin – Pomerol can often produce some of the greatest wines in all of Bordeaux. It is funny to think about it, but with the exception of Petrus , as recently as 1982, there were no expensive wines from this appellation. Generally speaking, Pomerol wines were thought of as good, by those few people that were aware of their quality, but for most wine lovers, they were not considered to be at the same level as the 1855 Classified Growths. By 1983, things changed. The word was out and prices skyrocketed. Petrus was until the 1982 vintage, priced about the same as any of the First Growths. But after the 1982 vintage, thanks to a little help from Robert Parker, Petrus was no longer affordable for most wine lovers. It took on a new, unique identity and became one of the world’s most, in-demand and sadly, expensive wines. Two other Pomerol estates were also seeking a crown to wear that same year.

 By 1982, Le Pin as a winery was only 3 years old and it also sky rocketed in price. Perhaps, 1979, 1980 and 1981 Le Pin had trouble selling. But 1982 Le Pin was a game changer for this little chateau. 1982 Le Pin earns a spot on the list because it really is one of those true unicorn wines you never think you are going to taste, due to its mix of rarity, price and sublime, hedonistic characteristics.

 1982 Le Pin – A wine I never thought I’d be able to taste, (again) and I was certainly glad I did. The nose, with its cherry pipe tobacco, floral, mint, oyster shell, wet earth, cherry and mocha aromatics was an easy hook. But the sexy, silky, exotic textures, purity of fruit, and velvet drenched finish brought it all the way home. Fully mature, if you have extremely wealthy friends with a bottle or two, have them pull a cork, as there is no reason to age this any longer. Thank you Eric Cotsen! 98 Pts

  • 98p

You have chocolate, truffles, coffee on the bouquet. It is an expectedly sweet wine, old vine Merlot evidently on the palate, quite dense, flowers and oyster shells at the mid palate. Silky textures, exotic, velvety on the palate. The wine has been described as producing fireworks on the palate (akin in descriptions to the Cheval ’47 at its zenith -- which it may be just now slightly past depending on the bottling), to being almost carnal in its allure. The bloom seemed to have faded somewhat, or to be fair, perhaps it was less enchanting given the company it was keeping. It still has sass and sex appeal and a seductive, alluring finish, but perhaps we can concede it is no longer at the peak of its prowess or allure. 95 Points

  • 95p
D 3 h / G 2 h Being able to taste this legendary wine next to another legend of Pértus 1982, I feel very priviledged. I can’t believe saying this but between these two wines Pétrus seems like a shadow to Le Pin, for now. Le Pin has everything one might possible ask for from a majestetic wine. It has a similar colour to Pétrus – moderately intense and brick red. But while the nose of Pétrus was reserved, Le Pin explodes from the glass. Le Pin has so expressive, complex, and rich nose delivering classic Pomerol aromas of ripe plums, licorice, fruit cake, violets, and truffles with intense and warm New World twist. The palate is big and as explosive as the nose. Rich medium-bodied wine shows freshness of extracted ripe dark fruits, firm tannins and lively acidity all in great balance with satiny texture forming long lingering and fleshy finish. Superb intensity, true charmer. Drinking fabulously now but will keep until 2020.
  • 100p



Pomerol, Bordeaux

Vineyard size

5 ha


100% Merlot

Age of vines

30 years

Vintage Quality


Value For Money

Very good


  • in oak 100% for new years and 18 months

When bottled


Release state price

20€ bottle

Investment potential


Fake factory


Glass time


Drinking temperature


Inside Information

Probably not a perfect wine for the classicist, this flamboyant, exotic, lavishly rich, concentrated, low acid fruit bomb exhibits remarkable aromatic complexity (espresso roast, roasted herbs, caramel, chocolate, and oodles of sweet plum, fig, and berry fruit). It is very jammy and incredibly low in acidity, but it is still intact, and the dense plum/garnet color is just beginning to show some lightening at the edge. This is another 1982 that I thought would have one, possibly two feet in the grave at age 27, but lo and behold, it is still going strong. Release price ($400.00/case)

Robert Parker,

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