Château L'if can be found on the right bank of the Bordeaux in Saint-Emilion. In 2010, Jacques Thienpont bought the estate. Thienpont was already known as the owner of the world famous winery Le Pin in Pomerol. As with Le Pin, which means pine tree, once again nature was the inspiration for the name. L'if means yew tree, loosely translated from French. Before the takeover, when it was still owned by Michel Boutet, the estate was called Le Haut-Plantey and its wines were marketed under the name La Bouygue.
At the time of acquisition, the winery covered five hectares of vines. This has gradually increased by another three hectares. The planting consists of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc. This is divided over a number of separate lots. Previously, the plantations also consisted of Cabernet Sauvignon, but these vines have been replaced by Cabernet Franc. The soil consists of limestone with a clay subsoil.
The vinification starts in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. The wine is then pumped into French oak wooden barrels, 50% of which are new. The wine stays there for a period of 12 to 16 months.
The first vintage appeared as early as 2011 and consisted of only 14,000 bottles. Because the Cabernet Sauvignon plots were replanted with Cabernet Franc, some parts of the land lay fallow and only came back into production after a few years. That is why the production numbers from 2014 to about 2020 were low. In 2014, for example, only 6,000 bottles were bottled.
Despite the fact that the winery has only recently started in its current capacity, the wine is certainly a strong contender at the absolute top of Bordeaux! The best vintages of Château L'if are: 2015, 2016 and 2018.Read more