2016 Le Thil, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1427428 93 points James Suckling

 Lovely freshness with blackberries, blueberries and hints of herbs. Medium-to full-bodied, full and dense with a beautiful finish. Needs a year or two to soften. Pure Merlot.  (2/2019)

91-93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Unusual for the appellation, this wine is 100% Merlot. Soft and full in the mouth while retaining elegance, it has some tannins but they are nicely integrated with the juicy black fruits. (RV)  (4/2017)

92 points Decanter

 From clay-limestone soils, this has real power with a tug of acidity that takes the palate forwards and drives it upwards. It's firm, full of tension and dynamism, and has good tannic structure. It's put on layers since En primeur, making it less austere, and it has great promise and power, with almost a Pomerol feel to it. The first vintage with Cabernet Franc will come in 2018, but for now this is still 100% Merlot. (JA)  (12/2018)

92 points Vinous

 The 2016 Le Thil, 100% Merlot on clay/limestone, is absolutely delicious. Dark cherry, chocolate, cloves, lavender and menthol infuse this dark, sumptuous Pessac-Léognan. Plush and wonderfully deep, the 2016 hits all the right notes. The 2016 offers serious quality at a very modest price tag. (AG)  (1/2019)

90 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Located just across the street from Smith Haut Lafitte (the same team makes it), the 2016 Château Le Thil comes from more clay and limestone soils and is all Merlot. This medium to full-bodied effort offers a fresh, seamless, elegant character as well as beautiful fruit, notes of leafy herbs and earth, light tannins, and a balanced mouthfeel. It’s an outstanding Graves to drink over the coming 10-15 years.  (2/2019)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2016 Chateau le Thil (Comte Clary), one of the properties owned by Daniel and Florence Cathiard of Smith Haut Lafittte, is 100% Merlot this year since the Cabernet Sauvignon was pulled up and replaced with Cabernet Franc a couple of years ago. The nose is clean and pure, not powerful, with scents of boysenberry jam and crushed strawberry. The palate is medium-bodied with an attractive minerally opening, a little masculine and aloof, but nicely balanced and it builds in the mouth towards quite an elegant mulberry and black plum finish. (NM)  (4/2017)

K&L Notes

90 points Neal Martin for Vinous: "The 2016 Le Thil, which is pure Merlot on clay-limestone soils, has a ripe blueberry and dark plum bouquet that conveys a sense of purity. The palate is smooth in the mouth, easy-drinking and silky in texture. The 30% new oak is very discreet, hints of vanilla emerging toward the spicy finish."

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Price: $25.99

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By: Jacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/19/2019 | Send Email
A very refined wine, with enticing aromatics of cassis, cherries, cocoa, graphite, and coffee. It is medium body with present but agreeable tannins. Approachable and ready to go!

By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/15/2019 | Send Email
This has brambly blackberry and huckleberry fruit flavors along with toasty aromas and a touch of wild black cherry. Scorched earth, dried herb and well integrated ripe tannins round out the mineral laced finish.

Additional Information:



- A very popular red grape variety found in the great wines of St. Emilion and Pomerol. It is the most planted variety in Bordeaux, and it has also become an extremely fashionable red in many regions including California. Although it has a reputation to be smooth, and easy to drink when young, Merlot is also capable of producing extremely intense wines as well. It is often used as a blending agent with Cabernet Sauvignon.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.


Specific Appellation:


- Graves is the large red and white wine region located to the southeast of the city of Bordeaux along the Garonne River. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the red wines from the area, while the whites are mixtures of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The most important area within the Graves is the village of Pessac-Leognan. Most of the great chateaux, including Haut Brion, a premier cru and the only wine outside of the Medoc to be included in the 1855 Classification, are located in this small appellation. Graves derives its name from the rocky, stony terrain of the region. Many people believe that the stony soil radiates the day's heat at night and thus makes the grapes ripen earlier than the other regions in Bordeaux.