Nicolas Thienpont may have come from some money, but the reputation he has built in his nearly forty years of winemaking, vineyard management and talent scouting has nothing to do with that. Sure, when Thienpont was getting started, it helped to have his parents purchase Chateau Puygueraud and put him in charge of winemaking duties.
But just because Nicolas had a leg (or two) up doesn’t explain his love and passion for wine, or explain why Chateau Pavie Macquin asked him a few years later to be their winemaker after seeing his success at Puygueraud and Château Laclaverie, the winery he started after he bought a few acres from his father’s vineyards at Puygueraud to start his own thing. It also doesn’t explain how in 1984, he recognized a talented young vineyard worker named Stéphane Derenoncourt and offered him a job underneath him at Pavie Macquin. Turns out, that guy can make wine.
Thienpoint would go on to make wine at Beausejour Duffau Lagarosse, Larcis Ducasse and Puygueraud for many years, but the one place that is the most special to him is his very own, “Chateau La Prade” which he bought in 2000, recognizing the unbelievable value in the Cotes de Bordeaux region before anyone else, and cashing in on an incredible property, with a limestone plateau ladened into the hillsides.
Armed with enough experience to last a lifetime, the perfect hand-selected property (that has since then gone up more than 30 times in value!), and winemaking abilities second to none, Nicolas consistently churns out succulent, juicy reds that critics and consumers alike adore.
In what is turning out to be a fantastic 2018 vintage in Bordeaux, it’s no surprise that Thienpont’s Chateau La Prade was awarded triple 93 point scores from Decanter, Parker’s Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator.
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91-93+ Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
The deep garnet-purple colored 2018 La Prade delivers pronounced baked cherries, mulberries and blackberry pie scents with nuances of rose hip tea, iron ore and fragrant earth. Full-bodied and richly fruited with loads of earth and floral sparks, it has a plush, velvety frame and provocative lift to the finish.
90-93 Points, Wine Spectator
Quite ripe, with dark plum and boysenberry notes, but this is focused, offering subtle spice and tobacco hints on the finish. Tasty and should be a great value.
93 Points, Decanter
This is great value here from a property that’s almost all on the limestone plateau whereas sibling estate Puygueraud has more clay in its soils, and you feel it in the different expressions of the vintage in both wines. In this one you get a touch more chalk and lightness to the tannins, a touch more salinity on the finish, and it’s altogether a fruit-forward but succulent and supple wine. Drinking Window 2021 – 2032