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Lafleur 2016

Grape VarietyMerlot/Cabernet Franc

One of Bordeaux's biggest name "cult wines". Tiny production levels and a long pedigree of great quality ensure that collectors fight for an allocation every year despite the high prices.

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Tasting Notes

The 2016 Lafleur is blended of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot grown mainly on gravel over clay. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the nose begins by slowly releasing gorgeous, beguiling scents of truffles, black soil, crushed rocks and smoked meats, giving way to a beautiful perfume of red roses, dark chocolate-covered cherries, oolong tea and lavender with wafts of cigar box and iron ore. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is completely coated with taut, tightly wound yet ethereally weighted layers of earth, mineral and perfumed black fruits, firmly fixed by very fine-grained tannins and great freshness, finishing very long and incredibly fragrant. Drink 2025 - 2068.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (Interim), November 2018

The 2016 Lafleur is a deeply serious Pomerol that is going to need considerable cellaring. Almost opaque in the glass, it has an almost overwhelmingly intense bouquet of blackberry, oyster shell and touches of graphite; quite strict, just as it showed at en primeur, and utterly compelling. The palate is medium-bodied with edgy tannin. A typically masculine Lafleur delivering firm grip, a lot of backbone and depth, wonderful mineralité and a persistent saline finish with the length of War and Peace. Cellar this Lafleur for at least 15 years if you want to witness it firing on all cylinders. Drink 2030-2080.

Neal Martin, vinous.com (Jan 2019), January 2019

The 2016 Lafleur is an eternal, complete wine in which everything just seems to fall into place naturally. Creamy and voluptuous in the glass, with exceptional balance, the 2016 possesses superb textural intensity allied to soaring aromatics. Strong Cabernet Franc signatures give the wine brilliante and layers of saline-infused energy. Rose petal, mint, crushed flowers and dark red fruits abound, but it is the wine's total sense of completeness that is most astounding today. "I have to say, 2016 came totally out of the blue," Baptiste Guinadeau commented. "In 2010 and 2015 we had a pretty good idea of the kind of wines we were going to make during the growing season but in 2016 we really had no clue until harvest approached. It was only then that we started to get a sense of how the wines might turn out." Drink 2026-2066.

Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, January 2019

The 2016 Lafleur has a perfumed, floral bouquet of red cherries, raspberry, rose petals and incense, almost Burgundian in personality. Understated compared to its peers, but utterly graceful. The lightly spiced palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, revealing plenty of brown spice and cedar notes toward what feels like an almost Left Bank finish. Before its identity was revealed, I speculated that it might be Figeac! Not a million miles away, and in any case, this is outstanding. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting. 2030 - 2080

Neal Martin, vinous.com, August 2020

The 2016 Lafleur is a blend of 45% Merlot and 55% Cabernet Franc picked 24-30 September and 11 October, matured in one-third new oak and around 14.3% alcohol. It has a very backward bouquet that demanded a lot of coaxing from the glass. Here there are introspective black fruit, a touch of shucked oyster shell and Japanese nori, opening reluctantly with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a saline entry, spicier than the 2015 Lafleur when I tasted it from barrel last year, edgy and minerally with a touch of truffle towards the persistent finish. This is a cerebral and yet vivacious Lafleur at this prenatal stage, a great Pomerol that will require a decade in bottle. Baptiste Guinaudeau appeared quietly confident about this latest vintage and he has every right to be. Do afford it plenty of cellaring, though, as it's not a 2016 to appease those without patience. Drink 2026 - 2060.

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230), April 2017
Read more tasting notes...

The texture of this wine is so memorable. The incredible tannins are so fine and creamy that they envelop both your mouth and your mind. The wine is full-bodied yet ethereal and balanced with incredibly energy and character. The flavors just keep on changing, from cherries and currants to truffles and earth. Some brick and terracotta, too. Fresh throughout with complete clarity. Great structure, yet creamy and light. Try after 2024.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2019

This is a young wine that just kicks off at the end with fantastic depth of fruit and intensity. Full-bodied, yet very tight and closed at first. Compact and powerful. Incredible power and structure.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2017

There is not much to say about the 2016 Lafleur except that it is stunning. A Pomerol of extraordinary purity and finesse, the 2016 simply has it all. Cabernet Franc-inflected flavors pulse with energy in a vivid, sculpted wine that dazzles. Even with all of its aromatic and flavor explosiveness, the 2016 remains supremely graceful. Hints of rose petal, sweet herb and mint add the final shades of nuance. Readers will have to be patient with the 2016, but it is a jewel of a wine. Proprietor Baptiste Guinaudeau is among the growers who cited the small size of the berries, about 30% smaller than normal here, as one of the characteristics of the vintage.

Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2017

Deep crimson. Deeper and more concentrated than Pensées but less immediately seductive on the nose therefore. Very rich and sweet on the palate. Very rich and ripe. Velvety texture. Nervy too. Easy to see the Cabernet Franc here. Massive fruit over the tannins. Liquorice. Some violets and exotic notes. Really quite serious. Dense and a wine to have a conversation with. Minerally finish.
Drink 2028-2045

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2017

One of Bordeaux's biggest name "cult wines". Tiny production levels and a long pedigree of great quality ensure that collectors fight for an allocation every year despite the high prices. Not tasted En Primeur.

Farr Vintners, February 2017

A thrill a minute as well as one of the most singular, exotic, elegant wines in the vintage, the 2016 Château Lafleur is a blend of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot that’s only from the choice lots of estate vineyard. Brought up in one-third new French oak, this saturated ruby/purple-colored effort offers heavenly notes of raspberries, blueberries, camphor, dried flowers, and ground herbs, and it has a Grand Cru Burgundy-like complexity and elegance. Full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, ultra-pure, and seamless, it has flawless balance as well as a monster finish. Haute couture at its finest, this is a magical wine to drink over the coming 3-4 decades. Drink 2019-2059.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, March 2019

Always one of the most refined and nuanced wines in Bordeaux, this is just a whisker away from perfection in 2016. Fresh, scented and alluring, with fine-boned tannins, silky, palatecaressing fruit flavours, bright acidity and stylish oak integration. 2026-38

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2017

Lafleur manages to deliver extremely ripe fruits without being in the slightest bit sweet. You could almost be on the left bank if it wasn't for the silkiness of the tannins and the floral aspect on the aftertaste. Cabernet dominates at this stage, a gorgeous, sappy wine with huge, dense curls of liquorice and anis that spiral through the mouth as this wine stretches endlessly out in front of you. Layers of flavour change every minute; first coffee and black chocolate, then tightly fleshed out black fruits, then some Pomerol glamour. Hard to wipe the smile off your face when tasting this! 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot. 98-100 points.

Drinking Window 2027 - 2050

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2017
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.