Lafleur 2017

RegionBordeaux
SubregionPomerol
ColourRed
TypeStill

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. The vineyard totals 4.5ha, with 0.69ha going to a second wine, Les Pensées de Lafleur. The vineyard is roughly half-and-half Merlot and Cabernet Franc.


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Tasting Notes

I tasted many superb 2017s, but only a few that are viscerally thrilling and emotional. The 2017 Lafleur is one of a handful of wines that ascends into the stratosphere. Rich and exotically beautiful, the 2017 possesses off-the-charts intensity, tremendous aromatic depth and an impossibly long finish. A rush of dark plum, licorice, leather and mocha leaves the last impression in a wine I can only describe as: eternal. The 2017 spent about nine months in oak, 30% new. It is a towering achievement from the Guinaudeau family and their trusted associate, Omri Ram. If you can find it, buy it. And please invite me over sometime to share it with you! 2027 - 2057

Score: 100Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, March 2020

The 2017 Lafleur is very deep, almost opaque in colour. This has a very intense bouquet that clearly shrugs of any risk of frost to produce copious black fruit laced with white pepper, clove, truffle and crushed stone. It actually seems to close in a little with aeration instead of opening up. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins, very fresh and certainly very mineral-driven. A pixelated but "serious" finish suggests as usual, this is a long-term Pomerol. Baptiste Guinaudeau has overseen one of the wines of the vintage. 2026 - 2060.

Score: 97Neal Martin, vinous.com, February 2020

The 2017 Lafleur was picked 8 to 12 September and 28 and 29 September for the Merlot and Cabernet Franc respectively. It has a very impressive bouquet, frankly, one of the best that I have encountered in Pomerol, perhaps on the Right Bank. Despite the higher proportion of Cabernet Franc, the Merlot is more expressive with black cherries, a touch of cassis, sea spray and a hint of iodine. It just gains intensity with every swirl of the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with firm but fine tannin, layers of black and red fruit mixed with white pepper, sage and a slight ferrous note towards the persistent finish. This is an awesome 2017 from Baptiste Guinaudeau, one of the few that will oblige several years in the cellar. Drink 2025 - 2055.

Score: 95/97Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2018

Composed of 52% Cabernet Franc and 48% Merlot, the 2017 Lafleur displays a deep garnet-purple color. It slowly unfurls in the glass to reveal a profound nose of plum preserves, mulberries, boysenberries and licorice with nuances of grilled meats, black truffles, cast-iron pan and crushed rocks plus fragrant wafts of cinnamon stick and violets. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is charged with fantastically energetic black and blue fruits, framed by super-ripe, finely grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with epic length. At this stage of the game, qualitatively the 2017 Lafleur is one to two ticks short of where the 2015 and 2016 vintages are. This said, I'm anticipating there are a lot of latent nuances here waiting to emerge, snuggly filling this substantial structure over the next decade. It should be quite delicious in 6-8 years, but I'd give it 10-15 at least for maximum impact.

Score: 98+Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (March 2020), March 2020

Lafleur’s 2017 Merlot came in just before the rain. Cellar Master Omri Ram commented, “The 2017 Merlot was very similar to the 2015. With the Cabernet Franc, we waited; we were patient, and it came in ripe yet more fresh than the Merlot.” As it turns out, that combo of the wonderfully decadent Merlot and the galvanizing Cabernet Franc are just magic! Blended of 47% Merlot and 53% Cabernet Franc, the 2017 Lafleur has a medium to deep garnet-purple color and opens with a positively electric intensity of red and black fruits—cherries, black plums, red currants, black raspberries and mulberries—with touches of roses, cinnamon stick, smoked meats and forest floor plus a hint of truffles. Medium to full-bodied with densely packed layers of red and black fruits accented by floral and earthy sparks, it possesses very firm, very finely pixelated tannins and a lively backbone, finishing with epic persistence.

Score: 97/100Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (236), April 2018

OMG. What a glorious wine on the nose with aromas of blackberries, black licorice, ink and blood-oranges. Full-bodied, tight and powerful with compact tannins that cascade across the palate, giving this incredible structure and length that makes it seem to go on for ever. Titanium and graphite flavors. Super length. Half merlot and half cabernet franc. Try after 2025.

Score: 99James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, January 2020

A structured and muscular red with blackberry, dark-chocolate and mineral character. Violet undertones. Very tight and tannic. Full-bodied, extremely closed and concentrated. Steely.

Score: 97/98James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2018

The 2017 Lafleur is without question one of the wines of the vintage on the Right Bank. Dense powerful and structured, the 2017 is all class. Given the wine's richness, I was not surprised to learn that the berries were even smaller in 2017 than they were in either 2016 or 2015. Powerful, explosive and beautifully layered, the 2017 simply has it all. What a wine. This is a tremendous showing from the Guinaudeau family.

Score: 95/98Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2018

Very dark. Darkly fragrant. Incredibly pure cassis nose and just a touch of graphite/mineral dustiness. Super-elegant fine tannins, more dark charm than Les Pensées. Paper-fine texture slides across the palate in delicate persistence. Layers of paper giving embryonic complexity. Gorgeous. Utterly refined. Incredibly long.
Drink 2027-2040

Score: 18.5Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2018

A deep purple colour. The palate is pure and bright, with dense but fresh black fruits, violets and a lick of sweet vanilla. The palate has great intensity, with the core of black fruit unfurling notes of milk chocolate, sweet vanilla and moccha. The tannins are rich and moutcoating, but do not dominate the fruit which has great persistence on a long, refined finish. One of the best 2017s we have tasted.

Score: 17.5+Farr Vintners, April 2018

The more gravelly soils of Lafleur have responded beautifully this year, expressing a real creaminess and density to the black fruits. There's a clear Cabernet Franc edge to the nose and to the attack on the palate, with a corresponding austerity and tightness to the tannins and a slightly chewy finish. There's a sense of momentum as the acidity rises through the palate, and it certainly has some of the power and sense of confident elegance of the 2016 vintage here. They avoided most of the frost damage here, and so were able to harvest the Merlots before the rain, between 8-12 September, and waited until 28-29 September for the Cabernets.
Drinking Window 2026 - 2040

Score: 95Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2018

Lovely and plush this is an indulgent wine with layer upon layer of fresh fruit and it is exotically scented with sweet spices and leather, which gives the whole experience a rather juicy and attractive sheen. There is little aggression on the finish even though the tannins are firm, and it will age very well in spite of being one the most forward vintages for a long while.

Score: 18.5+Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2018

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.