The 2018 Lafleur was picked from 12 to 15 September for the Merlot and 1 to 4 October for the Cabernet Franc. Initially it seems quite reserved on the nose, tightly coiled blackberry and raspberry fruit, fleeting glimpses of black truffle and smoke, a quintessential Lafleur. Like the Les Pensées, subtle blue fruit aromas emerge with time. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, rounded tannins that belie the backbone and density of this Lafleur. I adore the symmetry of this Lafleur. There is beguiling balance and poise, plus an incredibly long tail on the finish, the most tingling with residual spiciness. This is a stunning 2018 from Baptiste Guinaudeau and his team and I anticipate this ending up at the top of my banded score once in bottle. Drink 2026-2060.
|Score: 96/98||Neal Martin, vinous.com, November 2019|
The 2018 Lafleur is a blend of 54% Cabernet Franc harvested on October 1 and 4, with 46% Merlot harvested September 12 and 15. Deep garnet-purple colored, it rocks up charged with energetic iron ore, crushed rocks and scorched earth notes over a core of blueberry compote, Morello cherries, black raspberries and stewed plums plus suggestions of violets, menthol and cardamom. Full-bodied, powerful, opulent and incredibly seductive, the palate is mind blowing with its through-the-roof velvety tannins and bright freshness supporting layer upon drop-dead gorgeous layer of fragrant black fruits, mineral notions and earth, finishing epically long and perfumed.
|Score: 97/100||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019|
The sweetness of fruit in the center palate is incredible with a ripe-plum and currant undertone. Very aromatic already. Full-bodied, tight and compressed with a tannin quality that folds beautifully into the wine. Incredible finish. Such, such power with finesse. Tight but glorious at this stage.
|Score: 100||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019|
The 2018 Lafleur is a stratospherically beautiful, deeply moving wine. A Pomerol of stunning aromatic intensity and depth, Lafleur simply has everything. All the elements come together in a wine that is both rich and yet also remarkably light on its feet. An exotic mélange of blood orange, sage, mint, sweet rose petal and inky red/purplish fruit add explosive energy, leading to a finish of substantial depth and resonance. Stated simply, Lafleur is one of the wines of the vintage. Don't miss it!
|Score: 97/100||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019|
54% Bouchet (local clone of Cabernet Franc, also known as Bouchet Franc or Gros Bouchet), 46% Merlot. Barrel sample.
Darkest crimson. Both spicy and creamy on the nose, and with a cool stony fragrance as well as the delicate but focused black fruits. Darker fruited than many vintages. Silky and papery finesse with dark-red fruit purity and so much charm and finesse in the texture. A touch peppery, very dry, almost chalky, so light and dancing and very long. Open but deceptively so because there is huge ageing potential and depth here. Incredibly lithe. Unique in Bordeaux in its style, finesse and hidden concentration. (JH)
|Score: 18.5||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019|
54% Bouchet (a local and old clone of Cabernet Franc) and 46% Merlot. Deep purple in colour. Exotic, ripe and fleshy on the nose, accented with foral and mineral undertones that add lift and complexity. The palate has mouthfilling structure an rich but finely grained tannins. Unapologetic in structure, this will need at least a decade in bottle before reaching its prime. The fruit at the core is dense and ripe, bursting with cherries but also red summer pudding fruit. Graphite and a mineral edges come through with a hint of struck match, giving a cooling and savoury edge. The Bouchet (Cabernet Franc) is very noticeable and gives a weightless intensity and added delicacy to the structure. Very refined and long, with the moccha of oak already very well integrated, highlighting the clear concentration of fruit at the core. Long with hedgerow fruits on the finish. Superb.
|Score: 18+||Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019|
More deeply colored, the 2018 Lafleur is one heavenly barrel sample that’s certainly going to end up being one of the wines of the vintage. Based on 54% Cabernet Franc and 46% Merlot, all from the gravelly portions of the vineyard, it boasts a massive bouquet of smoked blue fruits, black raspberries, scorched earth, orange blossom, tobacco, and cocoa. Deep, full-bodied, yet weightless and seamless, with a Grand Cru Burgundy-like texture, it has a stacked mid-palate, fine tannins, and a great, great finish. While most wines from the vintage have plenty of upfront appeal, there’s a classic, backward style here that makes me think this will require a solid decade of cellaring.
|Score: 97/99+||Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019|
Another exceptional vintage at Lafleur, with great concentration and intensity, holding back just enough to keep you guessing. The wine is concentrated but creamy and definitely reminiscent of 2016 but with a touch more velvet to the tannins and unlikely to close down as tightly or for as long.
Deep dark chocolate and liquorice notes gently layer up next to succulent black fruits and softer floral notes with the more architectural texture of slate doing its bit to add poise and precision.
Normal yields were recorded as there was no mildew but being Lafleur they don't talk in hl/ha but express that as around 3/4 of a bottle per vine!!
Drinking Window 2026 - 2044
|Score: 98||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2019|
While the oak is massive and the fruit is concentrated, too, there is an amazing amount of harmony already in this wine. Not as black or impenetrable as I might have expected this is a juicy Lafleur with some rounded edges already and this is a great sign for the future. With red fruit leading the way and a long, smooth, savoury, but not tannic, finish, this is a truly suave interpretation of the vintage and I have no doubt that everyone will fall for its charms.
|Score: 19+||Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019|