|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > Pomerol|
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.
The 2020 Lafleur is a blend of 46% Cabernet Franc and 54% Merlot picked September 4–18. Like the Les Pensées, it is initially backward and requires 4–6 minutes’ coaxing. Then it reveals intense black fruit, iris, incense and basalt, very focused and quite serious, somehow restless at being rudely awakened during its élevage. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-boned tannins and superb delineation, weighty in the mouth but paradoxically weightless on the finish. There is superb attack, incredible length and a persistent saline finish. The Cabernet Franc, or Bouchet to give it its proper name in Pomerol, is in full flight in this Lafleur, although it is not as immediate as the 2020 Petrus. But it is certainly one of the appellation's most intellectual offerings and will be fascinating to watch as it ages. Drink 2030-2065.
I was, to be honest, a little unsure of how the gravels here would react to the dry summer but the first hit of graphite and smoky berry fruit makes it clear Lafleur has taken the vintage in its stride. This is an excellent wine, barely showing its potential right now - it's a big year, with knitted-down tannins, serious and powerful, not austere so much as layered, complex and full of hidden energy. The floral aromatics curl up after 10 minutes in the glass, as does bitter chocolate and crushed mint.
Drinking Window 2027 - 2050
54% Merlot, 46% Bouchet (Cabernet Franc). Cask sample.
A great Lafleur and one of the wines of the vintage. Dark and dense on the nose with a chocolate note from the Bouchet (Cabernet Franc) and hint of minerality. Whack of fruit and plentiful but really fine tannin on attack. Initially, broad, dense and full then tightens up and disappears into the distance. Drive and persistence and minerally freshness throughout. Enormous ageing potential. (JL)
Drink 2030 – 2055
(54% M, 46% Bouchet)
Merlot wild-rose herbal character, subtle, spicy, and fresh behind the dense ripe red fruit, a persistent, subtle, heady perfume; immediately on tasting, a great, rich, yet refined and contained balance, effortlessy concentrated, so finely tannic, so fresh, perfect; deep, sweet, silky, and fleshy, yet for all its richness, also a medium-weight impression, of infinite subtle fragrance, energy, and length across the palate, with a great sense of precision, raciness and definition, followed by fabulously ethereal, scented length. All the delicacy and refinement of Lafleur in an also incredibly juicily seductive parcel. An utterly great red wine. All the Guinaudeau wines are beautifully textured, with absolutely no impression of new wood at all. Oak, whether as an aroma or a texture, simply doesn’t enter one’s mind in the Lafleur family! 2035–60+.