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Lafleur 2021

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > Pomerol
Grape VarietyMerlot/Cabernet Franc

One of Bordeaux's biggest name "cult wines". Founded by Henri Greluod in 1872, the 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 3.75ha, with a further 0.69ha going to the second wine, Les Pensées de Lafleur. The vineyard is roughly half-and-half Merlot and Cabernet Franc - called Bouchet here due to the heritage of the cuttings used. The Guinaudeau family, heirs of Greloud, have had full control of the property since 2002, when they bought out their cousins.

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Tasting Notes

The 2021 Lafleur has turned out brilliantly in bottle, unfurling in the glass with aromas of mulberries and raspberries mingled with complex top notes of mint, rose petals, exotic spices, licorice, blood orange and iris. Medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, it's polished and suave, with an enveloping core of sweet, pure fruit framed by ripe tannins, concluding with a long, perfumed finish. It's a blend of 52% Cabernet Franc and 48% Merlot. Drink 2027-2065.

William Kelley, RobertParker.com, February 2023

The 2021 Lafleur has an outstanding bouquet, brilliantly delineated with dense black fruit, melted tar, black olive and a touch of Japanese nori. It seems to grow in the glass, thumbing its nose at the supposed "challenging" growing season. The palate is medium-bodied with much more cohesion and concentration than its peers, exquisite balance, a keen thread of acidity and a precise and persistent finish. This is a strong contender for the wine of the vintage, perhaps vying with L'Eglise-Clinet.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, November 2023

The 2021 is 52% Bouchet (a local name for local old strains of Cabernet Franc) and 48% Merlot. The former was harvested on 2nd October, with the latter picked from 17th to 24th September. The Guinaudeau family believe the vintage conditions highlighted "the inherent qualities of the different terroirs and the different winegrowers who labour them". The stony, gravelly soils used for the Grand Vin have more in common with Pauillac than the rest of Pomerol, their free-draining nature certainly advantageous in such a wet year. Deep purple in colour with an easy ripeness offering blue fruit, black cherry, woody herbs and an earthy smokiness. The palate is effortlessly intense, with highly refined tannins gently coating the core of fruit in the middle. More blueberry and violet tones come through, together with green spices and cherry blossom that is accented by the vibrant acidity. Tightening to the finish, this is a deep Lafleur, full of dark chocolate, coffee and spice on the finish. Very impressive.

Thomas Parker MW, Farr Vintners, April 2022

Woooow! This really rolls off the palate and goes on and on, Full-bodied and so long. Sweet and sour. Cherries, currants. Orange peel. Thought-provokingly energetic. Defines youthful sophistication.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2022

The 2021 Lafleur is a blend of 52% Cabernet Franc, harvested on 2 October, and 48% Merlot, harvested on 17 and 24 September. It prances out of the glass with carefree, showy scents of redcurrant preserves, black raspberries, and rose oil, followed by suggestions of chocolate covered cherries, crushed rocks, graphite, and tree bark. Medium-bodied, the palate has firm, very ripe, very finely grained tannins with amazing tension supporting the intense red and black fruit layers, finishing long and achingly fragrant.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, May 2022

Takes its time, holds itself back, then hugs the palate, keeps its grip on your taste buds. Liqourice, iris, tobacco, violet, cassis and spiced plum, with traces of white pepper, tomato leaf and a curl of gunsmoke, full of sculpted tannins. This will take a few years reach its peak, as it runs against the usual feel of the vintage. Harvest September 17 to October 2. No chaptilisation. 12 nights of frost risk in 2021 but they successfully battled it and it is fairly similar to a normal year in terms of yield.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, March 2024

52% Bouchet (Cabernet Franc), 48% Merlot. Cask sample.
Exceptional density for the vintage. As usual restrained, although there is a floral nuance. Fruit-filled palate but with freshness and balance as well. Big tannic frame with imposing but polished tannins. Clearly the potential to age. (JL) 13.5%
Drink 2030 – 2050

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com, May 2022
Read more tasting notes...

The Guinaudeau family's mantra is to "never submit to the vintage," and in 2021 that meant 10 sleepless nights of frost protection and a growing season that required quick reactions to perform the necessary treatments without neglecting the other important viticultural tasks of the year. The reward is the profound 2021 Lafleur, a brilliant blend of 52% Cabernet Franc and 48% Merlot that wafts from the glass with aromas of wild berries, violets, rose petals, vine smoke and black truffle. Full-bodied, layered and seamless, it's deep and penetrating, with superb concentration and beautifully refined structuring tannins, concluding with a long, resonant finish. A monument in the making, I wouldn't be surprised to see it transcend my bracketed score when revisited in bottle.

William Kelley, Wine Advocate (260), April 2022

The 2021 Lafleur was picked 17 and 24 September for the Merlot and on 2 October for the Bouchets (to give Cabernet Franc its proper name in these parts). It has a very focused bouquet with dark berry fruit, crushed rock, iris flower and just a touch of blue fruit. The palate is silky smooth on the entry with a fine bead of acidity. Beautifully-balanced, conveying palpable energy, this is cool, calm and collected on the finish, brushing off the hurdles of the growing season like water off a duck's back. Baptiste and Julie Guinaudeau have conjured not just one of the finest Pomerols of 2021, but one of the finest Bordeaux wines.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2022

Inky and nuanced plum in colour, deep and complex aromatics of violets and earthy tobacco, this is a serious wine with fresh acidities and a sense of clarity, purity of fruit, translucence - characteristics that are hard to capture in a solar vintage, and give something to celebrate in a cooler climate year. The density in the tannic structure is hidden, reserved, accentuating a lot of the qualities that you find in Lafleur in a normal year. Unfurls slowly, Cabernet Franc dominant with a curl of gunsmoke that whips through the palate, tomato leaf and redcurrant and only slowly widens to show a fleshier Merlot character. Harvest September 17 to October 2. No chaptilisation.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, April 2022
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.