Château Lafleur, Pomerol, 2009

  Château Lafleur

There is little doubt that in 2009 St Emilion and Pomerol have enjoyed extraordinary success with both Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Most estates are at pains to say it is either a Merlot or a Cabernet Franc vintage. Alexandre Thienpont from Vieux Chateau Certan refers to 2009 as a `reference` Merlot vintage, whilst his neighbour Cheval Blanc and Angelus have used higher proportions of Cabernet Franc than usual. Tasting with the Guinaudeaus is always a pleasure, and here we found a wine that is utterly harmonious with equally good Merlots and Cabernets. The final blend is 47% Merlot and 53% Cabernet Franc, and the result is a wine that perfectly marries charm and power. A really intellectual Lafleur, with notes of wonderfully high toned griotte cherries, stones and liquorice. This has sensational purity and definition of flavour. The 2009 Lafleur is vibrant, with incredible energy and long ripe flavours of cherries, chocolates and minerals. There is a lovely sappy, refreshing quality too; a beautifully balanced wine of complexity and class, power and precision - an effortless and graceful Lafleur.
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"An absolutely prodigious blend of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot, the 2009 Lafleur displays the tell-tale characteristics of this great estate. Kirsch liqueur, licorice and floral notes are intermixed with raspberry in a very full-bodied, super-intense, opulent and multi-dimensional style. Extraordinarily dense and pure, but not heavy by any means, the intensity, texture, and richness of the 2009 Lafleur are reminiscent of the perfect 1982. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2040." 99/100 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #199

Contains Sulphites.

About Château Lafleur

If Le Pin caresses your heart and Ausone is a wine that gently stimulates every nerve in the body, Château Lafleur is THE wine that engages the mind. The term "intellectual" is often attached to this unique Pomerol property, not because it is overly highbrow, but because it is a wine that is so thought provoking. Deep, meaningful, and cerebral, softly spoken yet intense, it stands alone amongst the great names of the right bank. Usually produced from about 55% Cabernet Franc and the balance Merlot, and only ever given a maximum one third new oak, the miniscule 1000 cases production is the stuff of collectors and connoisseurs’ dreams. It is a wine of enormous depth and intensity fashioned from some of Pomerol's most exceptional and unique terroir.

The chateau has been in the same family since its inception in 1872 – Baptiste is the great great great grandson of Henri Greloud, its founder. Jacques and Sylvie and their three children have been the exclusive owners since 2001, although they had previously been leasing the vineyards following the death of Therese Robin in 1984. Since their arrival there has been an even more quality focussed approach to all aspects of viticulture and vinification. Few winemakers can speak about their terroir with such knowledge. After the first full geological survey in 1999, Jacques decided to change Pensees de Lafleur from a traditional ‘second wine’ into a separate Cru. It was this understanding of their vineyard and particularly the geological fault that runs diagonally through vineyard that is missing much of the gravel content that makes Lafleur so unique. These clay dominated soils are better suited to Merlot and fashion a more ‘traditional’ style of Pomerol.

There have been many exceptional wines made throughout the last century, however, it is really only recently that the Guinaudeaus have received the plaudits they so richly deserve. The team is aided by Jean Claude Berrouet, the former winemaker at Petrus. They only utilise natural fertilizers, yields are low and they practice a less-is-more attitude when it comes to vinifications; they let their terroir speak through, and the results are simply astonishing.

Appellation: Pomerol

Pomerol’s Merlot-dominated wines at their best are rich, seductive and silky. For hundreds of years Pomerol was considered as nothing but a satellite district of neighbouring St-Émilion to the east, and it was not really until not until the 1950s that Pomerol started its meteoric rise led by Château Petrus. By far the most dominant merchants in the region are Jean-Pierre Moueix who own or distribute the majority of the finest properties in Pomerol, the most renowned being Petrus.

Pomerol's finest wines originate from the highest parts of the plateau, which is predominantly gravel and clay, with an iron rich subsoil called crasse de fer.
Apparently as important in fashioning wines that are plump, voluptuous, and richly Merlot dominates plantings dramatically, though the notable exception is Vieux Château Certan, nearly half of their estate is devoted Cabernet Franc. Pomerol has no no official classification, but its small scale wines fetch some of the greatest prices for wine in the world. The regions greatest names are Pétrus, Lafleur, Certan de May, Hosanna, La Fleur de Gay, L'Église-Clinet, Le Pin, La Conseillante, Trotanoy, , L'Évangile, Latour-à-Pomerol, and Vieux-Ch-Certan

Grape Blend: Cab. Franc | Merlot

Cabernet Franc with its unique herb infused red berry fragrance, on the cooler, clay soils of the Right Bank of Bordeaux adds backbone to many of the Merlot-dominated St Emilions and Pomerols. It's acidity and complexity play the perfect foil to Merlot's sweet, supple juicy flavours. There are a small number of outstanding Cabernet Franc-based blends on the right bank, the most sought after being Cheval Blanc, Le Dôme, Angelus and Vieux Château Certan.