Château Lafleur, Pomerol, 2017

  Château Lafleur

Last year Lafleur was our clear wine of the vintage. The 2017 is not quite so clear cut, but it is without doubt another immense effort from the Guinaudeau team. At the time of the primeur tastings, the Pensees was more expressive and at first impressions more impressive, but with coaxing and reflection this reveals its class. Produced from 53% Cabernet Franc and 47% Merlot this is a much more introspective, reserved style. The aromatic profile is regal with pure loganberry, raspberry and detailed açaí and alpine strawberry. The palate is equally refined with delightful boysenberry and seductive crème de cassis interspersed with notes of sandalwood, spice and Morello cherry. It is a sensational wine, but whereas the 2016 was kaleidoscopic at this stage, this is reticent and quite discrete. Texturally it's complete with layers of impressive fruit, stony minerals, fine boned tannins coated in luxurious fruit. This has real precision and poise; we fully expect this muscular Lafleur to develop into something truly special.

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.