Baptiste Guinaudeau referred to 2011 as an 'outsiders vintage... and not too far away from 2009 and 2010'. He went to on to explain that 'gentle winemaking was very important as the danger was to be too dry'. After the drought, berries were minute at time of harvest, so the ratio of skins to juice was high, giving the potential for extraordinary colours and massive tannins. Although there were well documented rains in August, this didn't cause any dilution or rot issues. Yields were similar to 2010, with 33hl/ha achieved. Malos were quite long, only finishing in January. The final blend is made from 47% Merlot harvested between the 31st of August and the 12th of September and 53% Cabernet Franc picked on the 22nd and 23rd of September; the 2011 Lafleur is a splendid achievement. Typically brooding, masculine and serious, this is a powerful, complex Pomerol that will require patience. There is masses of substance here and a wonderful texture too. Intense, intellectual, dense and vivid, yet this has a sweetness and a charm to its dark fruit core that makes it more accessible and friendly than most Lafleurs at this stage. A wonderful wine.
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 hard to adequately describe. Deep, meaningful, and cerebral, softly spoken yet intense, it stands alone amongst the great names of the right bank. Made up of over 65% Cabernet Franc and only ever given a maximum 1/3 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 terroir.
Sylvie and Jacques Guinaudeau have been the exclusive owners since 2001, although the estate has been in the family from 1872. 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. Although it sounds like a contradiction, the Guinaudeaus are perfectionist winemakers with a very laissez-faire attitude. They only utilise natural fertilizers, yields are painfully low, they don't practice leaf thinning and lots of other trendy winemaking practices; they let their terroir speak through, and the results are astonishing.
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