Baptiste Guinadeau described 2012 as an ‘exciting, interesting vintage, a vintage of three parts'. A wet spring and early summer which 'replenished and liberated' the soils after three years of drought. There was a risk of mildew, so lots of work was required in the vineyard, but they knew that the 'balance of the vintage could change quickly', and it did. The summer was dry and hot with 46 days without rain; this really helped maturity. The weather changed again in October and became cold and wet for the harvest. Produced from 46% Merlot harvested in one day on the 23rd of September and 54% of Cabernet Franc picked on the 6th of October. The 2012 Lafleur is much less brooding than previous years and possesses a bit more joie de vivre. Complex, sumptuous, decadent bouquet of flowers, crème de mûre, vanilla, pepper, spiced cassis interspersed with bright red berry fruit. The fruit profile on the palate is darker than the Pensees and there is still the serious, intellectual Lafleur character. There is sumptuous, velvety fruit all the way to the long, smoky, dark chocolate finish. Beautiful balance.
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