Baptiste explained that 2015 for him was the return of Merlot to Lafleur. Since his first vintage (2001), every year has been dominated by Cabernet Franc. In 2015 the Cabernets are no less impressive, but the Merlots reached new highs and offer something texturally that we haven't seen in Lafleur before. Produced from 51% Merlot and 49% Cabernet Franc, the bouquet is regal, offering notes of loganberry, spice, sloe, complex minerals, Valrhona chocolate, savoury earthy aromas and mulberry. On the palate it is equally lavish with wonderfully textured fruit - vital, intense, rippling and honed. Black cherry liqueur, cranberry, tayberry; beautifully delineated flavours tease the palate. Although there is a lot of material here, it is an effortless, graceful wine with a saline quality to the fruit and a real sense of tension. The flavours last and develop as the fine china tannins caress the mouth. This is a Lafleur of great stature and complexity, but we will perhaps remember it most for the seductive texture, sumptuous fruit and the effortless charm that the Merlots have provided this year. Wonderful!
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