Bordeaux 2016: Chateau Lafleur, Pensees de Lafleur and Les Champs Libres

Bordeaux 2016: Chateau Lafleur, Pensees de Lafleur and Les Champs Libres
At times a primeur campaign can be a bit pedestrian, at times it can be frenetic, and then there are moments to savour. This is one such moment. It is with delight that Justerini & Brooks can release the monumental Chateau Lafleur 2016. This was a wine that truly moved us. After a long, hard day’s tasting, the Guinaudeau’s wines tantalized our taste buds and thrilled us with precision, complexity and energy. It was a remarkable portfolio, which culminated in the spectacular Chateau Lafleur. Words cannot do these wines justice.

We have already waxed lyrical about the magnificent Grand Village and Acte. As we progressed up the range, we were dazzled by the purity of the ethereal Pensées de Lafleur. The Grand Vin is very grand indeed. It is a statuesque beauty with haunting high-toned notes and a deep underlying power. The 2016 Lafleur is quite a different beast to the 2015, but as Baptiste says, ‘it looks the 2015 in the eyes’. It may one day outgrow its older sibling – it is one of the most handsome and profound wines of the vintage and must rank amongst the truly great wines produced from this legendary terroir.

Where does one go after that? One might ask. Indeed, we had reached an apex with Lafleur. The Guinaudeau’s Les Champs Libres was the obvious choice. Produced from the finest terroirs at Grand Village, planted with Sancerre clones, Les Champs Libres is quite possibly the most interesting white wine being produced in Bordeaux today. The combination of Bordeaux soils, an open-minded philosophy, Loire Sauvignon Blanc vines, fermented and aged in new Taransaud barrels creates a white with laser like precision and the most wonderful intensity. It is quite unlike anything else we taste in Bordeaux, and we love it!

‘The 2016 Lafleur is a blend of 45% Merlot and 55% Cabernet Franc picked 24-30 September and 11 October, matured in one-third new oak and around 14.3% alcohol. It has a very backward bouquet that demanded a lot of coaxing from the glass. Here there are introspective black fruit, a touch of shucked oyster shell and Japanese nori, opening reluctantly with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a saline entry, spicier than the 2015 Lafleur when I tasted it from barrel last year, edgy and minerally with a touch of truffle towards the persistent finish. This is a cerebral and yet vivacious Lafleur at this prenatal stage, a great Pomerol that will require a decade in bottle. Baptiste Guinaudeau appeared quietly confident about this latest vintage and he has every right to be. Do afford it plenty of cellaring, though, as it's not a 2016 to appease those without patience. 96-98/100’. – Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate

‘This is a young wine that just kicks off at the end with fantastic depth of fruit and intensity. Full-bodied, yet very tight and closed at first. Compact and powerful. Incredible power and structure. 99/100’. - James Suckling,

We expect Lafleur and Pensees de Lafleur to be oversubscribed. Please register your interest with your Account Manager or through our website and your request will be submitted to our allocation process.

Please note that there is currently no stock available