2011 Ch. Lafleur, Pomerol

2011 Ch. Lafleur, Pomerol

Red, For laying down   Red | For laying down | Chateau Lafleur | Code: 11907 | 2011 | France > Bordeaux > Pomerol | Merlot | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 14.0 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

DECANTER

18.5/20

PARKER

92-94/100

WS

88-91/100

DECANTER - Serious wine made, as usual, with precision. 53% Cabernet Franc. Dense and restrained on the nose with a hint of chocolate. Layered, long and linear palate - structured for ageing. On a par with the 2008.
5/5 Stars -Decanter – Bordeaux 2011 coverage – April 2012

PARKER - This tiny jewel of a property has produced a beautifully rich 2011 Lafleur from a blend of 53% Cabernet Franc and 47% Merlot. The Merlot was picked between August 31 and September 12, and the Cabernet Franc between September 22-23. The 2011 reveals a floral-scented bouquet with notions of kirsch, licorice and black raspberries. It is medium to full-bodied with terrific fruit purity, good minerality and slightly more acidity and freshness than are found in such ripe vintages as 2009 and 2010. At present, the Guinandeau family, the owners, are using between 50-60% new oak in an attempt to emphasize their great terroir and the extraordinary fruit quality they achieve from both the old vine Cabernet Franc and Merlot. This cuvee possesses some serious tannin and will undoubtedly need 5-6 years of cellaring after its release, but it should be one of the longer-lived wines of the vintage, lasting 25+ years.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - April 2012

WS - Offers sweet, high-toned blueberry and plum fruit with toasted spice and a nice fleshy feel through the finish. It's not deep, but nicely rendered.
Wine Spectator's 2011 Top-Scoring Red Bordeaux
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, April 10, 2012

The Story

Chateau Lafleur

Producer

Chateau Lafleur

Château Lafleur is A tiny 4.5-hectare Pomerol property located opposite Pétrus and producing wines of comparable quality. Lafleur is owned and run by Sylvie and Jacques Guinadeau. Its vineyards are situated on the gravel-rich Pomerol plateau and adjoin those of La Fleur-Pétrus. The soils here are particularly deep and are enriched by deposits of potassium and iron. Only natural fertilisers are used and yields are painfully low, even by Pomerol standards.

Lafleur's wine is typically a blend of Merlot (50%) and Cabernet Franc (50%). It is aged in small oak barrels (50% new) for 18 months. Wines from Lafleur display a spectacularly intense perfume (partly attributable to the high percentage of Cabernet Franc in the blend) and display layers and layers of concentrated, black fruits, minerals, tobacco spices and creamy liquorice on the palate. The best vintages can last for up to 50 years.

Grape

Merlot

Merlot

The most widely planted grape in Bordeaux and a grape that has been on a relentless expansion drive throughout the world in the last decade. Merlot is adaptable to most soils and is relatively simple to cultivate. It is a vigorous naturally high yielding grape that requires savage pruning - over-cropped Merlot-based wines are dilute and bland. It is also vital to pick at optimum ripeness as Merlot can quickly lose its varietal characteristics if harvested overripe.

In St.Emilion and Pomerol it withstands the moist clay rich soils far better than Cabernet grapes, and at it best produces opulently rich, plummy clarets with succulent fruitcake-like nuances. Le Pin, Pétrus and Clinet are examples of hedonistically rich Merlot wines at their very best. It also plays a key supporting role in filling out the middle palate of the Cabernet-dominated wines of the Médoc and Graves.

Merlot is now grown in virtually all wine growing countries and is particularly successful in California, Chile and Northern Italy.

Region

Pomerol

Pomerol is the smallest of Bordeaux's major appellations, with about 150 producers and approximately 740 hectares of vineyards. It is home to many bijou domaines, many of which produce little more than 1,000 cases per annum.

Both the topography and architecture of the region is unremarkable, but the style of the wines is most individual. The finest vineyards are planted on a seam of rich clay which extends across the gently-elevated plateau of Pomerol, which runs from the north-eastern boundary of St Emilion. On the sides of the plateau, the soil becomes sandier and the wines lighter.

For a long time Pomerol was regarded as the poor relation of St Emilion, but the efforts of Jean-Pierre Moueix in the mid-20th century brought the wine to the attention of more export markets, where its fleshy, intense and muscular style found a willing audience, in turn leading to surge in prices led by the demand for such limited quantities.

There is one satellite region to the immediate north, Lalande-de-Pomerol whose wines are stylistically very similar, if sometimes lacking the finesse of its neighbour. There has never been a classification of Pomerol wines.

Recommended Châteaux : Ch. Pétrus, Vieux Ch. Certan, Le Pin, Ch. L’Eglise-Clinet, Ch. La Conseillante, Ch. L’Evangile, Ch. Lafleur, Trotanoy, Ch. Nenin, Ch. Beauregard, Ch. Feytit-Clinet, Le Gay.

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