2010 Château Lafleur, Pomerol, Bordeaux
Neal Martin - 01/03/2017
Jancis Robinson MW- jancis robinson.com, Apr 2011
James Molesworth – The Wine Spectator – Apr 2011
96+ Robert Parker- Wine Advocate- Feb 2013
This tiny estate, run by the Guinaudeau family, has produced a 2010 Lafleur with the highest percentage of Cabernet Franc that they believe the estate has ever used (62% Cabernet Franc and the rest Merlot). An intense wine with sweet tannin, a dark ruby purple color, and pure black raspberry and cherry fruit, as well as hints of crushed rock and underlying subtle floral notes, the oak (which is never more than one-third) is completely concealed by the wine-s intensity. In spite of its power, great texture, and richness, the overall impression is one of elegance and freshness. The tannins seems sweet, but I suspect this wine will shut down and not be drinkable for at least 7-8 years but keep for 30-40.
95-98 Robert Parker- Wine Advocate- May 2011
About this WINE
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Tasted blind as a vintage comparison at the Valandraud vertical, the 2010 Lafleur put in an absolutely no holds barred astonishing performance. Lafleur is wont to improve in bottle and this is certainly the case apropos the 2010. It has a boisterous ripe blackberry, cranberry, sous-bois and graphite-scented bouquet that is an absolute beauty. Power mixed with quite brilliant precision, you almost want to laugh at its sheer audacity. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin; there is immense depth and wonderful cohesion. Mineral-drenched black fruit, a slightly chalky texture and outstanding energy and tension on the finish - this is a magnificent Pomerol from the Guinaudeau family. Tasted December 2016.
Neal Martin - 01/03/2017
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