The 2019 Lafleur has a bouquet that takes time to unfurl in the glass, rendering you speechless. Mind-bogglingly intense black fruit, crushed stone and a hint of liquorice display astonishing delineation, and blue fruit emerges with time. The palate is medium-bodied with finely chiselled tannins. As is customary, this feels very strict and, on reflection, represents the most quintessential Lafleur I have tasted in my many years of visiting the estate.
Tensile from start to finish, it fans out audaciously and seems to never end. Baptiste Guinaudeau compared it with the 2005 and described it as a "[four-letter-expletive] you" Lafleur. When you taste this, you see what he means. An awe-inspiring Pomerol that will give decades of drinking pleasure for those prepared to wait.
Drink 2030 - 2070
Neal Martin, Vinous.com (February 2022)
I am not sure when the 2019 Lafleur will be ready to drink, but it will not be anytime soon. A huge, powerful wine, the 2019 Lafleur possesses tremendous intensity and energy but less of the immediate charm of many recent vintages. All of its energy is focused inward. Hints of gravel, crushed rocks, graphite, dried herbs and sweet pipe tobacco gradually emerge over time. The purity of the flavours here is just unreal. The 2019 Lafleur is another magnificent wine from the Guinaudeau family.
Drink 2031 - 2069
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (February 2022)
Rich and powerful on the nose, with layer upon layer of black and brambly fruits and fresh tobacco leaf. Really one to drink in raspberry, cherry, blackberry, pencil lead, tobacco, flint, crushed earth, cigar box, inky and powerful and extremely confident. It has so much of the freshness and power of the 2016, with hints of smoked caramel that point to the generosity that is contained within the layers, set against the severity of slate minerality and tight tannins. It will likely shut down severely from now; it needs to be given a good ten years.
Drink 2029 - 2045
Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com (January 2022)
The 2019 Lafleur is an utterly profound young wine that unwinds in the glass with aromas of rose petals, raspberries and sweet spices mingled with notions of blood orange, violets and fresh tobacco that are hauntingly reminiscent of this estate's great 1982. Full-bodied, deep and seamless, it's layered and multidimensional, with a concentrated core of vibrant fruit, lively acids and ripe, powdery tannins, concluding with a long, searingly intense finish. This magical Lafleur is unquestionably one of the wines of the vintage.
Drink 2029 - 2069
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2022)
Tasted blind. Deep crimson. Light, fresh, and transparent on the nose but so sweet and gorgeous on the palate. Good combo! Very long and detailed. Real richness and complexity here. Throat-warming.
Drink 2028 - 2050
Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com (January 2023)
This is crazy on the nose with crushed stones and violets really rising above the glass, together with iodine, seaweed and ink. Spellbinding. Full-bodied, yet so tight and reserved, with a fine cashmere-like texture and endless length and energy. You can sense the stones and the earth here, but then it reaches to the skies. It’s open, but you feel the depth of the soil. A reference point for the vintage.
Try after 2028
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (March 2022)
Fresh berries, plums, damsons, sloes, a touch of spice and irises and peonies. But that’s just the start. As this gathers in the air, breathes, relaxes, and exhales just a little, it releases more floral notes, almonds, pain d’épices, cassis, graphite, and cedar. Quite ethereal. But what is most amazing about this wine is its structure and the dynamism in the mouth that it imparts. The potential here is quite staggering—one of the most remarkable tasting experiences of my life.
Drink 2030 - 2080
Colin Hay, Decanter.com (March 2022)
If tasting the 2019 Château Lafleur doesn't just blow you away, I'm not sure what will. A perfect wine, if such a thing exists; it offers such a complex, singular profile in its black raspberries, kirsch liqueur, liquorice, exotic flowers, white truffles, and sandalwood. It has a serious structure on the palate, yet the tannins build with time in the glass, and the mid-palate density and balance are so flawlessly integrated that you actually have to hunt for the structure.
This is what wine dreams are made of: pure, sensationally rich, and elegant, with an awesome depth of fruit. It might be the finest young wine ever to pass my lips. It needs a solid decade of bottle age; 15 years would be even better (it will still blow your mind any time over the coming decade), and it will evolve gracefully over the following 30-40 years.
Drink 2032 - 2072
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (November 2022)
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.
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.