|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > Pomerol|
One of Bordeaux's biggest name "cult wines". Tiny production levels and a long pedigree of great quality ensure that collectors fight for an allocation every year despite the high prices. The vineyard totals 4.5ha, with 0.69ha going to a second wine, Les Pensées de Lafleur. The vineyard is roughly half-and-half Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
This red shows such beautiful and ripe aromas of blackberries, orange peel, hazelnuts, and tropical fruits. It's full-bodied, with superb texture of polished tannins that are velvety. The length last for minutes. It's muscular yet elegant. It flexes it muscle yet pulls them back. What gorgeous tone to this young red. Try in 2020.
One of the wines of the vintage, but likely to prove slower evolving and more introverted than its 2019 counterpart, the 2020 Lafleur unwinds in the glass with aromas of cherries, raspberries, kirsch, black truffle, orange zest and vine smoke. Full-bodied, layered and multidimensional, it's deep and concentrated, with a tightly wound core of fruit framed by rich, powdery tannins, concluding with a long, saline finish. This is another magical bottle from an estate that just seems to do everything right. 2030 - 2065
The 2020 Lafleur is raised in 30% new oak, the rest, for the first time, used at Grand Village for 8 months to reduce the oak influence and season the barrel. (In fact, Jacques Guinaudeau did this in the past). It was bottled in April 2022 after two months settling in large stainless-steel. It has a showstopping nose with stunning delineation and terroir expression. There is a strong mineralité that floods through on the nose, something almost…igneous about the aromas, struck flint and that basalt element that I observed out of barrel. It's a very striking, uncompromising bouquet that expands with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with fine yet sturdy tannins, intense black fruit intermixed with dark chocolate that ebbs with aeration, revealing more floral aromas after 20 minutes. There is a sense of symmetry on the finish and an extraordinary long aftertaste, while all the time, retaining freshness and vitality. Just wonderful. Drink 2030-2075.
The 2020 Lafleur is a blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple in color, it needs lots and lots of patient swirling to coax out a slowly emerging perfume of kirsch, wild blueberries, juicy black plums, and lilacs, followed by wafts of tar, crushed rocks, Sichuan pepper, and wood smoke. The full-bodied black, blue, and red berry flavors grow in the mouth, allowing earth and mineral nuances to emerge, textured by velvety tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with epically long-lasting stone and licorice-laced flavors. This will need at least 10-15 years in bottle to reveal its cards, and personally I think it's holding onto a full house.
The 2020 vintage was less of a shock perhaps for Lafleur than many other estates - they travel less than many estates, and already spend much of their time in the vines. Stunning texture, knitted down but rippling with silk and velvet, opening up to show violet, cherry, mandarin, cocoa bean, black truffle, mint, stretches out langoriously, with pulses of electricity and points of energy, tension and sinewy tannins. Showcases an oyster shell salinity that don't usually associate with a solar vintage. They do such a great job here of illuminating individual flavours, of bringing definition to the overall palate, and this is a superb Lafleur. Hard to fault. Winemaker Baptiste Guineaudeau.
Looking at the flagship 2020 Château Lafleur, it’s based on 54% Merlot and 46% Bouchets (Cabernet Franc) that spent 15 months in just 25% new French oak. This brilliant Pomerol reveals a saturated ruby/purple hue as well as a dense, primordial bouquet of red and black fruits, tobacco leaf, iodine, flowers, and crushed stone-like minerality. A powerful, full-bodied, concentrated Lafleur built for the long haul, it has beautiful overall balance, lots of ripe tannins, and the vintage's focused, pure, structured style front and center. It needs to be forgotten for a solid decade and will evolve for 40 years or more.
54% Merlot, 46% Bouchet (Cabernet Franc). Cask sample.
A great Lafleur and one of the wines of the vintage. Dark and dense on the nose with a chocolate note from the Bouchet (Cabernet Franc) and hint of minerality. Whack of fruit and plentiful but really fine tannin on attack. Initially, broad, dense and full then tightens up and disappears into the distance. Drive and persistence and minerally freshness throughout. Enormous ageing potential. (JL)
Drink 2030 – 2055
(54% M, 46% Bouchet)
Merlot wild-rose herbal character, subtle, spicy, and fresh behind the dense ripe red fruit, a persistent, subtle, heady perfume; immediately on tasting, a great, rich, yet refined and contained balance, effortlessy concentrated, so finely tannic, so fresh, perfect; deep, sweet, silky, and fleshy, yet for all its richness, also a medium-weight impression, of infinite subtle fragrance, energy, and length across the palate, with a great sense of precision, raciness and definition, followed by fabulously ethereal, scented length. All the delicacy and refinement of Lafleur in an also incredibly juicily seductive parcel. An utterly great red wine. All the Guinaudeau wines are beautifully textured, with absolutely no impression of new wood at all. Oak, whether as an aroma or a texture, simply doesn’t enter one’s mind in the Lafleur family! 2035–60+.
The 2020 Lafleur is a blend of 46% Cabernet Franc and 54% Merlot picked September 4–18. Like the Les Pensées, it is initially backward and requires 4–6 minutes’ coaxing. Then it reveals intense black fruit, iris, incense and basalt, very focused and quite serious, somehow restless at being rudely awakened during its élevage. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-boned tannins and superb delineation, weighty in the mouth but paradoxically weightless on the finish. There is superb attack, incredible length and a persistent saline finish. The Cabernet Franc, or Bouchet to give it its proper name in Pomerol, is in full flight in this Lafleur, although it is not as immediate as the 2020 Petrus. But it is certainly one of the appellation's most intellectual offerings and will be fascinating to watch as it ages. Drink 2030-2065.
I was, to be honest, a little unsure of how the gravels here would react to the dry summer but the first hit of graphite and smoky berry fruit makes it clear Lafleur has taken the vintage in its stride. This is an excellent wine, barely showing its potential right now - it's a big year, with knitted-down tannins, serious and powerful, not austere so much as layered, complex and full of hidden energy. The floral aromatics curl up after 10 minutes in the glass, as does bitter chocolate and crushed mint.
Drinking Window 2027 - 2050