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    25° C Clear sky
  • Time

    19:28 PM
  • Wine average?

    95.0 Tb
  • Country Ranking?

    2
  • Region Ranking?

    1
  • Popularity ranking?

    26

News

Robert Parker, America’s leading wine critic: “one of the most distinctive, most exotic, and greatest wines – not only in Pomerol, but in the world.”

Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve, France’s most famous wine authorities: “The wine amply deserves its high prices.”

Michael Broadbent, doyen of British wine tasters: Not that much because the wine is so rare, although he did comment about the 1950, “Concentrated, certainly very impressive. But who wants to go to bed with a wrestler?”

Stephen Browett of Farr Vintners, Britain’s biggest fine wine trader: “The greatest wine I ever had was a magnum of Lafleur 1947 from John Avery’s private cellar, even though it was served alongside the famous Cheval Blanc 1947.”

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History

Between the estates of Pétrus and La Fleur-Pétrus, amid vineyards, stands a stone house with closed shutters. The road that winds to the house between the vine rows has no signs or indications as to the name of the place. The construction looks more like a maintenance shed for the neighbouring estates than the main building of a winery. However, this is a house that makes one of the most desirable wines in Bordeaux: Château Lafleur. 

 

We drive into the yard and walk up to the door. It is opened by the cheerful Jacques Guinaudeau, fifth-generation owner and winemaker of the estate. Jacques’ great-great-grandfather Henri Greloud bought the land in 1872. Over time, ownership was transferred to Henri’s son Charles and then to Charles’s cousin André Robin, who was known for paying great attention to the quality of the estate’s wines. In 1946, the estate was inherited by André’s daughters Thérèse and Marie, who managed it for nearly four decades. It was under their leadership that the estate produced several magnificent vintages, of which the 1947, 1950, 1961 and 1975 stand out as legendary. 

 

In 1981, the sisters turned to their neighbours, the Moueix family, to ask whether Pétrus’s long-term winemaker, Jean-Claude Berrouet, might be interested in consulting and managing their estate. The partnership was made and bore fruit already the next year, when one of the best-ever vintages of Lafleur – 1982 – was created. Three years later, Thérèse died and Marie decided to lease the vineyards to her cousin Jacques Guinaudeau and his wife Sylvie. Since then, the Guinaudeaus have significantly developed the plots and production processes. Their methods and production philosophy are actually closer to Burgundy than Bordeaux. The Guinaudeaus bought the estate in 2002, which was also when their son Baptiste started to work there.

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Vineyards

Jacques Guinaudeau leads us into the vineyard. He excitedly praises the uniqueness of the 4.5-hectare estate. “Lafleur is a single-vineyard wine with exceptional terroir qualities. Firstly, it is located on a very gentle amphitheatrical slope to the north of Pétrus. The soil is clearly more gravelly and brown than the red clay at Pétrus. A comprehensive soil analysis in 1998 found that the estate comprises as many as five different types: the northwest has brown gravel, the south is more clay-based and sandy gravel, and the east has sandy clay with some gravel. In the middle is a mixture of all of those. These have completely different conditions in terms of the grapes’ ripening, size and concentration. The concentration is also affected by the old vines, with their average age of thirty years. The oldest vines actually go back five decades.

 

We work the vineyard as four different plots, even though they go towards a single wine. We grow two varieties, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, but the differences in soil result in very different grapes within each variety. This diversity is the secret to Lafleur’s greatness,” Guinaudeau explains. Weaving between the densely planted vine rows, Jacques goes on: “The vineyard has around 8,000 vines per hectare. Through dense planting we aim not only to increase the grapes’ concentration, but also to protect them from direct sunlight. This is in order that we can ensure the refined style of our wines that results from their fresh fruitiness and crisp acids.” Due to the terroir factors mentioned above, harvesting and winemaking are done in many phases. A separate wine is produced from each of the four microterroirs. The grapes are picked in many stages and vinified separately for each plot. Guinaudeau keeps track of this multiphase process with the help of a squared-paper notebook. In it he logs when each plot’s grapes are picked the vats in which they end up.

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Winemaking

Once we enter the cellars and see the facilities, we understand the need for the logbook. Lafleur’s production facilities are less than half the size of Pétrus’s, which are small in themselves, and there are only a few fermentation vats.“To retain the wines’ sophisticated qualities – delicious fruitiness and perfumed aromas – we avoid maturing the wines alone in new oak barrels. Therefore only a half of our barrels are new,” Guinaudeau says and explains that the final blending and winemaking are made at the end, in the oak maturation phase.

 

The oak maturation is monitored and the final decisions regarding which wines will be bottled under the Lafleur label and which as the number two wine, Pensées de Lafleur, are only made at the end. Ultimately there may be a few barrels that Guinaudeau rejects for either wine, and they are sold off. Even in the best years, the estate only produces 17,000 bottles, of which 12,000 are Lafleur and only 5,000 are Pensées de Lafleur.

 

Lafleur’s wines form an interesting contrast to their neighbour, Pétrus. Their terroirs differ significantly, even though the distance between them is only 50–100 metres. Whereas Pétrus is more seductively rich, full-bodied and intense, Lafleur is charming in its elegance, femininity and subtlety. Lafleur’s wines are delightful, but they do require aging for at least twenty years in order to display their full, nuanced character. Guinaudeau’s investments into improving quality in all of Lafleur’s functions promise an even better future for the friends of Lafleur. Although tasting the 1947, 1950, 1961, 1975 or 1982, one can only wonder whether Lafleur’s wines could get any better? 

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Winemaking since 1846

  • Jacques Guinaudeau

    Owner and Winemaker
    “Lafleur is a single-vineyard wine with exceptional terroir qualities"
  • Robert Parker

    Wine Critic
    “one of the most distinctive, most exotic, and greatest wines – not only in Pomerol, but in the world.”

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Dhruv Sawhney, Wine Lover (India)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lafleur . In a tasting of  14 wines 

Vintage 1961 tasting with Mouton, Lafleur, Petrus, Latour, La Chapelle, Palmer etc.

2m 7d ago

 Doug Hill / Wine Importer, Pro (Canada)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lafleur . In a tasting of  10 wines 

My TOP 10 Bordeaux 2016 vintage wines!

2m 8d ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lafleur . In a tasting of  23 wines 

Last evening was a real " Voyage autour du monde" along with the top 24 wines that wine countries can offer, and there was only four of us enjoying them...Unfortunately, quite a lot of bottles remained half empty, but not the Petrus 2003, Cheval Blanc 1947, Screaming Eagle 1999, Pingus 1995, Haut-Brion Blanc 1995, Lafleur 1996 etc.

3m 23d ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lafleur . In a tasting of  126 wines 

Every now and again one stumbles across a paradox that confounds the accepted natural order of things. The 2016 Bordeaux vintage was born out of a growing season that was near-catastrophe and near-perfection. After the Hesperian Dragon’s relentless torment, the Titan God Atlas had seemingly kept the sky aloft with the help of a Phoenix. Following five months of diabolical weather patterns, a warm to hot dry summer arrived in the nick of time, not only saving a vintage, but creating one of the most spectacular vintages in a lifetime.


 The sense of relief in Bordeaux must have been as thrilling as avoiding the bullet of Russian Roulette, or the adrenalin of surviving a base-jump. The razor’s edge has never been so exquisitely fine. While the end result is not always perfect, with the odd abrasions here and there, the overall quality of the 2016 Bordeaux vintage is remarkably consistent with many Chateaux making some of their best wines in 50 years. Typically, the wines have deep colours, pure fruit aromatics, generous saturated flavours, dense rich tannin structures and bell clear acidities. Precision, freshness, elegance, smoothness and “delicate opulence” are words that are being used by various Chateaux to describe their wines.


 The Bordelais are, of course, the world’s greatest spin doctors. They leave snake charmers for dead when it comes to the art of mesmerising. The newly opened and impressive Cité du Vin, which sits on the banks of the Garonne River in Bordeaux, sparkles like a polished turd; a monument to the exaggerations and optimism of this particular type of fine wine game. Momentum is achieved through belief. There is no room for wavering or self-doubt.

4m 22h ago

 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Lafleur . In a tasting of  161 wines 

Bordeaux 2016 vintage!

4m 2d ago

 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lafleur . In a tasting of  30 wines 

My TOP 30 wines of the Bordeaux 2016 vintage.

4m 4d ago

 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lafleur . In a tasting of  64 wines 

98 wines tasted from Pomerol 2016 vintage, a stunning vintage for the appelation. Petrus might be the wine of the vintage, such finesse! But many others as well. Le Pin, La Conseillante, Clinet, Gazin, Petit Village, Lafleur, L'Evangile, VCC, La Fleur-Pétrus, Trotanoy, L'Eglise-Clinet and many more made stunning wines. Gazin made the best wine they ever did, same with Nenin. Pomerols are beyond seductive in 2016.

4m 14d ago

 Andreas Larsson / Best Sommelier in the World 2004, Pro (Sweden)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lafleur . In a tasting of  4 wines 

1975 Lafleur – well what can one say – another kind of perfection, yet being so bloody discreet. There´s no show off here, and I’m sure that the legendary sisters Robin never tried to make anything remarkable, they just tended their vineyards and made wine kind off… however this alluring terroir has something special, I love to imbibe its perfume, as it offers so much, so many nuances and fragrances. The taste starts out very discreet but it just expands and lingers on the palate. This is truly a wine that deserves to be called Grand Vin…

5m 14d ago

 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lafleur . In a tasting of  10 wines 

"MY TOP 10 WINES OF THE 2016"

6m 11d ago

 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lafleur . In a tasting of  11 wines 

Who says China gets all the Lafite? Not The Mogul, who pulled out a 1959 Lafite Rothschild next. What a great bottle, this was clearly deeper and darker than the 1961. There was much more forest and cedar to this black Knight and night of a wine. Gentleman Jim noted ‘cinnamon, allspice and clove.’ Its flavors showed carob again, but this time with layers of caramel on top. This was a rich and saucy wine with nice concentrate to it in a grape seed and oil kind of way. There were solid desert flavors on its dry finish. This ‘screamed’ Lafite to Big Boy (97).

7m 1d ago

 Achim Becker / Wineterminator.com, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Lafleur . In a tasting of  24 wines 

Amazing Magnum-tasting with quite a few 100 points wines like Latour 1982, Mouton 1982, Haut Brion 1989, Martha's Vineyard's 1975...

7m 9d ago

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