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  • Country ranking ?

    526
  • Producer ranking ?

    25
  • Decanting time

    1h30min
  • When to drink

    now to 2030
  • Food Pairing

    Porcini Mushroom Risotto with Gorgonzola Cheese

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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The Story

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.

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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Wine Information

Bordeaux Vintage 1952 The recovery from the Second World War was slow and wine producers had many challenges ahead of themselves. Their production facilities were in poor conditions and there was no capital for investments. However, thanks to several great harvests, the period from 1945 up to 1961 has yielded some of the most heralded wines from Bordeaux ever made. 1952 was on a par to end up on the list of the greatest vintages from the period, among 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1953 and 1959.

In 1952, the season started with moderately warm and dry spring. The summer months from June to end of August were dry with daily average temperature of 20,5C. The temperature climbed over 30C on 29 days. Unfortunately the Mother Nature turned its back to the producers at the very end of the season. The rain and cold weather arrived on September 4 and for example in Pauillac it rained for 22 days. The rain diluted partly the crop and due to the cold weather the phenolic ripeness of the late ripening varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon was left slightly short. Thus, the Cabernet Sauvignon dominated Left Bank did less well than the Right Bank, where earlier ripening Merlot is dominating. On the other hand the Right Bank avoided the worst rains during the September and producers like Cheval Blanc with Cabernet Franc –oriented wines, could harvest their crop same time in the middle of September under the better conditions than their colleagues on the Left Bank.

According to our experience the best wines of the vintage have been Cheval Blanc, Pétrus, l’Eglise-Clinet and La Mission Haut-Brion. However, we have been stunned every now and then with lesser known St-Emilions from this vintage. If we compare the prices versus quality of these wines, we can conclude them as the great finds of 1950s’ Bordeauxs that the most are drinking still lovely if the bottles have been restored properly. To get the best enjoyment out of these wines, make sure to decant them just fifteen minutes before serving as they do not handle the air as well as the better vintages.

 

As with the 1950, the 1952 also suffered from harsh tannins as a juvenile. After a long bottle maturation, this vintage has turned out to be an excellent find. The warm spring and early summer resulted in ideal germination. The hot and dry season lasted until September, which brought with it colder temperatures and rain. This change in weather dashed the hopes for what originally seemed to be an excellent crop year. Conversely, the rains did away with any fear of overly concentrated grapes. Weather conditions at the end of the year had a pronounced effect on the slower-maturing Cabernets. Consequently, the Médoc region suffered the greatest.

The Merlot-driven Pomerol and Saint-Émilion wines were able to mature very well; indeed, the finest wines of that year come from the right bank. Some excellent wines were also produced at Graves. Because the highly tannic character of Médoc wines has softened over the decades, the wines are extraordinarily drinkable right now. The finest examples could do with additional cellaring. Château Lafleur and La-Mission-Haut-Brion are the finest wines of this vintage. The château-bottled Pétrus, Trotanoy and Ausone run a very close second.

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Vintage 1952

Bordeaux by Tb: The recovery after the Second World War was slow and winegrowers had many challenges to overcome. Their production facilities were in poor condition and there was no capital for investments. However, thanks to several large harvests, the period from 1945 to 1961 produced some of the most heralded Bordeaux wines ever made. 1952 is on equal footing to finish on the list of the greatest vintages of the time, among 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1953 and 1959.

In 1952, the season began with a moderately warm and dry spring. The summer months from June to the end of August were dry with an average daily temperature of 20.5C. The temperature climbed above 30°C in 29 days. Unfortunately, Mother Nature turned her back on producers at the very end of the season. The rain and the cold arrived on September 4 and for example in Pauillac, it rained for 22 days. The rain partially diluted the harvest and, due to the cold, the phenolic maturity of late-ripening varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon was left slightly short. Thus, the left bank, dominated by cabernet sauvignon, fared less well than the right bank, where early-ripening merlot dominates. On the other hand, the right bank avoided the worst rains of September and producers like Cheval Blanc with Cabernet Franc oriented wines, were able to harvest their harvest at the same time in mid-September in better conditions than their colleagues from the left Bank.

In our experience, the best wines of the vintage were Cheval Blanc, Pétrus, l’Eglise-Clinet and La Mission Haut-Brion. However, we have been amazed from time to time by the lesser known St-Emilions of this vintage. If we compare the prices versus the quality of these wines, we can conclude them as the great finds of 1950s Bordeaux that most still drink well if the bottles have been restored properly. To get the most out of these wines, be sure to decant them fifteen minutes before serving, as they do not handle air as well as the best vintages.

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Tasting note

color

Medium, Brick red and Dark

ending

Medium

flavors

Toasty, Cigar-box, Leather, Truffles and Chocolate

nose

Opulent, Generous, Modest and Mature

recommend

Yes

taste

Average in Acidity, Balanced, Mature, Weak and Perfumed

Verdict

Average

Written Notes

There was one last wine on this evening, a rare 1952 Lafleur thanks to Big Boy. 1952 is the forgotten great vintage for both Right Bank Bordeaux and Burgundy, and the Lafleur was exhibit A. There was a gorgeous sex appeal to its open and mature nose. Chocolate and plum were present, as obligated. The Mogul found its chocolate qualities ‘melted.’ The palate was round, soft and smooth, tender yet lingering. It still possessed great acid and a wheaty finish. Alessandro admired the fact that it still came across ‘fresh’ (96).
  • 96p

A gorgeous wine with layers of tobacco, leather, dried plums and hint of cacao. The palate is seductively silky with an explosion of additional spicy and dried berry flavours. Wonderful lingering finish. This wine is utter perfection.

  • 100p
Lafleur 1947-2009 tasting / Lafleur 1952 Wonderful-looking magnum, level by the neck. Dark, good, healthy colour - looked like velvet. Quite tight and hard when first opened – closed and shy on the nose. After a while it became a lovely, open and giving wine. Meaty, rich and quite well balanced, but the fruit seemed weak, lacking intensity and made me seriously think that this may never be any better than it is today. While it was certainly good, it was not nearly as great as a Lafleur 1952 can be, not even in a Magnum. Perhaps this was a fake one?
  • 92p
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Information

Origin

Pomerol, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

Below Average

Fake factory

Serious
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