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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?
The 1953 become the first top vintage of the 1950s. The year ended up to be an excellent one, even though the heavy rains of September threatened to destroy a good year. The hot, dry summer was crowned by a perfect August. The mercury rose above 30°C on more than half of the days in August. Fortunately, the rains that came in mid-September made way for ideal harvest conditions at the beginning of October. The finest wines of this vintage are united by their elegance, delicacy and temperance. They should ideally be decanted for two hours before drinking. The vintage received praise particularly in Médoc, which produced the best wines of the entire vintage. One of the most highly renowned of these is the Château Lafite-Rothschild. Many consider it to be best Lafite-Rothschild of the entire 20th century. Although Graves and Sauternes also produced some top wines, Pomerol and Saint-Émilion today offer so many outstanding creatures, with the crème de la crème being the Cheval Blanc and Lafleur.