x
  • Country ranking ?

    471
  • Producer ranking ?

    18
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2030
  • Food Pairing

    Turbot à la truffe

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 50 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

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.

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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Vintage 1966

1966 is an outstanding year in Bordeaux for very classic and delicate wines. However, the year started out as anything but promising. The major rainfall that started at the end of June continued into July, but the hot start to August dried the soil and the weather gradually improved toward autumn, until it was nearly perfect for the harvest.

These wines share a truly classic, graceful and high-quality character so typical of Bordeaux wines, thus making them elegant and well balanced. Today many of these are still good. If carefully stored, many of the best wines may still mature, but the following rule of thumb should be observed: drink or sell them off immediately. In our opinion, this is one of the finest vintages that can be purchased today. Nearly all the AOC wines are still in excellent condition, and the top examples, such as the Palmer, Latour, Haut-Brion, Lafleur and Pétrus, are excellent. There is a wide selection of nicely priced First, Second and Third growth wines on the market. For example, the Cos d’Estournel, Calon-Ségur and Lynch-Bages offer an exceptional price-quality ratio. As a rule, a one hour decanting is sufficient.

Price trends for this vintage no longer show any significant upward movement – the increase in price over the past ten years has been around 55%. The rise in price will continue alongside the maturation of top wines perhaps until 2010, when any wines still surviving should be removed from the cellar and sold or drunk immediately. 

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Tasting note

color

Deep, Brick red and Healthy

ending

Long, Extensive and Flavorful

nose

Intense, Complex, Fresh and Generous

recommend

Yes

taste

Average in Acidity, Perfectly balanced, Balanced, Multi-dimensional, Rich, Fresh, Medium-Dry and Silky tannins

Verdict

nice but not special and Outstanding

Written Notes

Absolutely fine-looking magnum with by the neck level. Decanted 1.5 hours. Wonderful deep, rich colour. Very spirited. Sound and open, very fragrant and complex nose. Magic. I am more and more convinced that this one of the finest wines of the vintage, if not the utmost? Very rich and velvety texture with good acid and discreet tannin level. Great balance and extract. Superb wine with astonishingly long and graceful ending. No rush to drink this divine bottle.
  • 96p

The 1966 Lafleur is a magnificent Pomerol. From magnum, it has a beguiling bouquet that just feels so effortless, wonderfully detailed and natural with hints of coniferous trees and ground pebbles. It is a quintessential Robin-era Lafleur. The palate is also so complete and natural, a rare case of a "blue-blooded" Lafleur that has an evolved Left Bank personality. It is so stunning that I wonder if I was just lucky to encounter this example. Would another bottle match up? Somehow, I doubt it. Tasted at the Attersee vertical and taken from the "Pomerol" book.

  • 98p

Lafleur 1966 / 96 points /Darkly coloured, fine nose and of high complexity--berry fruit aroma, smoke, leather spices and a touch of oak. First impression is that this wine attacks frankly in the mouth but reveals to be elegant, very tight tannins, fine ripened fruits. Luxurious texture. A long aftertaste

  • 96p
Good looking magnum size bottle.
- (Tasting note created by Tb's AI)
  • 96p
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Information

Origin

Pomerol, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Above Average

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

No Potential

Fake factory

None

Highlights

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