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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?
In Bordeaux, the heat led to early flowering. Additionally, this led to an early harvest after a very hot summer. As a starting point, there is great maturity in the grapes, and we can expect a more opulent vintage than in recent years.
This year's summer was the hottest since 1959, but the rain fell at just the right time during the growing season. The harvest took place two weeks before the norm and will produce grapes with high alcohol potential and the lowest acidity since the 2003 vintage. As they say in Bordeaux: “It was a good and extreme growing season which , hopefully, also produces great wines.”