Chateau La Fleur-Petrus (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 96-99
Barrel Sample: 97-98
Barrel Sample: 95-97
Barrel Sample: 94-96
This is extremely good quality - intense, concentrated, inky but not a wine to rush. It takes its time in the glass, with the floral aromatics only beginning to curl out after five minutes before revealing an obvious supple and rich texture alongside fruit that packs a punch, so densely knitted together it feels as though you're walking across a bed of blackcurrants. The wine shows the ambitions of this property but things are not as effortless as in the brilliant 2016 from La Fleur Petrus - my guess is that the gravel soils suffered just a touch more than usual in the heat of the summer. Barrel Sample: 96
Barrel Sample: 94-96
Over the last 15 years La Fleur-Pétrus has become one of the most fascinating and, from a quality standpoint, extraordinary stories in Bordeaux. A wine borne of a great historic terroir, that through nurture and creativity has become something greater than perhaps could have been imagined, and a bright shining light of Pomerol.
Named for its position between Chateau Petrus and Chateau La Fleur, Chateau La Fleur-Pétrus dates to the 18th century and with a long reputation for producing great wines. In 1950 Chateau La Fleur-Pétrus became Jean-Pierre Moueix’ first vineyard purchase. His son Christian has overseen the re-ascension of this estate to the top of Pomerol’s hierarchy, through his incredibly meticulous vineyard care and delicate precision in the cellar, and the addition of two parcels, in 2005 and 2012.
The work of the last 20 years has produced a wine of genuine complexity and character; what fires the imagination is the thought of the next 20 years.
A source of exceptionally sensual and glamorous red wines, Pomerol is actually a rather small appellation in an unassuming countryside. It sits on a plateau immediately northeast of the city of Libourne on the right bank of the Dordogne River. Pomerol and St-Émilion are the stars of what is referred to as Right Bank Bordeaux: Merlot-dominant red blends completed by various amounts of Cabernet Franc or Cabernet Sauvignon. While Pomerol has no official classification system, its best wines are some of the world’s most sought after.
Historically Pomerol attached itself to the larger and more picturesque neighboring region of St-Émilion until the late 1800s when discerning French consumers began to recognize the quality and distinction of Pomerol on its own. Its popularity spread to northern Europe in the early 1900s.
After some notable vintages of the 1940s, the Pomerol producer, Petrus, began to achieve great international attention and brought widespread recognition to the appellation. Its subsequent distribution by the successful Libourne merchant, Jean-Pierre Mouiex, magnified Pomerol's fame after the Second World War.
Perfect for Merlot, the soils of Pomerol—clay on top of well-drained subsoil—help to create wines capable of displaying an unprecedented concentration of color and flavor.
The best Pomerol wines will be intensely hued, with qualities of fresh wild berries, dried fig or concentrated black plum preserves. Aromas may be of forest floor, sifted cocoa powder, anise, exotic spice or toasted sugar and will have a silky, smooth but intense texture.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.
Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends
Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.
Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends
Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.
Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.