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Chateau Lafleur 2011

  • JS97
  • RP94
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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JS 97
James Suckling
Complex aromas of blackberry and whole white truffles with hints of wet earth and stones. Full body and structured with gorgeous, velvety tannins, but reserved and polished. Very long finish with fabulous fruit. Goes on for minutes. This is all class: the red wine of the vintage. Better in 2019.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This tiny jewel of a property has produced a beautifully rich 2011 Lafleur from a blend of 53% Cabernet Franc and 47% Merlot. The Merlot was picked between August 31 and September 12, and the Cabernet Franc between September 22-23. The 2011 reveals a floral-scented bouquet with notions of kirsch, licorice and black raspberries. It is medium to full-bodied with terrific fruit purity, good minerality and slightly more acidity and freshness than are found in such ripe vintages as 2009 and 2010. At present, the Guinandeau family, the owners, are using between 50-60% new oak in an attempt to emphasize their great terroir and the extraordinary fruit quality they achieve from both the old vine Cabernet Franc and Merlot. This cuvee possesses some serious tannin and will undoubtedly need 5-6 years of cellaring after its release, but it should be one of the longer-lived wines of the vintage, lasting 25+ years.
Barrel Sample: 92-94
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Chateau Lafleur

Chateau Lafleur

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Chateau Lafleur, France

Fruit of the shared passion which drives for more than 140 years the same family, the wines of Chateau Lafleur are crafted without any concession to fashion. Deep and complex, they are distinguished by the precision of their tannic structure and their legendry mineral character arising from this mythic terroir. The small surface and naturally low yields of the vineyard make Chateau Lafleur a very rare cru, reserved for great connoisseurs.

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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.

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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.

SOU398218_2011 Item# 534242

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