Chateau La Fleur Petrus
|Listed Wines||La Fleur Petrus|
|Owner||Établissements Jean-Pierre Moueix|
|Annual Production (Grand Vin)||45,000 cases|
|Interesting Fact||In 2008, Christian Moueix became the first estate manager on the Right Bank to be named “Man of the Year” by Decanter magazine.|
Jean-Pierre Moueix’s purchase of La Fleur-Petrus is the best thing to ever happen to the estate. This is a man who put the Right Bank in the spotlight where it belonged through his passion and knowledge for the area. The torch of this wonderful talent is today carried and replicated by his son, Christian, who in 2008 became Decanter’s Man of the Year- the first producer ever from the Right Bank to do so. Even more so than his father, Moueix is a perfectionist and has been rewarded by seeing the quality of his wines shoot up- particularly since 1998. Like all châteaux within this appellation, La Fleur-Petrus is unclassified, and yet today it is considered among the top growths in Pomerol. In fact, La Fleur-Petrus is one of the wine insider’s best kept secret- possessing a level of quality approaching, if not equalling the very best in Pomerol and a character quite similar to JP Moueix stablemates Pétrus and Trotanoy but with a far more approachable price tag.
Of late, Left Bank First-Growths that saw their prices super-inflate following frenzied mass-buying from Far East consumers, and especially China, have been falling steadily back to earth. Now estates on the Right Bank are beginning to fill that vacuum and we are experiencing a phase of maturing and diversifying buying behaviour from these very markets. In 2011, Aussino Cellars, one of the largest and most powerful wine retailers in China announced its attention to shift the focus of promotion onto Right Bank properties, particularly those within Pomerol.
Shortly afterwards La Fleur-Petrus made it onto Robert Parker Jr’s ‘Magical 20’ which was presented in Hong Kong: a carefully crafted list of estates that ‘produce wines of "first growth quality" although technically not first growths...and because of that are under-valued and very smart acquisitions’. With this in mind, the reasonably priced and high-scoring Fleur-Petrus is an investment opportunity that demands consideration.
This is a wine whose reputation just grows and grows. The style of the wine has been compared to that of its château; classic, understated and graceful- very true to the distinctive, graceful character of the Moueix wines.
This is a wine whose reputation just grows and grows. The 1998, 2000 and 2005 are particularly brilliant vintages, the 2009 was the best barrel sample of La Fleur-Petrus ever sampled by Robert Parker Jr and the 2010 must also be considered a frontrunner, making it onto his respected ‘best in vintage’ list. When it comes to post-1998 La Fleur-Petrus, the fact is that you can’t really go that far wrong.
So named becuase of its proximity to the perhaps better known châteaux Pétrus and Lafleur, La Fleur-Petrus rose to prominence in the late 19th century under the ownership of the Constant family, who also owned Château Clinet. From thereon, La Fleur-Petrus changed hands a number of times until its purchase in 1953 by Jean-Pierre Moueix, founder of a now famous and broadly successful négociant house.
Moueix knew Pomerol very well indeed and had the ability to bring out wonderful qualities in the wine which led to an increase in quality and a growth in the château’s reputation. He also added new land purchased from nearby Château Le Gay in 1994. His son Christian took over in 1978, overseeing production at La Fleur-Petrus as well as Pétrus and Trotanoy, which also belong to the JP Moueix portfolio.
La Fleur Petrus Price Analysis
Chateau La Fleur Petrus Pricing
Highest rated vintages for Chateau La Fleur Petrus
This wine has a character similar to its cross-street neighbor, Petrus, displaying sweet mulberry and intense black fruit characteristics, with a hint of vanillin and loads of black cherry jam. Full-bodied, extravagantly luscious, with a skyscraper-like mid-palate and phenomenal length of close to 50 seconds, the wine has plenty of tannin, but the voluptuous fruit, power and overall glycerin and intensity tend to conceal much of it. Elegant but compellingly rich and authoritative, the 2010 is a truly magnificent wine for this estate, which has one of the finest terroirs in all of Pomerol. Forget it for 5-7 years and drink it over the following 30-35. This 2010 is one of the most remarkable wines ever produced at this estate. The vineyard, about the same size as Petrus at 35 acres, is virtually all Merlot, but there is some Cabernet Franc in the final blend.
Even with considerable youthful characteristics, this stunning, open-knit 2009 is quite approachable. This fabled terroir sandwiched between Petrus and Lafleur (hence the name) generally produces one of the more elegantly-styled Pomerols, but in 2009 it offers an extra dimension of flavor intensity as well as more texture and concentration. It reveals a super-seductive perfume of mocha, loamy soil, herbs, black cherries and black currants, truffles and licorice, full body and velvety tannins. The overall impression is one of intensity, power, glycerin and richness as well as undeniable elegance and laser-like focus. This 2009 can be drunk now or cellared for another 25-30+ years.
A major sleeper of the vintage, the 2008 La Fleur Petrus (90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc) is a remarkably sexy, opulent wine that transcends the vintage character. Its dense plum/ruby/purple color is accompanied by notes of sweet black cherries, licorice, truffles and a hint of graphite. Full-bodied with silky tannin as well as undeniable appeal, richness, purity and a 40+ second finish, this is a sure-fire big buy in 2008. Drink it over the next 20+ years.
The stunning 2012 La Fleur Petrus clearly merits its striking moniker. A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, it offers a dense purple color along with a big, sweet kiss of mulberry jam intermixed with black cherries, raspberries and even blacker fruits as well as a subtle touch of oak. The wine is full, rich, concentrated and moderately tannic. It is nearly as good as the 2010 and 2009. However, some structural tannins suggest 4-5 years of bottle age will be warranted, and the wine is capable of lasting a quarter of a century. Another incredible success story from Pomerol, this estate (which has been elevated in quality considerably over recent vintages) harvested their fruit between September 24 and October 11. Christian Moueix told me that just about all of the Pomerol wines for which he was responsible came in between 13.8% and 14.2% alcohol.
I am not convinced the 2000 La Fleur Petrus is going to eclipse the 1998, which performed even better in a recent tasting. Nevertheless, it is a terrific effort from this estate, sandwiched between the hallowed vineyards of Petrus and Lafleur. A deep plum/ruby color is followed by aromas of mocha, kirsch liqueur, loamy soil, spice box, and licorice. It is an opulent, medium to full-bodied, big, substantial yet elegant, precise Pomerol displaying beautiful purity. It is just beginning to drink well, and should continue to age for another 10+ years. One of the two bottles I tasted was corked.
Dazzling since birth, the 1995 has not lost a thing since bottling. A saturated dark purple color suggests a wine of considerable depth and concentration. The nose offers up gorgeous aromas of sweet kirsch intermixed with black raspberry, mineral, and smoky notes. Full-bodied, with superb richness and purity, loads of tannin, and a layered, multidimensional personality, this terrific La Fleur-Petrus is the finest wine I have tasted at this property in the twenty years I have been visiting Bordeaux. Readers may remember that I previously reported that a 10-acre old vine sector of Le Gay was sold to La Fleur-Petrus, increasing the latter's vineyard to 33 acres. I believe this 10-acre acquisition has beefed up La Fleur-Petrus, a fact particularly evident in this 1995. It is a splendid effort! Anticipated maturity: 2005-2025.
As one might expect from the Moueix family, this is a classic, traditionally styled Bordeaux exhibiting a deep ruby color, medium body, and a sweet perfume of licorice and kirsch that are reminiscent of a Grenache-based wine from the southern Rhone. However, its elegance, freshness, and high but sweet tannin are unmistakably Bordeaux in style. This 2005 should round into shape in 5-8 years, and keep for a minimum of two decades.
The finest La Fleur-Petrus I have tasted, this dense ruby/purple-colored wine exhibits aromas and flavors of Chinese black tea, raspberries, kirsch liqueur, and flowers. Elegant, yet crammed with concentrated fruit, it is symmetrical, harmonious and long, with tremendous persistence on the palate. While not a blockbuster/heavyweight, it is a wine of finesse and richness that admirably balances power with elegance. A great success! Anticipated maturity: 2003-2020.
A medium ruby color is followed by a vivid nose of sweet kirsch, raspberries, flowers and dusty, loamy soil notes. This terrifically scented 2011 is medium-bodied, quintessentially elegant, and loaded with flavor. Obviously, the Moueixs have dedicated considerable time and money to upgrade this terroir as recent vintages have been among the most impressive wines I have ever tasted from La Fleur-Petrus. This relatively forward 2011 Pomerol should drink well for 10-15 years.
In the ongoing competition between the 1989 and 1990 vintages, in the case of La Fleur-Petrus, the 1989 comes out a clear winner. The dense plum/garnet color offers up notes of underbrush, dried herbs, caramel, sweet cedar, and jammy black cherries intermixed with some balsam wood. In the mouth the wine is deep, very pure, ripe, with moderate tannins still to be shed. A very impressive, gorgeous La Fleur-Petrus that is the best wine made during a somewhat indifferent period for this property. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2015. Last tasted, 3/02.