Tasting Notes Lafleur 1997
Tasted from an ex-chateau bottle at the Lafleur vertical dinner at Attersee in Austria. This bottle is similar to the one that I tasted a few months ago in Hong Kong. Compared to coeval vintages, the bouquet is lighter but still well defined and earthy, with those traits of autumn leaves and a touch of brine. The palate is medium-bodied and of moderate complexity. The acidity is crisp and combines well with the black fruit, although it is still a little hard and certainly foursquare on the finish. This is a serviceable Lafleur, but is most definitely 'second-tier' within the canon of great wines from this estate. Tasted June 2012.
The dark ruby-colored 1997 is impossibly tannic, with a tough texture and lean constitution. Paradoxically, the wine has weight, ripeness, and richness, but its dry, astringent finish is reminiscent of a 1998 Medoc. This wine's development is questionable, and I have serious reservations about its ratio of tannin to fruit. It may turn out to be excellent, but patience will be required. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2015.