Tasting Notes Lafleur 2012
This is subtle yet so deep with blackberry, wet earth, stone and berries. It's full-bodied, with superfine tannins and wonderful length. Everything is at the end of the palate. This will be better than 2011. It's really about clarity and harmony. Yes. The winemaker says a special lot of Merlot picked on September the 23 really made this wine what it is. Stunning.
Reminiscent of the 2001 Lafleur, the 2012 is supple and elegant as well as impressively pure, textured and medium-bodied, with sensual kirsch-like fruit intermixed with loamy soil, licorice and incense notes. While not particularly powerful, it possesses a deep ruby color with purple nuances, and is stunningly pure with no hard edges. This 2012 will be drinking well by age 5 or 6 (atypical for a young Lafleur), and should keep for 15 or more. Baptiste Guinaudeau, the young, tall proprietor of this tiny treasure on the Plateau of Pomerol, harvested his Merlot at a perfect moment, September 23, and finished with the Cabernet Franc on October 6, several days before a huge deluge inundated Bordeaux. He spoke of 46 straight days with no rain, which created hydric stress in parts of their vineyard. The final blend for the 2012 Lafleur was 54% Cabernet Franc and 46% Merlot. Yields were low, never having surpassed 40 hectoliters per hectare in over 30 years, even in abundant years such as 1990 and 1982.
The Grand Vin is a blend of 46% Merlot picked on 23rd September and 54% Cabernet Franc picked on 6th October cropped at around 32hl/ha. The Merlot is quite expressive on the nose once again with redcurrant and raspberry scents intermingling with wilted rose petal scents and flinty notes. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly chalky tannins on the entry. The acidity is crisp and lifted. This is a more masculine Lafleur: a little broody as it so often is at this primordial stage, the oak (around 25% new) waiting patiently in the background. There is good weight here and finish has a generosity and openness that is unusual for the vintage. Tasted April 2013.