Tasting Notes Lafleur 2017
A structured and muscular red with blackberry, dark-chocolate and mineral character. Violet undertones. Very tight and tannic. Full-bodied, extremely closed and concentrated. Steely.
Lafleur’s 2017 Merlot came in just before the rain. Cellar Master Omri Ram commented, “The 2017 Merlot was very similar to the 2015. With the Cabernet Franc, we waited; we were patient, and it came in ripe yet more fresh than the Merlot.” As it turns out, that combo of the wonderfully decadent Merlot and the galvanizing Cabernet Franc are just magic! Blended of 47% Merlot and 53% Cabernet Franc, the 2017 Lafleur has a medium to deep garnet-purple color and opens with a positively electric intensity of red and black fruits—cherries, black plums, red currants, black raspberries and mulberries—with touches of roses, cinnamon stick, smoked meats and forest floor plus a hint of truffles. Medium to full-bodied with densely packed layers of red and black fruits accented by floral and earthy sparks, it possesses very firm, very finely pixelated tannins and a lively backbone, finishing with epic persistence.
The 2017 Lafleur is without question one of the wines of the vintage on the Right Bank. Dense powerful and structured, the 2017 is all class. Given the wine's richness, I was not surprised to learn that the berries were even smaller in 2017 than they were in either 2016 or 2015. Powerful, explosive and beautifully layered, the 2017 simply has it all. What a wine. This is a tremendous showing from the Guinaudeau family.
The 2017 Lafleur was picked 8 to 12 September and 28 and 29 September for the Merlot and Cabernet Franc respectively. It has a very impressive bouquet, frankly, one of the best that I have encountered in Pomerol, perhaps on the Right Bank. Despite the higher proportion of Cabernet Franc, the Merlot is more expressive with black cherries, a touch of cassis, sea spray and a hint of iodine. It just gains intensity with every swirl of the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with firm but fine tannin, layers of black and red fruit mixed with white pepper, sage and a slight ferrous note towards the persistent finish. This is an awesome 2017 from Baptiste Guinaudeau, one of the few that will oblige several years in the cellar.