A SHORT WALK from Bordeaux’s distinguished Château Pétrus brings we to a sandy-colored silt drive, during a finish of that stands a tiny farmhouse. You could be forgiven for meditative it was usually a medium family home, notwithstanding surrounded by a vineyard. And we wouldn’t be distant wrong. But what competence warn we is that this tiny, 4.5-hectare skill produces one of a world’s biggest red wines: Château Lafleur.
Bordeaux has altered a lot given Henri Greloud built a residence and cellars in 1872. Drive by a Médoc during night and you’ll have to demeanour tough to find any lights on; many châteaux are now in a hands of corporate owners and have turn tiny some-more than uncover houses. But Lafleur, notwithstanding a world-wide reputation, is still a home of owners Baptiste and Julie Guinaudeau, who live here with their daughters, Joséphine and Mathilde. Mr. Guinaudeau’s parents, who ran a estate for many years, live in their second property, Grand Village, in adjacent Fronsac. It’s a family concern.
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Everything about Lafleur feels tiny. The unblemished though friendly cellar; a production, that during around 1,000 cases a year means usually a handful of a world’s tip collectors get to ambience it; a vineyard, sandwiched between Vieux Château Certan, Hosanna, La Fleur-Pétrus and Pétrus. The usually thing that isn’t petite is a wine’s reputation, that over a years has been brimful with superlatives.
Stephen Browett, authority of fine-wine traders Farr Vintners, told me that a 1947 was a biggest booze he has ever tasted. And Hew Blair, authority of U.K. booze businessman Justerini Brooks, vocalization of a wine’s expansion from tub to bottle, said: “Tasting Lafleur from tub is challenging: brooding, complex, absolute and untogether. With bottle age Lafleur turns a cloak into one of a innumerable of aromas and flavors from pencil lead, earthy, Morello cherry to dim timberland fruits wrapped in a excellent tannic structure.”
What creates Lafleur so sought-after is a particular character. The blend—a high suit of Cabernet Franc with Merlot—is utterly unusual. In Pomerol, Cabernet Franc is an intriguing grape variety. When entirely ripe, it takes on a mineral, spicy, cold quality. When blended with Merlot, it creates a booze with an heated redolence and compress layers of flavor.
Tasting new Lafleur vintages, we found them noted with an appealing finesse. Like those of Vieux Château Certan, they possess outrageous thoroughness but being too heavy. Aromatic in their youth, they arrangement floral and honeyed dim fruits that, with age, develop into records of tobacco and cedar.
‘Tasting Lafleur from tub is challenging: brooding, complex, absolute and untogether. With bottle age Lafleur turns a cloak into one of a innumerable of aromas and flavors’
Many contend these wines have some-more in common with a calm Cabernet Sauvignon blends from Bordeaux’s Left Bank than a mostly extracted wines of Pomerol. This is due to a multiple of factors—the formidable dirt of a high plateau a vineyard sits on, done adult of clay, silt and gravel; a Cabernet Franc-Merlot blend; a prudent work in a vineyard; and a normal winemaking style. Which, underneath Baptiste and Julie Guinaudeau, isn’t going to change any time soon.
DRINKING NOW // Three Guinaudeau Family Wines Worth Seeking Out
2008 PENSÉES DE LAFLEUR | £85 or €115
Made in tiny quantities, Lafleur’s second booze is mostly a unequivocally intelligent buy. A mix of 61% Merlot and 39% Cabernet Franc, a 2008 is medium-bodied, with a cold mouth feel, and is exhibiting delegate records of mature black fruit and cedar. Alcohol: 14.5%
2013 CHÂTEAU GRAND VILLAGE LES CHAMPS LIBRES | £45 or €61
A genuine collector’s wine, this 100% Sauvignon Blanc from a Sancerre counterpart has a same peaceful hardness one finds in wines from a Loire. Dry, with delicious aromatics, it’s frail and pure, and has a feel of something really expensive. Alcohol: 13%
2010 GUINAUDEAU G ACTE 2 | £25 or €35
If we can’t means a initial wines of Lafleur, this is a good approach to try a winemaking of a Guinaudeau family. A micro-cuvée of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc from vineyards in a Fronsac area, this possesses both vitality and inexhaustible red fruit, and is prepared to splash now. Alcohol: 14%