97-100/100 Andrew Caillard MW. Medium deep colour. Intense redcurrant/ plummy aromas with plenty of savoury nuances. Rich expressive wine with sweet redcurrant/ plum flavours and plentiful/ gravel tannins. Finishes inky and chocolaty.
92-94/100 Robert Parker Jr. This tiny jewel of a property has produced a beautifully rich 2011 Lafleur from a blend of 53% Cabernet Franc and 47% Merlot. The Merlot was picked between August 31 and September 12, and the Cabernet Franc between September 22-23. The 2011 reveals a floral-scented bouquet with notions of kirsch, licorice and black raspberries. It is medium to full-bodied with terrific fruit purity, good minerality and slightly more acidity and freshness than are found in such ripe vintages as 2009 and 2010. At present, the Guinandeau family, the owners, are using between 50-60% new oak in an attempt to emphasize their great terroir and the extraordinary fruit quality they achieve from both the old vine Cabernet Franc and Merlot. This cuvee possesses some serious tannin and will undoubtedly need 5-6 years of cellaring after its release, but it should be one of the longer-lived wines of the vintage, lasting 25+ years.
18/20 Julia Harding MW, Jancis Robinson. A little note of mint here too, from the Merlot, but there's also a dark-fruited sweetness and a note of red cherry, small berries, and a hint of something floral. Fragrant. And a dusty minerality. Utterly fresh, so fleeting, it seems, on the palate but then it goes on and on. Starts dry and grows softer on the finish. There's a dark but lightweight minerality. So, so long.
Pomerol, on the Right Bank of Bordeaux’s Gironde River, produces some of the world’s most sought-after wines, including those from such storied properties as Chateau Petrus. Yet Pomerol, the smallest of the fine-wine-producing districts of Bordeaux, offers no Grand Cru or Premier Cru wines: It’s the most significant Bordeaux appellation not included in any quality ranking. At the time of the historic 1855 Classification of Bordeaux, Right Bank chateaux were considered remote and difficult to travel to, and so were ignored by the merchants who created the classification. (St. Émilion, a notable neighbour on the Right Bank, created its own classification system in 1954.)
Pomerol has managed to do quite well without this form of validation. Pomerol’s predominantly clay soil is ideally suited for Merlot, the primary grape used in the appellation. Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are also included in Pomerol’s blended red wines. The wines of Pomerol are lush and rich, and generally not as tannic as the Cabernet-based wines of Bordeaux’s Left Bank. Although Pomerol’s very best wines are capable of aging for decades, most are made for immediate consumption. These Merlot-based wines are known for their lush texture, elegance and grace, as well as the softer tannins they offer in comparison to the Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines made elsewhere in Bordeaux.