Medium deep colour. Expansive and expressive wine with intense mulberry, plum and star anise aromas and savoury biscuity oak nuances. Vigorous yet seamless with generous mulberry/plum fruits, a touch of praline and vanilla and hint of graphite. Tannins are lacy and dry. Inky, fruit pastille notes plume towards the end palate. Chalky al dente firm with a bitter chinotto kick at the finish. Understated yet gorgeous. 49% Cabernet Franc 51% Merlot.
97 points, Langton's.
Very deep and dark fruits on the nose with black mushrooms and wet earth and just a hint of stones. Touch of rust. Full-bodied, tight and focused. Lots of tannins yet this is so polished under the surface of the wine. Draws you in and holds you with its unique personality. Some tile and clay character to it. Makes you think. Try in 2025.
100 points, jamessuckling.com (2/2018).
It’s hard to describe perfection. It’s not just power and depth. It’s something mystical and ethereal. The wine just floats on your palate with incredible density yet precision. Taste it and you want it forever. So creamy and textured. Glorious.
100 points, jamessuckling.com (3/2016)
The difference between Les Pensées and Lafleur itself is almost invariably in the intensity, texture and weight in the mouth. The extraction time for Lafleur is no more than for its little brother, and both have just 20% new oak in this vintage, one of the lowest percentages at this quality level across the whole of Bordeaux, I would like to bet. And yet the ripeness and density of the fruit is full of impact, showcasing tannins that are fine but structured, with an explosion of black fruits and fresh mint leaf on the mid-palate, layered with graphite, slate, cigar box, and black pepper spice. It's going to last and last. Drink 2023-2040.
100 points, Decanter (10/2017).
The 2015 Lafleur is a blend of 54% Cabernet Franc and 46% Merlot. Medium to deep garnet-purple in colour, it's profoundly scented of plum preserves, chocolate-covered cherries and blueberry pie with nuances of black olives, lavender, unsmoked cigars and cast iron pan plus a touch of Indian spices. The rich, medium to full-bodied palate is completely packed with tightly-wound, fragrant earth, black fruit and exotic spice layers, supported by perfectly ripe, wonderfully velvety tannins and seamless freshness. The epically long finish delivers a sum that is greater than the many compelling characters imparted on the nose and palate, whispering promises of a whole myriad of provocative finishes to discover throughout this wine's very long future. This exquisite masterpiece is not to be missed. Drink 2024-2054.
100 points, Wine Advocate (4/2018).
The 2015 Lafleur has a quite brilliant bouquet, supremely well defined with extraordinarily pure blackberry, cranberry, cold stone and light floral (rose petal) aromas that are beautifully defined. It is only with aeration that it develops that marine tincture that I picked up on out of barrel. The palate is medium-bodied with an intense opening: layers of blackberry, raspberry coulis, bay leaf and hints of black truffle. This is a multidimensional Lafleur with an arching structure and yet manages to maintain stunning focus and precision on the finish. This is going to be one of the great Lafleur wines to rank alongside the likes of the 1982 and 2000. Heavenly. Anticipated maturity: 2025-2055.
99 points (3/2018).
The 2015 Lafleur is a blend of 51% Merlot and 49% Cabernet Franc picked 11-15 September and 1-2 October respectively. As usual, I waited for the Grand Vin to open in the glass, so I chewed the fat with Baptiste Guinaudeau before I started to tap away at the laptop. It unfurls beautifully delivering small red cherries, cranberry and Japanese nori aromas that gain intensity with every swirl. The palate is medium-bodied with full and rounded tannin, very complex with layers of cranberry and raspberry fruit, veins of white pepper and bay leaf, structured on the finish but not as foreboding as the leviathan 2010 Lafleur. It will still require 10 years in bottle to reach its plateau, but it will be one of the standout wines of the vintage. Drink 2028-2060.
97-99 points, Wine Advocate (4/2016).
Just as it was from barrel, the 2015 Lafleur is restrained, inward and not anywhere near as showy as most wines in this vintage. Deep, dark and quite potent, the 2015 is going to need many years to be at its best. I wouldn't dream of touching a bottle before age 10, and even that probably won't be enough time to allow the 2015 to start unwinding. The 2015 is endowed with superb depth and intensity from the very first taste. Time in the glass brings out much of the Cabernet Franc character. The 2015 is an infant, but it is also a great wine in the making. Drink 2020-2045.
97+ points, Vinous (2/2018).
The 2015 Lafleur is compelling in its beauty and translucent energy. One of the most restrained wines of the vintage, the 2015 isn't in a mood to show all of its cards just yet. And still, there is something totally fascinating and alluring here. In a vintage in which so many wines are obvious and overt, Lafleur is the exact opposite.
93-96 points, Vinous (4/2016).
Very rich and spicy on the nose. Masses of sweetness upfront but also great refinement and freshness. Sinewy and really very glorious. Gorgeous elixir. Lots of layers and different nuances. Drink 2025-2050.
18.5/20 points, jancisrobinson.com (4/2016).
In a year when too many châteaux seemed to be trying too hard to make great wines, this is the real deal, a subtle, complex, finely-judged Pomerol from an exceptional terroir, made with Burgundian love of the land. Racy and sweet, balanced, silky and aromatic, with red berry fruit wound around a mineral core. One of my top two wines of the vintage. Drink 2025-40.
99 points, timatkin.com (4/2016).
The richness and sexiness of the fruit here is extraordinary and it is packed with juiciness and power while maintaining its red theme. The oak is also full volume but this has been sucked up by the fruit with ease. Very tense and youthful, this is a wine which needs a decade minimum to relax and with the calibre of tannins and punch of acidity this is possibly a 50-year wine.
18.5+/20 points, matthewjukes.com (4/2016).
51% Merlot, 49% Cabernet Franc. ‘Both varieties were good this year,’ insists Baptiste Guinaudeau. True to form, this is a complex, crafted wine with enormous depth and detail. The palate is unctuous and layered, the carpet of ripe tannin providing tremendous presence and persistence. Huge ageing potential.
97 points, James Lawther MW (4/2016).
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.