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.
Robert ParkerScore: 97-100/100
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.
James SucklingScore: 97-98/100
One of the wines of the vintage is the 2017 Lafleur, which comes from a vintage compared to 2011 by owner Baptiste Guinaudeau. Not harvested until the 12th of October (which is very late), it offers a heavenly bouquet of black raspberries, exotic flowers, and crushed rocks. Possessing full-bodied richness, shocking mid-palate depth and concentration (especially in the vintage), ripe tannin, and a big finish, it’s a gem of a wine that will need only short-term cellaring yet age beautifully.
Jeb DunnuckScore: 95-97/100
Very dark. Darkly fragrant. Incredibly pure cassis nose and just a touch of graphite/mineral dustiness. Super-elegant fine tannins, more dark charm than Les Pensées. Paper-fine texture slides across the palate in delicate persistence. Layers of paper giving embryonic complexity. Gorgeous. Utterly refined. Incredibly long. (JH)
Jancis Robinson MWScore: 18.5/20Drink Drink2027-2040
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.
Neal MartinScore: Drink 2025-2055
The more gravelly soils of Lafleur have responded beautifully this year, expressing a real creaminess and density to the black fruits. There's a clear Cabernet Franc edge to the nose and to the attack on the palate, with a corresponding austerity and tightness to the tannins and a slightly chewy finish. There's a sense of momentum as the acidity rises through the palate, and it certainly has some of the power and sense of confident elegance of the 2016 vintage here. They avoided most of the frost damage here, and so were able to harvest the Merlots before the rain, between 8-12 September, and waited until 28-29 September for the Cabernets.
DecanterScore: 95/100Drink 2026-2040