This amazing wine puts on a display of fireworks in terms of its aromatics, with a stunning nose of blue and black fruits, forest floor, flowers and earth. Dense purple, full-bodied, rich, moderately tannic and super-concentrated, this is a profound Pomerol that still needs another decade of cellaring. This is possibly the greatest Lafleur of the modern era, rivaling the 1982 and 2000. Forget it for another 5-10 years and drink it over the following quarter-century.
The 2005 Lafleur does not quite match up to previous examples and certainly juxtaposed against the 2000 Lafleur, I have a preference for the millennial. Still, I am quibbling. It has a tightly-wound bouquet at first with blackberry, wild strawberry, black truffle and minerals that only reluctantly unfolds over the course of two or three hours. I cannot recall the nose on the 2005 being so obdurate! The palate is medium-bodied, the tannins not quite as fine as the 2000, and grainy in texture. The Cabernet Franc is more expressive towards the finish, imparting notes of dried blood and cured meat. This remains a great Pomerol although I do not find it ageing with the same level of grace as the 2000. Tasted at the Christies’ Lafleur masterclass in London.
The nose on this wine is classic. Floral notes of lilacs and violets, citrus fruits, raspberries, and blackberries. On the palate this is full bodied, with incredible power and density. A very impressive silky texture underneath the intense fruit flavors that gives way to an excitingly long, long finish. It’s hard to believe the classic structure in this. Impeccable balance. Don’t touch this for 10 years.
The 2005 Lafleur is quite a bit less showy than most Pomerols in this vintage. I suspect the high percentage of Cabernet Franc may have something to do with it. Aromatically intense, but also austere, the 2005 feels like it needs more time. The bouquet is captivating, but huge tannins make Lafleur much less accessible today than most of its peers. Time brings out gorgeous hints of blood orange, mint, cinnamon, cedar and sweet pipe tobacco, but those are mere illusions, as the 2005 remains quite tannic. It will be interesting to see what time brings. Both bottles I tasted showed consistently.
The wine was made from a blend of 61% Merlot and 39% Cabernet Franc, making this one of the highest percentages of Merlot in the decade. The complex nose shows cherry pipe tobacco, stone, flowers and cherry liqueur in abundance. Full bodied, silky, smooth, supple, and fresh, there is a beautiful sense of purity in the exotic, plum and cherries in the long finish. The wine remains in your mouth for close to 50 seconds. Tasted June 2015
Jacques Guinaudeau describes 2005 as the 'deckchair vintage': 'It was such a perfect harvest that we only had to let nature take its course.’ That said, this is an utterly brilliant and sublime Lafleur, and for me is one of the standout wines of this great vintage. Interestingly there is a higher percentage of Merlot, at 61%. It has a floral, liquorice nose with ink and cassis notes, while the palate is full, sweet and mouthfilling, with flavours of dark chocolate, plum skin, graphite and creamy, ripe black fruits. Exquisitely sculpted tannins are offset by bright, racy acidity, giving this wine a gorgeously seamless texture, balance and a mind boggling finish. Utterly graceful and rivetingly compelling.
Tasted by John Stimpfig (at Christie's, London, 10 May 2018)
Part of Château Lafleur vertical: 1993-2013
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