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Château Lafleur

This tiny 4.5 hectare estate produces one of the greatest wines of Pomerol and therefore of all Bordeaux and it is the opinion of many that Lafleur outshines Pétrus as often as not.

The Guinadeaus, Jacques and Sylvie, are the owners and they work the vineyard and make the wine too. It can be no coincidence that the reputation of the property has blossomed since the early 1980s when they took over the reins.

At first they were custodians for their cousin Marie Robin but when she passed away in 2001 they raised the capital to purchase the estate outright. They have extensively replanted, improved drainage, rectified soil pH and upgraded the trellising to make the most of the vineyard and its terroir. There are five variations on a theme of clay and gravel, rich in potassium and iron, across the estate and the whole sits atop the famous Pomerol plateau where most of the most highly regarded properties reside.

One of the foundations for their success is the care they take in the vineyard. The small size of the estate allows them to pay particular attention to every vine and this is exactly what they do, ensuring that healthy vines produce exceptionally low yields. Each parcel of vines is assessed carefully before harvest, particularly in terms of blending potential, as it is one of the quirks of the estate that there are only seven fermentation vats and space is at a premium after the harvest. The grapes are hand-picked and sorted simultaneously as there is no table at the winery. The fruit is dEstemmed before a gentle crushing and after fermentation spends 18 months or so in oak barrels, up to 50% of which are new. The assemblage is typically 50% merlot and 50% cabernet franc.

The result is a wine of great concentration and fragrance with a wonderful potential to reward those with the time and patience to age it.

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