Chateau Lafleur is a property of remarkable standing within the upper echelons of the world’s greatest wines. It is undoubtedly one of the finest and rarest wines in Bordeaux, and more specifically in Pomerol, but somehow the property and wines transcend their geographical position, while being ultimately defined by the terroir from which they are crafted. In 1900, Charles Greloud, Henri’s son, inherited Chateau Lafleur. In 1915, the Pomerol property was purchased by Andre Robin who also obtained Chateau Le Gay in the same transaction. The Robin family was familiar with the quality of Bordeaux wine produced at Chateau Lafleur.
Andre Robin was married to Gabrielle Greloud, Henri’s granddaughter. Therese and Marie Robin took over management of the Right Bank estate in 1946 from their father.
The sisters devoted their entire lives to keeping the Chateau Lafleur vineyard intact and producing one of the great Bordeaux wines of all time. One of the early changes the Robin family made at Chateau Lafleur was in the vineyards. At some point in time, perhaps by the early 1920’s, they removed the Malbec that was planted in the vineyards.
Pomerol wine tied to the success and continuous praise heaped on the wine by Robert Parker. Prior to Robert Parker, the quality of Lafleur was not widely known outside the Right Bank, Belgium and a few buyers in London. Robert Parker made his first visit to the estate in 1975 and never stopped writing about the wine.
The 4.58 hectare Pomerol vineyard of Chateau Lafleur is planted in a shape that is unique to Pomerol as it is close to a perfect square. Chateau Lafleur is located in the heart of the Pomerol plateau.
Their closest neighbors are La Fleur Petrus, Petrus, Vieux Chateau Certan and Hosanna. No sign exists announcing you are at Lafleur. It remains a humble, understated property. Four different soil types complement each other in a unique way to make their terroir.
Most common varietal blend of Château Lafleur:
- 50% Merlot
- 50% Cabernet Franc
They have also developed soil maintenance techniques (hoeing, spiking and deep ploughing) that avoid turning over the soil and result in improved aeration in the soil, while avoiding excessive transpiration in the spring. Finally, they never work in the soil in July to favor the slight vine water deficit in the summer. This aids in the ripening process.
At Chateau Lafleur, they manually prune and work with each vine, one at a time. Jacques says, “Lafleur’s vineyard is tended like a large garden where each plant is given its own particular attention”. This work is necessary at Chateau Lafleur, due to how the vineyard is organized. The organization takes into consideration both the terroir and number of vines.
FOOD PAIRINGS AND SERVING
Chateau Lafleur is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. This wine is best paired with Bistecca alla Fiorentina or grilled steak with Roquefort sauce, and Lamb chops with rosemary.
The savoury depths of old Cabernet Franc coupling with sweeter, winsome Merlot were striking. The wine was beautiful, unhampered by its low level; a joyful testament to the impotence of ullage over the timelessness of some great wines.
Find this wine online here.