The why, the what and the how of...

Château Lafleur

Château Lafleur’s Grand Vin is one of the rarest and most sought-after wines in the world. Family owned, this tiny 4.5-hectare Pomerol property is located opposite Pétrus and shares equal recognition to its neighbour on the fine wine stage. Only the very highest standards will do at Lafleur and if a vintage is not deemed good enough, no Grand Vin is released. Annual production sits at a mere average of 12,000 bottles.

Bordeaux remains the most famous of the world’s fine wine regions, and to this extent, many of the most lauded properties are owned by multinational corporations. The smaller, family-owned properties are a rarer entity and most of them reside on the Right Bank. Lafleur’s origins lie in Château Le Gay. In the mid-18th century, the Greloud family split up their land to divide between their two sons: Emile and Henri One remained Château Le Gay and the other became Domaine de Lafleur, and so began Lafleur’s story in 1872.

After his death, Henri Greloud bestowed his estate to his son Charles, who in turn sold it in 1915 to André Robin, husband to his granddaughter. André left Le Gay and Lefleur to his daughters, Thérèse and Marie, who retained the properties until 1984. Upon Marie’s death, Lefleur was leased out by her surviving sister to her nephew Jacques and his wife Sylvie Guideneau, who ultimately became the sole owners. Over the years they have invested a great deal in renovating the vineyards and modernising the cellars. Today, their son Baptiste Guideneau and his wife Julie run affairs at the estate.

The vineyards are situated on the gravel-rich Pomerol plateau and adjoin those of La Fleur-Pétrus. The soils are particularly deep and are enriched by deposits of potassium and iron. Only natural fertilisers are used and yields are extremely low – in true artisanal style. All work in the vineyard is done by hand.

The wines of Lafleur are uncharacteristic for Pomerol in their composition. The blend is typically  almost a perfect 50/50 split between Merlot and Bouchet (Cabernet Franc). The wine is aged in small oak barrels (50% new) for 18 months. The Grand Vin combines exquisite balance and has the ability to exhibit wonderful charm on release, but requires time in bottle and has the potential to age and evolve for up to twenty years and more.

Unlike other Bordeaux wines, the Lafleur wines are not sold via négociants (network of merchants in La Place, Bordeaux). This is exactly how we work with Petrus, and we are honoured to say that we now have the same arrangement with Château Lafleur – importing the wines direct from the château and on an exclusive basis, with the direct benefits afforded to price and perfect provenance.

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