chateau lafleur, pomerol 2020
I was, to be honest, a little unsure of how the gravels here would react to the dry summer but the first hit of graphite and smoky berry fruit makes it clear Lafleur has taken the vintage in its stride. This is an excellent wine, barely showing its potential right now - it's a big year, with knitted-down tannins, serious and powerful, not austere so much as layered, complex and full of hidden energy. The floral aromatics curl up after 10 minutes in the glass, as does bitter chocolate and crushed mint.
The 2020 Lafleur is a blend of 46% Cabernet Franc and 54% Merlot picked September 4–18. Like the Les Pensées, it is initially backward and requires 4–6 minutes’ coaxing. Then it reveals intense black fruit, iris, incense and basalt, very focused and quite serious, somehow restless at being rudely awakened during its élevage. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-boned tannins and superb delineation, weighty in the mouth but paradoxically weightless on the finish. There is superb attack, incredible length and a persistent saline finish. The Cabernet Franc, or Bouchet to give it its proper name in Pomerol, is in full flight in this Lafleur, although it is not as immediate as the 2020 Petrus. But it is certainly one of the appellation's most intellectual offerings and will be fascinating to watch as it ages.