2019 Lafleur, opinion please.

[cheers.gif] Hi Everyone, What’s your opinion on the 2019 Lafleur? I have a opportunity to buy En Premier but am questioning the cost @ $799 a bottle. I know it’s a great bottle but?

Thanks [thankyou.gif]


Craig, I don’t know that anyone on this board has tried it. Paging Jeff Leve and Mark Golodetz…

Thanks! [thankyou.gif]

My understanding is that Lafleur didn’t send samples. The only note I have seen is from Jane Anson (Decanter): “Never the most exuberant during En Primeur, this is deep inky purple in colour with a violet rim. On the palate you get touches of iris, with an earthiness alongside, coupled with a grip of tannins that expands through the mid palate then clamps down again pretty sternly on the finish. Strong liquorice and chocolate notes, but the emphasis is clearly on slate and crushed stones, cigar box and cloves, with a strong, serious spine. I don’t give 100 during En Primeur, but this is as close as it gets, and is a reflection of just how impressively the Pomerol plateau has performed in the 2019 vintage. Stainless steel vinification then 15 months ageing in barrel, 33% new oak. 98-100.”



Definite buy. Without tasting.

Thanks Mark! What do you think about the price?

The issue with Lafleur is not quality. I have zero doubt quality is off the charts. The issue is time. More than almost any other Bordeaux wine, Lafleur demands time. There is no other right bank wine, IMO, including Petrus and Cheval Blanc, that is so much in need of time to show what it has. A reasonable comparison is to Leoville las Cases. But that wine only costs $200-300 for good recent vintages. Whereas with Lafleur you are paying $700-1100 for top vintages, but the wine is truly a waste to drink in its first 20 years of life. All of which is to say that if you really want to drink Lafleur, I think the best option is (1) buy it at auction, and (2) either settle for good but lesser vintages that cost less and drink earlier (1999, 2004, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014), or (3) pay a premium for better vintages that are in their prime now (1989, 1990, 1995).

The reality is that of the post-2000 Lafleurs, the only ones that are in the zone now are 2001 (barely), 2002 (not worth the premium IMO), 2003 (ditto), 2007 (haven’t had it but likely to drink well), and 2013 (amazing for the vintage, but made in tiny quantities and not worth the premium). Everything else is too young, IMO. Even the 2004 is just barely waking up, and the 1998 is locked up tight.

Thanks. I have no problem waiting. Lots of other wine to drink. [cheers.gif]

The price is excellent.

Lafleur is my favorite Bordeaux, and to my mind, makes it into that rarefied strata of wine “legends”. Anyone with lots of money can buy Lafite or DRC, but there is only so much Lafleur to go around. Great terroir. And the story about the two old biddies that had chickens running through the wine cellar is too much! I imagine them in their old lace drinking tea and looking out at the vineyards through windows that still had dust from WWII on them. Whether it was true or not, the wine certainly sometimes tasted like it was made in a barn.

And the longevity is unparalleled. I was lucky to attend a dinner in 1990 with (If I recall correctly, it was a big night) the 1947, 1953, 1955 and1962 Lafleurs. We may have had one more (1964) but decided against the '71 and '75 because they were likely too young. You could see them getting tighter, even though at 28 y.o. it should have been drinking reasonably well. I’ve had the '70 a number of times, none of the bottle were ready. Each bottle unforgettable not only on the qualities of the wine but the story. I hope newer vintages will reach those heights. (Thanks for the drinking advice above) If you can afford it, I would not hesitate.

Wouldn’t say the price is excellent based off of two different offers I got for $100 cheaper per bottle.

Agree completely, Lafleur needs a lot of time, A LOT —

Two vintages I´ve had very nice experiences with: 1983 and 1988.
they should not be as expensive as the great years (and cheaper than the 2019), but deliver an excellent impression of Lafleur´s character - and are at least outstanding.

I’ve had the 2009 and 2010 in the past 12 months as part of larger vintage retrospectives and in both vintages, it was among the best wines tasted (and we tasted and scored all wines blind). True, in terms of readiness measured in aromatic complexity it was not up there with the very best wines… you got the sense that it needs more time to unlock its potential. In terms of structure and texture, however, it was unquestionably one of the top 3 wines in both vintages. Hardly any wine in 2009 and no other wine in 2010 was so absolutely weightless, so elegant - despite its youth.

I suppose I could try to some research on Jeff Leve’s Board or similar, but I always wonder how the tiny producers like Lafleur can afford modern winemaking equipment, testing, bottling, vineyard management, you name it. No doubt this plays somewhat into the steep price but it cuts both ways-who wants to spend $700 and upwards a bottle for a compromised wine? From the feedback here, I gather Lafleur has found a way, but I think of Certain de May with it’s history of two old ladies owning the tiny winery and it’s historic underperformance.

Where are you finding it for less than $700 a bottle?

Which two old ladies were those?

I am pretty sure the Guinaudeau’s aren’t struggling to get by, of course that’s not true for a great many in Bordeaux who end up selling in supermarkets at 3.50-5 euros a bottle making decent drinkable wine.

The DeMay sisters. 1920’s. Look it up.