Peter Maude Fine Wines

2019, Les Pensées, AOC POMEROL (Ch. Lafleur)

$318

Bordeaux Blend: Cabernet Franc, Merlot.

The 2019 Pensées de Lafleur is composed and focused on the nose. An old school Pomerol in the positive sense, with truffle and ash scents emerging over time. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, fine acidity, pencil lead and black pepper towards its cohesive and persistent finish. This is a class act. Tasted blind at the Southwold annual tasting. 94 Neal Martin, Vinous (2023).

Touches of blackcurrant puree, with sapid touches of leaf and earth - gorgeously aromatic. Has some of the creamy richness of 2015 but there is a higher freshness and minerality in this vintage, helped by a high percentage of Cabernet Franc. Signature Pomerol, both seductive and restrained. As ever this 2nd wine reflects the clay of the Pomerol plateau rather than the gravels of Lafleur due to its distinctive terroir within the estate's  vineyard, forming the diagonal vein that links from Vieux Château Certan and over to Château La Fleur-Pétrus. 93 Jane Anson, Decanter (2020).

A dark and heady nose, bramble fruits and spice, coffee and blackcurrant nuances. Gorgeous texture that stands out immediately, this is succulent but not overtly mouthwatering. Serious and broad shouldered, there's a meatiness to the texture with grippy tannins but still with a velvet like quality that have such presence in the mouth. This feels so expressive but also so controlled - spherical and fleshy but with a background of iron, wet stone and graphite. Finishes direct and poised, focussing the palate to a long mineral-edged lingering taste. Such complexity, I love this wine. 97 Georgina Hindle, Decanter (2022).

Unwinding in the glass with aromas of raspberries, violets, rose petals, Egyptian musk and spices, the 2019 Pensées de Lafleur is full-bodied, layered and velvety, with a deep, fleshy, concentrated core of fruit, lively acids and ripe, powdery tannins, concluding with a long, penetrating finish. Derived from vines growing in the part of Lafleur's vineyard through which a water course once flowed and where the soils are richer in clay and better hydrated, it's a blend of more or less equal parts Cabernet Franc and Merlot; this bottling hasn't really been a "second wine" since the late 1990s - but the market doesn't seem to have caught on. For now, it remains the best way to experience the Guinadeau family's magic touch in Pomerol, for the price of a good Médoc second growth. 96 William Kelley, Wine Advocate (2022).

Drinking Window: 2026 - 2050

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