Château Lafleur: Vineyards

Unlike some grand estates – here in Pomerol as well as the more parcellated communes of Pauillac, St Julien and so on – the vineyards of Château Lafleur lie in a single block, just to the south of the château itself. In terms of composition the estate is almost exactly as it was when it was established by Henri Greloud in 1872, although I am not certain that this statement includes the small arc of vines planted directly alongside the château, established if I am correct by Jacques Guinaudeau in more recent years.

Château Lafleur

There are 4.5 hectares of vines in total, and Jacques declares them to be 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Franc. Unusually, although the vineyard is largely planted in parcels as you would expect, in some parts the two varieties are interplanted, a nod back to the estate’s ancient heritage when this practice would have been more common. Once I am sure the two varieties were harvested and vinified as one, but today the approach is naturally much more meticulous than this; each vine has been identified, and is colour-tagged in order to distinguish the Merlot from the Cabernet Franc, allowing each vine to be cared for in an individualised fashion. The overall density is somewhere between 6,000 and 7,500 vines per hectare, and their overall age averages about 40 years.

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