Château La Fleur-Pétrus
Château La Fleur-Pétrus 2016
From a wine of utter charm, La Fleur-Petrus has through the developments of the last 20 years become a wine of profound depth and complexity, all the while retaining its irresistible, seductive edge. You could even call it the archetype of Pomerol.
Today the estate is composed 90% of Merlot with an average vine age of 30 years and 10% of Cabernet Franc with an average vine age of 50 years. Christian Moueix’ obsessive work in the vineyard focuses on sap flow and the treatment of each vine individually. In the cellar, vinifications are extremely precise but quite traditional.
The 2016 vintage is comprised of all 3 plots of LFP, all situated within 1,500 feet of each other, at the highest elevation of Pomerol alongside the other top properties of the appellation. LFP 1, the original block, is made up of large gravelly soil with an iron-rich underlayer, drained by its northerly slope. The great elegance of the wine is what made LFP’s quality reputation, and gave it the distinction as Pomerol’s seductress, if you will. LFP 2 sits in the center of Pomerol and is made up of gravelly clay, which along with the greater warmth the particular block receives, results in a wine of tremendous suppleness and dark fruit character. LFP 3, the southern plot, has a remarkably fine, deep gravelly soil, with natural drainage toward the south, and produces a velvety, dense and structured wine.
Another important point, LFP was the first property to plant Petit Verdot after regulations allowed its planting in order to offset current and future heat increases. Today the estate is planted 91% to Merlot, 6% to Cabernet Franc, and 3% to Petit Verdot.
In the cellar, vinifications are extremely precise but traditional: vinification in concrete and stainless steel, aging in oak barriques for 18-22 months (50% new) with great care to limit oxidation.
The budbreak was March 28th, and a cool and humid spring gave way to warm days at the end of May, favoring a rapid and complete flowering, from May 30th to June 6th. The summer was marked by a long drought and a few heat waves. Veraison occurred from August 4th to 13th. Rain in mid-September was critical, and saved the vintage, allowing the grapes to reach full maturity. Harvest took place from September 24th to October 12th.
For Christian Moueix, the keys to 2016 were: properly addressing the pressures of the wet spring; green harvesting to address the generous crop size; and limiting the impact of heat and drought through soil tillage and proper canopy management. The 2016 LFP finished with yields down 20%, and a 91% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc composition.
The wine has its trademark focused and elegant red fruit complemented by the black and earthy fruit, power and depth the wine has taken on in recent years. The tannins and structure build and unfold so gracefully, it is the epitome of what great Pomerol should display.
Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot
Vinous Media - "The 2016 La Fleur-Pétrus soars out of the glass with striking aromatics. Light on its feet yet also quite fleshy, the 2016 has so much to offer. Blood orange and floral notes add brightness to the red-toned fruit in this silky, beautifully nuanced Pomerol. The 2016 is rich, dense and spectacularly beautiful, with a persistent, saline-drenched finish that makes it hard to resist a second taste."
Wine Advocate - "Blended of 91% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc, the medium garnet-purple colored 2016 la Fleur-Petrus reveals stunning Black Forest cake, redcurrant jelly and wilted roses scents with underlying suggestions of pencil shavings, yeast extract, dark chocolate and cloves. Medium to full-bodied, the mid-palate possesses superb intensity and depth with layers of perfumed black fruits and loads of red fruit sparks framed by firm, ripe, grainy tannins and oodles of freshness, finishing on a lingering earthy note."