Certainly one of the greatest wines I have ever tasted
Parker 100 points / I have been fortunate to have this wine on eleven separate occasions, with many of the tastings being held over the last several years. I have had it from both regular bottles and magnum. It has scored a consistent 100 points at every tasting, whether it has been tasted on the other side of the Atlantic or in the United States. The wine is a full-bodied, monumental Pauillac that tastes like syrup of Cabernet. The port-like, unctuous, chewy texture is to die for. The color remains an opaque purple/garnet. The nose offers up celestial quantities of black fruits, truffles, leather, cedar, and minerals. On several occasions, because of the jammy sweetness of the aromatics, I have thought this to be a Petrus (how embarrassing in terms of the different nature of the wines). The 1961 Latour is still gorgeously sweet, rich, and showing absolutely no amber at the edge, or other signs of aging. It is a massive, extraordinary mouthful of Bordeaux that is certainly one of the greatest wines I have ever tasted.
The 47 hectares which surround the Château, the heart of the estate, are called "l'Enclos". Only the grapes from these 47 ha make the "Grand Vin de Château Latour". The vines in this vineyard are very old, some of them being centenarian. This "Enclos" benefits from a very unique terroir that combines an optimized sub-soil nutrition for the vines, the Gironde river which tempers extreme weather conditions, and a typical Médoc climate, largely influenced by the Atlantic ocean, which allows the grapes to reach maturation under favourable conditions.
Very rainy winter with a very warm February, and growth starting in the first few days - that is to say a month early. The first half of March was very warm and the first leaves were noted on 10 March. Growth accelerated, but there were frosts at the end of March and severe cold on the 25th and the 29th. April was unstable and predominantly cold : growth slowed. Very heavy fruiting was noted. The first flowers appeared on 12 May but the fine weather during the day was followed by cold nights. 27 and 28 May were cold and on 29 May, in full flower, disaster struck. The flowers were frozen, the sterile grapes dried immediately after. Three-quarters of the crop was given up for lost. The failure of the flowering was confirmed. There had never been frosts in May.
July was not good on the whole ; overcast with no rain and no sun. The first three weeks of August were overcast too with temperatures below average and clearly insufficient. There was not enough sunshine either. The vineyard lacked both water and sun. It was a kind of chilly dryness. The temperature rose at the end of August. The sun shone brilliantly with gusts of warm wind on vineyards that didn't need any further drying. The fine weather settled in on 24 August and continued without a break until 28 September, almost as dry as in 1949. It rained on 29 and 30 September. Harvest from 19-28 September. It was very hot, which caused problems with vinification. Yields were very poor, as had been expected, so the harvest was short.
Vintage quality and tasting comments
Notes made at the running-off stage predicted a great wine. It had frank, colored, very rich, very ripe, very rôti, very fat. The colors were enormous, such as had not been seen for a long time. Today the wine has a very deep colour, still intense. The nose displays very complex perfumes of noble cedar, tar, mint, though still a little closed (let it breathe in the glass). The mouth is phenomenal, still full of fruit, long back-bone, incredibly concentrated and very well balanced. The tannins have a real " grip " in the mouth, without any aggressivity. Endless finish. A wine for "connoisseurs" probably more difficult to understand today (2000) than the 1959.
Quality: Exceptional year
The moment for optimal drinking and best way of serving
Even though we are speaking of a wine of more than 35 years of age, it is still barely at its optimum, and will still improve. It is quite safe to say that this wine can be kept at its optimum for another 20 years. We promise to update these tasting notes by 2020...
Keep the bottle vertical at least half a day to settle the sediments at the bottom of the bottle. Then slowly pour the wine into a decanter in order to get rid of these sediments, keep in the decanter for at least 2 hours for aeration and serve.
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
|3 670€ +26.8%||2 894€ -17.0%||3 487€ +27.1%||2 743€ +13.3%||2 420€ -36.1%||3 789€ +29.2%||2 932€ +83.4%||1 599€ +60.2%||998€ +76.3%||566€|