x
  • Country ranking ?

    49
  • Producer ranking ?

    3
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now
  • Food Pairing

    enjoy without food

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.

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The Story

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.

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Vintage 1961

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Average Bottle Price

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2005 2000 1995
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€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Latest Pro-tasting notes

68 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Mature, Ruby red and Clear

ending

Endless, Extensive, Pure and Alcoholic

flavors

Blackcurrant, Smoky, Vanilla, Toasty, Leather and Mineral

nose

Complex, Rich, Pure and Intense

recommend

Yes

taste

Average in Acidity, Warming, Low tannin, Well-structured, Perfectly balanced, Concentrated, Full-bodied, Sharp, Firm, Rich, Round, Dry and Silky tannins

Verdict

Masterpiece and Good everyday wine

Written Notes

A new bar was set, and the 1961 Latour kept pace. There was similar 1961 goodness here. Again, ripeness was on full display, but in a more purple and walnutty Latour way. There was also a touch of mint here, or maybe that was the Haut Brion still lingering! The Latour was not nearly as open as the HB, yet obviously heavy duty. There were thick thighs in its nose, and its palate was rich and long, ‘still the one,’ I wrote. Its palate was a quartet of so’s – so young, so fresh, so perfect and so long, but this was a wine that I didn’t want to see later, I wanted it right there, right then. Thick came to mind again. At first, I preferred the Latour, but the HB kept challenging and challenging, and many preferred the Graves in the end. It was a dead heat, but Latour is still on the way up (98+).

  • 98p
Beautiful ruby moderately intense colour. Very intense, deep, smoky and cedar nose with plenty of ripe black currants, brambles and black olives completed delightfully with hints of violets. Very youthful nose showing only tip of the iceberg at this stage. Full-bodied palate, lively acidity and really masculine ripe tannins that has together with toasty oakiness pronounced mouth-drying effect on long finish. There is still plenty of fresh dark fruits together with pronounced mineral flavours hidden under wine’s masculine structure which suggests this is truly a huge iceberg for a wine that takes still years to open and decades to last. Immense experience, but this bottle had not reached its optimum drinkability yet.
  • 97p

A wine, which at first sip had aroma and tasted of purely of Cabernet, and showing delicious blackcurrants, tobacco leaves, mint and leather. Densely built wine, rock solid and ultra concentrated wine with fat and strong tannin, exceptional structure and mega length. It hasn't reached full maturity yet. Will this wine do it after 10 or 20 years, for it seems eternal. We experienced a really perfect bottle at the tasting day!

  • 99p

Information

Origin

Pauillac, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Extraordinary

Value For Money

Very good

Release state price

3$

Investment potential

Excellent

Fake factory

Serious

Glass Time

2h

Drinking Temperature

18

Inside Information

Christie’s sale of Rarities from the Cellar of Château Latour achieved a total of HK$59,718,000/US$7,673,763, with 100% sold by lot and value. The auction attracted international interest online, on the telephone and in the saleroom. The strongest bidding was by Asian wine collectors who showed their strong appreciation for Château Latour. In addition to an abiding passion for the most famous Bordeaux vintages, there was also keen competition for the very rare old bottles that set this sale apart.

Mr. David Elswood, International Head of Wine for Christie’s:

“The sale marks a triumphant result for Château Latour in Hong Kong. Vintage 1961 reigned supreme, achieving a new record price of HK$1,800,000 for the 6 magnum lots, while the impériale sold for HK$1,680,000.

With 100% sold and 14 lots selling over HK$1 million, the sale once again demonstrates the tremendous appeal of Château Latour and the strong demand for wines of the highest quality and rarity.”

Mr. Charles Curtis MW, Head of Wine for Christie’s Asia:

“The Château Latour sale was a great success, totalling close to HK$60,000,000/US$7,670,000/GBP4,680,000 with a 100% sell-through rate. It was gratifying to see collectors sitting through an eight-hour long session to bid for the very best vintages, including 1961, 1959 and 1945, leading to over 95% of sold lots selling over the high estimate.

Asian buyers came out particularly strong, dominating our top tens of the sale.  We also saw our highest average lot value to date at HK$152,342/US$19,576/GBP11,928, reflecting a true appreciation of quality and the pursuit of perfection among wine connoisseurs around the world.”

 

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Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

99p
 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  Château Latour 1961  ( Château Latour )

A wine, which at first sip had aroma and tasted of purely of Cabernet, and showing delicious blackcurrants, tobacco leaves, mint and leather. Densely built wine, rock solid and ultra concentrated wine with fat and strong tannin, exceptional structure and mega length. It hasn't reached full maturity yet. Will this wine do it after 10 or 20 years, for it seems eternal. We experienced a really perfect bottle at the tasting day!

6m 16d ago

98p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Château Latour 1961  ( Château Latour )

A new bar was set, and the 1961 Latour kept pace. There was similar 1961 goodness here. Again, ripeness was on full display, but in a more purple and walnutty Latour way. There was also a touch of mint here, or maybe that was the Haut Brion still lingering! The Latour was not nearly as open as the HB, yet obviously heavy duty. There were thick thighs in its nose, and its palate was rich and long, ‘still the one,’ I wrote. Its palate was a quartet of so’s – so young, so fresh, so perfect and so long, but this was a wine that I didn’t want to see later, I wanted it right there, right then. Thick came to mind again. At first, I preferred the Latour, but the HB kept challenging and challenging, and many preferred the Graves in the end. It was a dead heat, but Latour is still on the way up (98+).

7m 2d ago

97p
 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  Château Latour 1961  ( Château Latour )

"Very top shoulder fill, excellent cork. Bright deepish ruby, very thin brick rim. Starting out earthy. After thirty minutes whiff of prunes and figs, cassis, pencil shaves, cedar, scented and superb nose. layered and complex. Absolutely gorgeous. Not decanted. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, and the tannins are perfectly integrated in the texture, soon polished off. Layered and mouthwatering, Aged and still youthful, gorgeous length. Best bottle I've had of 64 Latour. Minutes of length. Superb with classic grouse. Starting to dry far out in the finish after two hours if you had to much in the glass. With smaller pours, it held up superbly in the bottle. Drink soon. 96-97"

1y 5m ago

97p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Château Latour 1961  ( Château Latour )

"Beautiful ruby moderately intense colour. Very intense, deep, smoky and cedar nose with plenty of ripe black currants, brambles and black olives completed delightfully with hints of violets. Very youthful nose showing only tip of the iceberg at this stage. Full-bodied palate, lively acidity and really masculine ripe tannins that has together with toasty oakiness pronounced mouth-drying effect on long finish. There is still plenty of fresh dark fruits together with pronounced mineral flavours hidden under wine’s masculine structure which suggests this is truly a huge iceberg for a wine that takes still years to open and decades to last. Immense experience, but this bottle had not reached its optimum drinkability yet."

1y 6m ago

100p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Château Latour 1961  ( Château Latour )

"Latour 1961 / Almost all the bottles I have tasted have been in very good condition. Only few top-shoulder or lower. The ideal decanting time seem to be 1.5 hours. This bottle of Latour 1961 did live up to the romantic memory of our previous experience with it. It has beautiful dark red, almost orange at its edges, and truly mature in colour. The scent was sound and open, classic, a perfectly merged bouquet. The presence of fruit was unbelievably rich.

A sublimely rich, firm, still quite tannic, full, very long and abundantly fruity classic blew our ourwell-educated senses of taste into new life. Perfect balance and structure. Time lost its meaning. The sensations I experienced in that moment are almost impossible to describe and for the first time my eyes were filled with tears. What I love most about this Goliath was the endless awe-inspiring finish. Not only was the mouthfeel like drinking liquid silk but the aristocratic finish of multi-layered Cabernet stayed on the palate for an eternity. One of the best wine I ever had. I take a low bow to it. "

1y 9m ago

97p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Château Latour 1961  ( Château Latour )

"The 1961 Latour took no prisoners. This was super smoky, thick and very long. Its ‘tannins overshadowed’ the plush polish of the Mouton a bit. This was a bigger, thicker and longer wine with a regal and powerful dryness. This was rock solid, thick and muscly (97)."

1y 9m ago

99p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Château Latour 1961  ( Château Latour )

"The crowd was pretty much equally divided as to its favorite of the first three wines, but there was no denying that the 1961 Latour was the wine of the night. There was a similar fruit profile here to the previous Latours, in a much younger and more virile way. This was much deeper, and much more serious. There was a lot of intensity here, and the ’61 Latour had all the right moves and all the right curves to move in the first place. My notes read, ‘I’m yours.’ Not sure if I meant the wine said that to me, or I said that to the wine. Either way, it was on. ‘Raw’ and ‘chocolate’ came from the crowd, and Frederic admired its ‘noble herbal energy.’ There was great minerality and outta control spice to this increasingly complex wine. Flavors of tightly-wrapped nuts in cassis lingered seemingly forever. By the way, there are 25 Imperials left of this vintage at the Chateau. Damn (99).
"

2y 2m ago

98p
 Ronan Sayburn MS , Sommelier (United Kingdom)  tasted  Château Latour 1961  ( Château Latour )

"Latour 1961/ Very elegant and fine, still big and powerful for a bottle this old, complex and showing youth, menthol hints, soft fine balance, long, complex, truffle and cinder toffee. Still incredibly showing lots of red ripe fruits, cedar wood and elegant tannins.
98 points"

2y 4m ago

100p
 Ray Thomsen, Wine Writer (Switzerland)  tasted  Château Latour 1961  ( Château Latour )

"Opened 40 minutes before. Amazingly deep ruby color, with the hint of evolution at the rim. On the nose, rich black fruits, damp earth, leather, and spicy cask. The bottle was perfect with huge power and intensity it’s in the prime of life. A perfect balance. Liquid perfection, exhibiting fragrant, cedary, truffle, leather, mineral, and sweet, jammy aromatics, The true Latour."

2y 6m ago

97p
 Richard Juhlin / The number One champagne expert in the world, Pro (Sweden)  tasted  Château Latour 1961  ( Château Latour )

"Faktiskt fortfarande ung. Det är ingen tvekan om att detta är årgångens mest kompletta och kompakta vin. Det är tuggbart, svart, utvecklande i glaset med tjära, tobak, oliver, lakrits och björnbär och cassis. Dock är jag personligen mer förtjust i Lafites aromspektrum och stil."

2y 6m ago

98p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Château Latour 1961  ( Château Latour )

"A new bar was set, and the 1961 Latour kept pace. There was similar 1961 goodness here. Again, ripeness was on full display, but in a more purple and walnutty Latour way. There was also a touch of mint here, or maybe that was the Haut Brion still lingering! The Latour was not nearly as open as the HB, yet obviously heavy duty. There were thick thighs in its nose, and its palate was rich and long, ‘still the one,’ I wrote. Its palate was a quartet of so’s – so young, so fresh, so perfect and so long, but this was a wine that I didn’t want to see later, I wanted it right there, right then. Thick came to mind again. At first, I preferred the Latour, but the HB kept challenging and challenging, and many preferred the Graves in the end. It was a dead heat, but Latour is still on the way up (98+)."

3y 9m ago

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