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.
The weather conditions
After a generally mild and wet winter with a few cold spells, growth started on 4 April. The weather was mediocre, cold and rainy, as was May. There was even a night frost on the 20th. This inclement weather continued until 7 June. During flowering, from 7 to 15 June, the weather was fine, but bad weather set in again from the 16th to 25th and it was very cold for the time of year. Flowering was affected and did not finish until about 5 July. During a fine, hot July, there was some falling of grapes due to the previous month's weather. August was quite cool and it rained in September until the 22nd. In these circumstances, rot was observed as early as 8 September. Fortunately, temperatures were low and the rot spread slowly. Conditions improved from the 23rd, and by the end of the month we had fine weather with a steady east wind to dry out the rot. Vintage from 29 September to 15 October.
The musts were moderately rich with high acidity. Color, on the other hand, appeared good. Naturally, after the 1968 vintage, there were hopes for a wine of better quality, but it lacked richness and length.
Vintage quality and tasting comments
The 1969 was quite austere when young but developed rapidly. Today (2000) it is clearly showing signs of this fast ageing process. It develops a pepper nose, a little raw (typical from the non-riped Cabernet Sauvignon) , and in the mouth it is showing an interesting structure and concentration, but remains tannic and a little acidic.
Quality: Mediocre year
The moment for optimal drinking and best way of serving
The wine has already declined and is more to be drunk as a "curiosity".
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 and serve.