x
  • Country ranking ?

    132
  • Producer ranking ?

    6
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    now to 2040
  • Food Pairing

    carpaccio of scallops & rock salt

This is an unusual Latour in the fact that it has always been precocious.

It has been jammy, forward, and delicious no matter when the cork was pulled, in total contrast to its two Pauillac first-growth siblings, Mouton Rothschild and Lafite Rothschild.The dense, opaque garnet-coloured 1982 Latour reveals slight amber at the edge. Sweet, smokey, roasted aromas in the nose combine with jammy levels of black currant, cherry and prune-like fruit. It possesses extroadinary concentration and unctuosity, with a thick, fat texture oozing notes of cedar wood, tobacco, coffee, and overripe fruit. Low acidity as well as high alcohol (for Bordeaux) give the wine even more glycerin and textural chewiness. The finish lasts forever.The only Latour that remotely resembles the 1982 is the 1961, which has a similar texture and succulence. Anticipated maturity :now-2040

Score: 100

Robert Parker, Bordeaux Book (4), December 2003

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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 1982

Vintage: 1982 Bordeaux / James Suckling

The 1982 vintage in Bordeaux changed the wine world as well as changed my life. It was the first vintage I tasted from barrel as a young wine writer working for the American magazine The Wine Spectator, and I was amazed how gorgeous the quality of a young red could be from barrel. I remember the first barrel samples I tasted during the summer of 1983 at Chateau Prieure-Lichine with the late wine author and vintner Alexis Lichine. The wines were so fruity with soft and rich tannins. They seemed too drinkable for a young wine, yet Lichine who had over forty years of experience tasting young wines told me the wines were “exceptional” and “some of the greatest young wines ever produced.” He had invited some of his winemaking pals from the Medoc to a lunch at his chateau following the tasting. And he kept telling them, which included such names as Bruno Prats (then Cos d’Estournel), Anthony Barton (Leoville-Barton) and Jean-Eugene Borie (Ducru-Beaucaillou) that young writers like myself were the future of the region and that they had to make me understand that 1982 was a great year. He was upset that the New York Times and some other magazines had come out saying that the new vintage was not outstanding do to it seemingly early drinkability.

It was also a time an American lawyer in his mid-30s began writing full time on wine, creating a newsletter called The Wine Advocate. Many say Robert Parker built his career on advocating the greatness of Bordeaux’s 1982 vintage, although he obviously did much more. More importantly, 1982 vintage marked a big change in the way Bordeaux was produced. It underlined fruit and ripe tannins in reds as well as a slightly higher level of alcohol and lower, or less strong acidity – higher pH.

This is what gave the wines such wonderful texture, or drinkability in their youth. It was a big change from most vintages before 1982 that produced hard and tannic wines that needed years, even decades to soften. The 1982 vintage became a model vintage for red Bordeaux in the future, and arguably for the wine world at large. Think of all the fruit-forward reds that are produced today in the world – for better or for worse. Alcohols are at least two, sometimes three or four degrees higher. Tannins are stronger yet riper. And natural acidities are lower. Chapitalization – adding sugar to the fermenting grape must to increase alcohol – seems a thing of the past. “Young wines are so drinkable now,” said Alexander Thienpont, the winemaker of Pomerol’s Vieux-Chateau-Certan and Le Pin. The latter made its reputation on early drinkability. “It’s what people expect in a modern wine today.”

I believe some of the change with the 1982 was due to the “California” like growing conditions the Bordelias spoke of at the time. The summer was extremely hot and sunny. The harvest was warm and mostly clear of precipitation. Grape yields were high with many of the best wine properties making more wine per hectare than set by French authorities. In fact, the late Jean Pierre Moueix of Chateau Petrus always told me that the 1982 vintage would have been at the same level as the 1945 or 1949 vintage if yields had been lower. Yet, the experience of the growing season and harvest in 1982 made a whole new generation of winemakers in the region understand the importance of picking grapes later and riper. They understood early on when wine critics such as Parker and myself as well as members of the US wine trade enthused so much about the 1982 reds from barrel. This also was the beginning of the popularization of barrel scores used to purchase wines.

 

The US market was the biggest market to buy top notch Bordeaux with the 1982 vintage. It began a decade of intense buying of Bordeaux in the states with consumers buying first growth and second growth as well as Pomerols and St. Emilion. Americans regaled in the wine’s juiciness and beauty. They also made a shit load of money if they held on to the wines in sold them later. For example, most of the first growths sold for about $40 a bottle in 1983 as futures and some are now as much as $3,500 a bottle. Prices for 1982 are down slightly now, but the price appreciation over 30 years is impressive after 30 years. So is the quality of the wines still for the most part. I am lucky enough to drink top 1982 on a regular basis, and the best ones never cease to amaze me with their generous and complex fruit and polished, ripe tannins.

Bottle variation can be a problem because many of the top names have been bought and sold and stored all over the world, but on a whole it is a treat to drink a great 1982. And the vintage always reminds me of my beginnings in the wine world

 

 

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Average Bottle Price

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2005 2000 1995
1 482€ +5.0% 1 411€ -3.1% 1 456€ -1.5% 1 478€ +0.5% 1 471€ -14.8% 1 726€ +11.9% 1 542€ +185.6% 540€ +74.8% 309€ +26.1% 245€

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

41 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Full, Ruby red and Dark

ending

Long, Smooth and Lingering

flavors

Blackcurrant, Cigar-box, Spice, Leather, Violet and Smoky

nose

Ripe, Seductive, Unclean and Intense

recommend

Yes

taste

Average in Acidity, Warming, Medium tannin, Concentrated, Complex, Well-Integrated, Developing, Full-bodied, Sharp, Rich, Fresh, Ripe, Dry and Sweet tannins

Verdict

Fine and Masterpiece

Written Notes

The 1982 Latour has always been one of my favorite ‘82s, and this bottle clearly showed why.  It took a little time to shake off some cobewebs/must, but once it did, it was so much richer and deeper than the Lafite.  It was even inky in a Bordeaux way.  Its palate was rich, thick and long with shades of walnut.  Its purple and cassis seemed endless.  One day everyone will wake up and this wine will be $1k more a bottle, which is still $1k less than the average ‘61 (98).

  • 98p
Magnum
  • 97p
Just a superlative wine, it opens bountifully on the nose with plum, truffle, black pepper, mocha and tobacco. What hits you next is the sheer balance and aplomb of this graceful, amazingly structured, cassis and sandalwood-laced beauty on the palate. The tannins are ripe, but just part of the overall package, and become ever silkier past the mid palate, harmonizing with the intense concentration of the wine. Then blackberry, boysenberry, a seamless texture that simply envelops the palate and grows in elegant, focused power as it unfurls its treasures in the glass. This is a perfect wine, with boundless potential ahead. 100 Points (9 votes for wine of the flight, one second place vote)
  • 100p

Information

Origin

Pauillac, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Good

When bottled

1983

Release state price

35€

Investment potential

Very Good

Fake factory

There is a possibility

Glass time

2h

Drinking temperature

16

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Wine Moments

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

98p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Château Latour 1982  ( Château Latour )

The 1982 Latour has always been one of my favorite ‘82s, and this bottle clearly showed why.  It took a little time to shake off some cobewebs/must, but once it did, it was so much richer and deeper than the Lafite.  It was even inky in a Bordeaux way.  Its palate was rich, thick and long with shades of walnut.  Its purple and cassis seemed endless.  One day everyone will wake up and this wine will be $1k more a bottle, which is still $1k less than the average ‘61 (98).

30d 11h ago

97p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Château Latour 1982  ( Château Latour )

We shifted gears to a couple of superb 1982 First Growths. The 1982 Latour was great as always, still the most forward and giving of the ’82 Firsts. This was apparently an ex-Chateau bottle, and a bit younger than other bottles in circulation accordingly. Its usual blend of cassis, walnut, leather and earth were a harmonious quartet, and a reminder that the whole wine world doesn’t revolve around Burgundy (97+).

9m 19d ago

100p
 Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  Château Latour 1982  ( Château Latour )

"Just a superlative wine, it opens bountifully on the nose with plum, truffle, black pepper, mocha and tobacco. What hits you next is the sheer balance and aplomb of this graceful, amazingly structured, cassis and sandalwood-laced beauty on the palate. The tannins are ripe, but just part of the overall package, and become ever silkier past the mid palate, harmonizing with the intense concentration of the wine. Then blackberry, boysenberry, a seamless texture that simply envelops the palate and grows in elegant, focused power as it unfurls its treasures in the glass. This is a perfect wine, with boundless potential ahead. 100 Points (9 votes for wine of the flight, one second place vote)"

1y 3m ago

100p
 Alper Alpaslan, Pro (Germany)  tasted  Château Latour 1982  ( Château Latour )

"8 Great Bordeaux

1.Flight Latour 1990 MG vs Lynch Bages 1989 MG
2 Flight La Mission Haut Brion 1989 vs Haut Brion 1989
3.Flight Mouton 1982 vs Latour 1982 MG
4 Flight Mouton 1986 vs Lafite 1986

Opened 24 hours before, for me WOTN, maybe because it is from Magnum, unbelievable extract sweetness, comparable to Priorat but much more elegant and finer and the lower alcohol level gives this wine a tremendous balace. You feel espresso, cacao, cassis and graphite. Tobacco and smoke. now in a great drinking window. will survive the next 30 years, 100"

1y 7m ago

96p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Château Latour 1982  ( Château Latour )

"We went to the modern marvels next, beginning with a classic 1982 Latour. This was a plump, round and cedary wine with lots of signature walnut aromas. There was great smoke to its palate, along with similar long, thick tannins like the ’61. There seems to be two personalities for this wine, one being more forward and lush, and this bottle being the other. Its palate was flat-out great, with nice zip to its long finish. This ’82 certainly seemed more tart and wound than many others of this very same wine (96+)."

1y 10m ago

98p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Château Latour 1982  ( Château Latour )

"The 1982 Latour is usually, but not always, the wine of the vintage. On this night, everything was normal. The Latour had a much deeper nose with loads more fruit and a touch of chocolate. It was a big, ripe wine that could only be Latour. This had the biggest and loudest volume of all the ‘82s, and it was even more than outstanding (98+)."

2y 3m ago

100p
 Georg Linde, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  Château Latour 1982  ( Château Latour )

""Clearly a three digit score. Truffles, blackberry, smoke, raisins. Endless finish and lots of life left.""

2y 4m ago

93p
 Ronan Sayburn MS , Sommelier (United Kingdom)  tasted  Château Latour 1982  ( Château Latour )

"Open earthy, round leather and truffle aromas with soft red fruits, cherry and strawberry, sous bois and mushroom, damp earth, very good long complex, soft and elegant. Slightly disappointing length."

2y 5m ago

99p
 Ray Thomsen, Wine Writer (Switzerland)  tasted  Château Latour 1982  ( Château Latour )

"Opaque purple/garnet color with a rusty rim, - much more developed-looking than the Lafite 1982. Rich and Sweet, smoky, roasted aromas in the nose combine with jammy levels of black currant, cherry, and prune-like fruit. It possesses extraordinary concentration, with a thick notes of cedar wood, tobacco, coffee. Then a little dusty on the finish.Tannins on the finish but the fruit is more evolved than the tannins a close to perfect bottle for me."

2y 6m ago

97p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Château Latour 1982  ( Château Latour )

"We began another flight with a tight and tannic nose. Plum, cassis, mineral and slate paved the way for this ‘earthy’ wine. It wasn’t as bright as the previous flight per Lady Agah, but its palate recovered with a flash of fruit and a long, alcoholic finish. It was quite tannic, and I thought it could have been Right Bank or La Miss, but it was 1982 Latour. It was less open than the last three or so bottles I have tasted over the last year, but it got bigger and more open with time. I do love this wine (97+)."

4y 4m ago

92p
 Juha Lihtonen, Sommelier (Finland)  tasted  Château Latour 1982  ( Château Latour )

"Medium intense, ruby colour. Firm, young tannic palate with mouthdrying finish, austere long finish.

Decant for 5 hours. Peaking in 2035."

4y 6m ago

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