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.
Weather and phenological conditions at Château Latour - Pauillac - Vintage reports
At Chateau Latour, the harvest started on September 23 with the Merlots during five days. Then we picked the first Cabernet Sauvignon from October 6. Recent controls of maturity, carried out at the beginning of the week, confirmed the potential of this vintage at Chateau Latour and the excellent balance of the grapes in sugar, acid and phenolic elements. Consequently, the average degree for the Merlots is of 13.5°, which was unexpected three weeks ago.
Once again, nature was very “moody” this vintage year at Chateau Latour. After a rather warm and dry winter, there was a lack of rain right at the beginning of the vegetative cycle, and expression of hydric stress was noticed on nearly all of the areas of the estate. Fortunately, the rainfall was brought back to a normal level in May, which enabled the vine to develop fully, setting off the flowering, which took place in exceptional weather conditions: heat, clear weather with light winds.
Within a week, all of the bunches had completed this important stage, which determines a good harvest and great consistency of ripening at Chateau Latour. By counting the bunches on all the plots of the estate, we were able to rapidly estimate that the yield would be of a good level (similar to that of 2000). Drought came back in June, depriving the vineyard from 50mm of water, the average of the last thirty years. As a result, the berries at Chateau Latour began to grow slowly. The first ten days of July were rainy, but was followed by warm and sunny weather until the end of the month. This warm and dry climate allowed the “veraison” to begin from July 20, and we presumed at Chateau Latour a normal harvest date for the region.
August was, at Chateau Latour much more inconsistent, when the sun often gave way to the rain. In fact, the quantity of rainfall which slowed down the ripening process is not of real importance as the vine had suffered since the beginning of its cycle; but it was more a question of the number of days without sun. Cool temperatures for the season, at Chateau Latour made the “veraison” longer, especially on the sandy plots.
Almost miraculously, at Chateau Latour, the weather which failed to appear in August arrived from the beginning of September. Beautiful cloudless days with some easterly wind, perfect for the ripening of the grapes, rapidly favoured the production of sugar in the berries. The range of temperatures in the day and in the night, at Chateau Latour also softened the grape skins and offered great flavour to the tannins.
As usual, at Chateau Latour, the difference in maturity between the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignons was important this year. However, our aim is to harvest the first when it has reached its peak in fruitiness and to preserve all its freshness. The seeds are tasty and dense with a fine tannic structure. The first tastings of the Cabernet Sauvignon berries, at Chateau Latour, lead us to believe that a good potential is on its way. However, we are patient a Chateau Latour is very promising.