x
  • Country ranking ?

    221
  • Producer ranking ?

    13
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2030
  • Food Pairing

    forget the food

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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The Story

The chateau makes three different wines. The so-called grand vin, that is Château Latour itself, a second wine called Les Forts de Latour and a third wine simply called Pauillac. The grand vin comes from the original part of the vineyards, called the Enclos. This is the most prestigious part of the vineyard where the vines have a fine view of the Gironde estuary. The tradition in Bordeaux says that vines that overlook the water make the best wine. The proximity to the estuary actually gives a slightly higher temperature, helping the grapes to good maturity. The Enclos is around 45 hectares out of a total of 88 for the whole estate.

The grape varieties are 75 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 23 % Merlot, 1 % Cabernet Franc and 1 % of Petit Verdot. The planting density is high, 10,000 vines per hectare. Every year the chateau’s viticulturist replaces a certain number of dead vines. These young vines are marked and treated separately. They are harvested separately and they are not used in the grand vin until they are at least 10 years old.

The Enclos is under conversion to organic farming since 2015. It takes three years to be certified so it means that we will see the first organic Château Latour in 2018. Only copper and sulfur, mixed with different plant infusions, are used to fight diseases in the vineyard. Instead of insecticides they use sexual confusion. Only organic fertilizers are used when needed and no herbicides.

The barrel aging starts in December. Château Latour is put in 100 % new oak from the Allier and Nièvre forest in the central part of France. The chateau works with 11 different coopers. This is important to the winemaker as the coopers all have different styles.

 

The wine spends six months in the first year cellar where it will also undergo the malolactic fermentation. The barrels are tasted regularly and the winemaker decides the blend for the grand vin, the second wine and the third wine. He decides if the press wine should be included or not. The wine is then moved to the huge and magnificent second-year cellar where it will spend 10-13 months, so in total around 22 months of aging before it is bottled. 2014 was bottled in June this year. During the barrel aging the wine is racked and topped up regularly, every 3 months. At the end, the wine is fined traditionally with egg whites, 5-6 whites per barrel.

Château Latour is often a textbook example of a Cabernet Sauvignon. No wonder, as often almost 90 % of the wine is made from this grape. It is a powerful wine in its youth, with aromas of cedar wood and black fruit, made even more powerful with the aging in 100 % new oak barrels. It is packed with fruit and tannins and it stays young for at least 10 years. This is a wine you really should wait for, say 10-15 year or longer. It needs time to show what it is capable of.

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Wine Information

It was the result of a combination of freak climatic conditions with very favourable weather throughout the growth period until after the harvest. The freak weatherconsisted of heavy frosts on 1 and 2 May 1945 ; the vineyard, which had until then been showing growth three weeks ahead of schedule, was very badly affected.
The vineyard after the war looked completely different from that of today, with no replanting, no manuring or fertilizing and having suffered for years from the lack of suitable treatment against disease and other depredations.
The yields per hectare at the time were between 15-20 hl., produced from old vines, which accounts for the tiny crop.
This combination of factors accounted for the fact that the Médoc yielded an even smaller crop that year.
At Latour it was very concentrated and very rich : 54 tonneaux produced.
The vinification had been difficult. After the running-off, the wines of many properties showed volatile acidity and reducing sugars, but those in good condition at the outset remained so and produced an extraordinary vintage.

 

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Vintage 1945

The world’s best wine vintage – 1947 or 1945? Tastingbook tasted all the best wines from these two great vintages.

If the wine producers from different regions were asked to name the best vintages from their winemaking history, the most would name 1947 or 1945 as one of the great ones. If we then compared them together there would be most likely only one vintage that the most if not every producer had named on list – 1947.

We wanted to test that theory and we tasted them agains each other and the winner was 1947 – by far.

The vintage 1947 was a magical vintage. It remains in the history as one of the only vintages that all well-established quality wine regions in the world were blessed with superb weather conditions. The heat waves  were experienced all around the world and for instance the whole Europe was bating under scorching sun and experiencing a heat wave  during the summer. This resulted very concentrated and highly ripe grapes. The producers had challenges to handle the very ripe grapes with high sugar levels as there was a constant risk of bacterial contamination in less hygenic cellars that had no artifical cooling systems. As there was no technology to use, many invoked on huge blocks of ice to cool the room temperautre down and even putting ice in their fermentation tanks.

This vintage has proven to yield very long lasting wines from all around the world. The wines are marked with sweet and ripe fruit character and warming alcohol. Due to the poorly hygenic winemaking facilities, many of the wines show volatile characters. Some might find this as a fault, but for many mature wine lovers this feature is even a preferred character. However, when buying the wines from this vintage, one should be aware that there is high level of bottle variations and the risk of having highly volatile wines is remarkably high.

1945 was an exceptional year throughout the whole France, from Côte-Rôtie to Bordeaux. Due to the warm and dry conditions, the grapes were very concentrated and produced an extraordinary, but unfortunately small yield. The harvest in 1945 was an early harvest, which started on the same date as 1982, September 13. The wines began life with massive levels of tannin and took quite a few decades to develop. Due to the high tannin levels, many of the wines still show well today.

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Average Bottle Price

2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2005 2000 1995
3 390€ +3.1% 3 289€ +48.7% 2 212€ -22.2% 2 843€ -4.1% 2 966€ -14.5% 3 469€ -7.6% 3 754€ +41.7% 2 650€ +72.1% 1 540€ +14.8% 1 342€ +71.0% 785€

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

37 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Deep, Brick red and Healthy

ending

Medium, Spicy and Pure

flavors

Earthy, Pepper, Bread, Coffee, Cedar and Cigar-box

nose

Intense, Ripe, Generous and Refined

recommend

Yes

taste

Warming, Well-structured, Perfectly balanced, Balanced, Full-bodied, Weak, Ripe, Rich and Firm

Verdict

Impressive and Full-bodied

Written Notes

There is only one vintage to go to after a trio of 98+ 1959s….1945, of course.  The 1945 Latour has often been an overlooked wine, and certain bottles can flirt with the 1945 Mouton, but unfortunately not this one.  There were aromas of coconut and old book to go with more library, but this was an ‘oxidized’ bottle.  While round and rich, this just wasn’t the celestial bottle it can be (94A).

  • 94p
The great 1945 vintage was the result of a combination of freak climatic conditions with very favourable weather throughout the growth period until after the harvest. The freak weather consisted of heavy frosts on 1 and 2 May, the vineyard, which had until then been showing growth three weeks ahead of schedule, was very badly affected. The vineyard after the war looked completely different from that of today, with no replanting, no maturing or fertilizing and having suffered for years from the lack of suitable treatment against disease and other depredations. The yields per hectare at the time were between 15-20 hl, produced from old vines, which accounts for the tiny crop. This combination of factors accounted for the fact that the Médoc yielded an even smaller crop that year. At Latour it was very concentrated and very rich: 54 tonneaux produced. The vinification had been difficult. After the running off, the wines of many properties showed volatile acidity and reducing sugars, but those in good condition at the outset remained so and produced an extraordinary vintage. Bottle was a bit damaged from outside, no capsule and only leftovers of label left. Otherwise it has healthy looking colour and level was top-shoulder. Decanted three hours. Dark, deep colour. Open, ripe and spicy on the nose. This wine is even now a real blockbuster with well-expressed fruit and a marvellous purity throughout. Warm, seductive wine without being overly powerful. Very well designed tannic structure and a
  • 82p

Latour 1945 – there is a power and strong backbone here but also some volatile acidity and balance out of function. For me, this wine tasted somewhat disjointed and very old. Maybe it suffered from improper storage. 88p.

 

  • 88p

This was a great (perhaps one of the greatest) vintages of Latour. Spicy nose, very structured eucalyptus in the mouth with fruit and substance. Long finish with wonderful lingering aromatic flavours. It is difficult to tell when the wine will begin to decline. It has been ready to drink since the late '70s and remains highly concentrated and full of charm, with a colour that has not evolved much for the age of the wine.

Château Latour 1945 / This wine kept flourishing! You have hints of mint on the nose, with cherries, walnuts and cloves. You have raspberries on the palate, some mushrooms, cherries and red plums, with bracing acidity, unusually pronounced for Latour. The structure and grip at the mid palate is deeply impressive, with dark fruit and some earthiness emerging. Layered, long, with an increasingly silky texture as it got more air. There was a budding smoothness as well as it approached a finale that was enticing: terroir soil notes awash in mineral character, some chocolate truffles, and a pervading sweet heft blended with brilliant balance. 97 Points

  • 97p

This was served blind with my bottle of 1961 that had been a little disappointing on opening and was much racier and more transparent than the wine that turned out to the 1961. Chock full of life and vivacity, extremely racy, dancing and very legible. Mellifluous with all its tannins resolved. Much fresher than the bottle tasted at Morton's in London last year. Glorious wine.

  • 100p

Medium garnet. Dried flowers, ripe plums, cedar. The 1945 tasted nearly 8 years ago at the chateau was memorable, but not as intense and complex as this bottle. This is an incredible wine with still lively fruit characters and a depth that comes from great structure, freshness and intense flavours. The long bottle aging has added depth and nuances which add to the complexity. The 1945 and the 1947 Latour are two of the best older Bordeaux that I have ever tasted. A glorious wine, ex-chateau!

  • 99p
Very deep red color, huge and exciting bouquet with aromas of plum, tropical fruits, flowers and smoke. On palate magnificent with elegant tannins, mint chocolate and perfect multi layered structure. Never ending finish, wow!
  • 97p
Bright cherry red centre fading to a mahogany rim, wonderful lustre. Nose still ripe and sweet, gingerbread, pain d’epices, dried orange rind, strawberry and cranberry aromas, some spicy cedar wood aromas, palate round sweet and long, complex sous bois and mushrooms hints, soft tannins, fresh acidity, very long.
  • 99p
Moderately intense, brick red colour. The complex nose delivers a blueblooded and classic Latour aromas – smoky, licorice, mineral such as wet slate. Very concentrated body with refined and firm structure. Full-bodied, pure and sincere, and so refined tannins. Long, persistent and majestic wine.
  • 96p
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Information

Origin

Pauillac, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Very good

When bottled

1946-1947

Release state price

3€

Investment potential

Excellent

Fake factory

Be Cautious

Glass time

1h

Drinking temperature

17

Inside Information


The extraordinary amount of bottle variation that is frequently evident when tasting wines over 20-years of age comes to mind regarding this 1945 Latour. Recently, in Bordeaux, I drank a bottle with Michel Rolland and Jean-Michel Arcaute, from a private cellar in Libourne. The wine was volatile, fading, and disappointing. Several bottles tasted before that had also been excessively tannic and ungenerous, although admirable, if only because of their size and massiveness. The bottle drunk in July, 1992, which I noted had been recorked* and topped off two years ago at the chateau, was extraordinary. The color was a dense, impressive garnet with hues of purple, and no trace of amber. With airing, the nose revealed penetratingly rich aromas of walnuts, cassis, cedar, and herbs. In the mouth, the wine was muscular and exceptionally rich, and while the hard, formidable tannins of the 1945 vintage were still present, there were lavish quantities of sweet fruit for balance. This bottling tasted immortal. It could have easily lasted for another 50 years.
* Note: Most of my experiences with re-corked bottles have been noteworthy only in the sense that the re-corked wine tasted less impressive than the same wine with its original cork!

 

 

Wine Advocate #84
Dec 1992
Robert M. Parker, Jr. 99 Drink: N/A $3395-$5841
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