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  • Decanting time

  • When to drink

    now to 2025
  • Food Pairing

    Beef Wellington served with a rich mushroom sauce

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On each of the previous occasions I have had this wine it has flirted with perfection.

This bottle was again a riveting, opulently-textured drinking experience. Its spectacularly perfumed bouquet consists of truffles, black tea, soy, minerals, and copious sweet prune, coffee-infused, black currant fruit. Sweet on the attack, with a rare opulence, a voluptuous texture, full body, terrific freshness, and a chewy, fleshy, succulent finish, this has always been great stuff. This bottle was no exception. It has been fully mature for 25-30 years, but well-stored or larger format bottlings will last another two decades.

Parker 98 points 


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.


Wine Information

This was also a year of climatic accidents. An exceptional drought paralyzed the development of the grapes, drying out the lower leaves on the vine, leaving us with a very small crop. The grapes produced a kind of concentrated juice which simultaneously displayed very average degrees and a very intense taste. Highly colored wines from difficult vinification.

It may not have the unctuousness of 1945 but it has an exceptional bouquet and a rare intensity of taste. The wine has kept its class, elegance and a sweet concentration.

The moment for optimal drinking and best way of serving
The wine has now been at its optimum for some time, and should be drunk within the next 5 years.
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 1/2 hour for aeration and serve.


Vintage 1949

In Bordeaux, the decade culminated in the hot year of 1949, when Bordeaux was hit by an unprecedented period of drought. Cold, rainy weather had hampered germination, resulting in an exceptionally uneven distribution of pollen. This, in turn, led to a record harvest. With the arrival of summer, Bordeaux was subjected to a heatwave like it had never seen before. Temperatures of up to 43°C have been recorded in Médoc. Early September brought massive thunderstorms followed by a period of ideal weather, which lasted until harvest at the end of the month. The already small harvest was made even smaller, but it produced an incredibly juicy wine that was extremely delicious even at a young age. The wines themselves have more backbone and are more elegant than the 1947 vintage. Indeed, these lack the concentration found in the 1945. Mouton-Rothschild, however, is a capable challenger even of the best 1945 and 1947, with its ample body and balance. The dry white wines produced were also exceptional, although no longer very drinkable. Conversely, the Sauternes grapes picked at the end of a record dry October produced unique and noble wines.

By Tb


Average Bottle Price

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2005 2000 1995
2 690€ +23.5% 2 179€ -2.9% 2 245€ +3.7% 2 165€ -16.2% 2 584€ -8.1% 2 811€ +59.2% 1 766€ +45.6% 1 213€ +70.6% 711€ +56.3% 455€

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

22 tasting notes

Tasting note


Deep and Brick red


Long and Smooth


Leather and Tobacco


Intense and Complex




Well-structured, Complex, Perfectly balanced, Rich, Elegant, Harmonious and Sweet

Written Notes

The second wine of this blind flight was a touch weird at first, possessing banana peel and coffee grinds in its nose. A touch of cinnamon freshened up the back alley action that was trying to work itself out. The palate of this 1949 Latour was quite pleasant, solid but again a step short of greatness. Frederic found it ‘a little mushroomy.’ We later found out that the ’49 and ’50 that followed were both recorked in 1992 or 1993, although Latour doesn’t indicate that on the cork. On average, they sacrifice one bottle for every two cases when they recondition (94).
  • 94p
Latour 1949/ Fine looking bottle, level was high-shoulder. Decanted 2 hours. Very good, dark and deep colour. Still complex and rich on the nose. Full and masculine wine that has a more sex appeal than Lafite. Has a great concentration of sweet fruit, leather and tobacco. The delicious flavours are enhanced by attractive layers on the complex mid-palate. Rich and elegant Latour with great intensity and balance. Superb long, smooth and enduring finish and as always it showed no sign of getting tired and needs another decade to hit its peak. A great bottle!
  • 96p

 Simply wow! I seldom get to taste 40s Bordeaux, let alone 40s Latour, but what a wine. A thrill from the initial sniff and sip. Without hesitation, the wine delivered tobacco leaf, cigar box, mint, cedar, fennel seed, smoke, currants, and cherries in the heady perfume. On the palate, the thrills continued with layers of iron-crusted, red berries leaves, cigar box, and spice. Long, vibrant, and intense, the wine blends its wild side with stately refinement, along with a touch of orange rind in the lengthy leafy finish. Drink from 2023-2040.

  • 99p

While it does not have the silkiness of the 1945, it does, however, have an exceptional bouquet and an unusual intensity on the palate. This wine, at its peak, retained all of its class and elegance, and a gentle concentration.

Medium intense to ruby colour. Complex nose with dark chocolate, leather, cacao. Medium bodied, vivid acidity, mouthdrying tannins, vivid acidity and long earthy finish. Decant 30 minutes. Ready now, but will last another 20 years.
  • 94p
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Pauillac, Bordeaux

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