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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.
Normal bud burst. The early flowering (20-30 May) was perfect. Then suddenly it was wet, windy and cold. The flowers persisted for a dangerously long time, until the end of June. Flower abortion followed. Stormy rains in July. Fine weather throughout August until 15 September. Ripening normalized and the skin grew thinner. Exceptionally fine weather throughout the harvest during the first fortnight of October. The crop was a pleasant surprise, much better than expected.
The wines are of consistent quality but faster maturing than those of 1952, because they have less tannin. They are wines of good quality, well-balanced and very elegant.
The moment for optimal drinking and best way of serving
The wine has now passed its optimum for some time, and should be drunk before 2005.
If a bottle is opened, keep 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 the sediments and serve.
The 1953 became the first top vintage of the 1950s. The year turned out to be excellent, even if the heavy rains in September threatened to destroy a good year. The hot, dry summer was capped by a perfect August. The mercury exceeded 30°C for more than half of the days in August. Fortunately, rains in mid-September gave way to ideal harvest conditions in early October. The best wines of this vintage are united by their elegance, delicacy and temperance. They should ideally be decanted for two hours before drinking. The vintage received praise particularly in the Médoc, which produced the best wines of the entire vintage. One of the most famous of them is Château Lafite-Rothschild. Many consider him to be the best Lafite-Rothschild of the entire 20th century. Although Graves and Sauternes also produced high-level wines, Pomerol and Saint-Émilion today offer just as many exceptional creatures, with the crème de la crème being Cheval Blanc and Lafleur.
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price