x
  • Country ranking ?

    7 298
  • Producer ranking ?

    90
  • Decanting time

    1h30min
  • When to drink

    now to 2030
  • Food Pairing

    Lamb Stew with Root Vegetables

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

After a mild, rainy winter, budbreak occurred at the end of March. April was wet and temperatures remained low during the first half of May. The end of May was warmer and growth accelerated. Flowering started slowly and lasted nearly three weeks. Temperatures remained below the seasonal average in July. Early August was cool and the Azores High settled in the Bay of Biscay from 10 August and remained there until the end of the harvests, creating the perfect hot, dry conditions for accelerating the ripening of the grapes. A few showers late September limited the effects of what was becoming a drought. The harvests took place from 9 to 20 October. The grapes were in perfect health conditions, with thick skins and promising levels of sugar.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

The first tastings confirmed the excellent quality of this vintage. The aromas of the 1978 are very typically "Cabernet Sauvignon" with notes of truffle and black olives. In the mouth it is a powerful, sappy wine, with a solid finish. The general quality of this vintage was the subject of some debate, but for Latour it was a great year.

Very top shoulder fill, soaked cork. Ruby, brick rim. Red berries, faint hint of leather and tobacco, quite a pure nose. Ads body with air. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, bit easy going, refreshing, leaner and nuanced, again unripe red berries palate, long finish. 90
  • 90p
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Information

Origin

Pauillac, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Below Average

Value For Money

Poor

Investment potential

No Potential

Fake factory

None

Highlights

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