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  • Country ranking ?

    1 257
  • Producer ranking ?

    73
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2040
  • Food Pairing

    Seared duck with caramelised chicory

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The wines are remarkably concentrated with "tight" tannins, characteristic of Latour in great years. Rich, fruity, spicy, long on the palate, with mint and mineral aromas.

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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

The winter was rainy and fairly mild. Budbreak was quite late, on 14 April. May was very hot, producing an explosion of growth and the vines partially caught up. Flowering began on 16 June and continued in excellent conditions. The summer was superb and very dry; the vines developed remarkably, to such an extent that, for the first time at Latour, a general crop-thinning was conducted in order to improve concentration. Early September was very fine but deteriorated in the middle of the month with rain that made the grapes swell. Fortunately the sun came back at the end of the month with easterly winds which avoided the risk of grey rot and accelerated ripening. The harvests took place from 30 September to 16 October in magnificent sunshine.

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Average Bottle Price

2016 2015 2014 2012 2010 2005
398€ +12.1% 355€ -13.6% 411€ +8.7% 378€ +2.4% 369€ +121.0% 167€

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.

Tasting note

color

Medium

ending

Long and Spicy

flavors

Leather, Blackcurrant, Vegetal, Earthy, Tobacco and Mineral

nose

Intense and Complex

recommend

Yes

taste

Average in Acidity, Medium tannin, Well-structured, Multi-dimensional, Ripe, Round, Dry and Silky tannins

Written Notes

Ruby with thin garnet rim, sediments. Rich, blueberries, coffee, vanilla, leather. Fresh acidity, slightly rustic mid palate, have had better bottles, long finish. Did not get better with air.
  • 92p
Deep, Purple colour. Intense, ripe black fruit nose with ashes and black currants. Medium-bodied, silky tannins, vivid acidity low fruit intensity but elegant style. Long intense yetrestrained finish. Lackung fruit, but very focused savory palate. Decant for 2 hours. At its best in 2025
  • 88p
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Information

Origin

Pauillac, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

Below Average

Fake factory

None
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