x
  • Country ranking ?

    573
  • Producer ranking ?

    27
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • 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 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 wines were dense, with wild, roasted aromas that were almost exotic for Latour. They showed opulence in their youth, but have remained rich, powerful and very concentrated, noticeably "marked" by the weather conditions for the vintage.

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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

1989 was the earliest year for growth since 1893! From the budbreak of the Merlot on 27 March to the harvests, the year offered the perfect vineyard climate. The vines were in full bloom on 29 May and the superb, dry summer accelerated ripening. Green harvests were carried out in early July with about 50% of bunches being removed from young vines to prevent the risk of water stress. The whole region was taken by surprise by the vintage's early ripening, and harvests at Latour began on 31 August (!), continuing until 21 September in ideal conditions.

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Average Bottle Price

2016 2015 2014 2013 2011 2010 2005 2000
439€ +19.0% 369€ -14.6% 432€ +2.6% 421€ -3.7% 437€ +29.3% 338€ +73.3% 195€ +35.4% 144€

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

27 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Full and Purple

ending

Long

flavors

Blackberry, Blackcurrant, Cedar and Cigar-box

nose

Seductive, Closed and Youthful

recommend

Yes

taste

High in Acidity, Complex, Medium-bodied, Elegant, Firm and Ripe

Written Notes

Quite intense, purple colour. Very dense and closed nose with some reductive aromas. After breathing in the glass wine starts open slowly. Complex and intense ripe nose with dark fruits – blackberries, black currants, cedar and cigar. Rich medium-bodied palate stands out as extremely firm structured. Moderately high acidity, firm tannins and intense ripe but elegant dark fruit. The powerful long finish with black olive flavours. Surprisingly youthful elegant for the super ripe vintage! Will benefit for further ageing at least for a decade more likely two.
  • 94p

Good medium red, with a hint of amber at the rim. Very aromatic, inviting nose of redcurrant, leather and tobacco. Intensely flavored and gripping, with a slightly raisiny singed plum character but also solid framing acidity that gives the wine a juicy quality. Quite fat and full. Finishes with superb structure and grip

  • 96p

Shows stunning depth and drive, with a deep well of blackberry and plum sauce and a lush structure. Superlong, with spice and lots of very nice stuff echoing on forever!

  • 97p

The table was split here. Many found this amiable but not as attractive as the ’96. Neal Martin suggested it was a pleasure to drink, but didn’t display the same Latour typicity to the extent the earlier wines had. Possibly not, and Frederic Engerer explained some of the choices that had been made, and why he feels it under delivered compared to what it could have been. Accepting all that, I found it delightful as did a number of others, as have still others including eminent tasters and critics in the US of late. If not ‘typical’ Latour it is still alive with elements of Latour allure. Dark fruit, cassis and spices on the nose. As it opens, it shows a lovely medley of tobacco, cassis, dark berries, and a subtle hint of mint. The once tangy acids are now lapping more gently, the tannins are now cosseting, the sweet plums at the mid palate give the wine a lovely, rounded, sensual appeal, but with enough of the Latour backbone to offer attractive delineation. Some plums and violets emerge next, and it concludes with amiable ebullience if not stirring depth. 94 Points+

  • 94p
"A charming Latour, quite sappy and sweet yet with a good backbone. Sweet tannins, slightly overripe cassis. really nice."
  • 95p
Chateau Latour 1989 Open and exotic nose with sweet, very ripe fruit, cassis, mint, mushrooms, soy, espresso, burnt wood and chocolate. Pure ripe fruit on the palate that is elegant and focused with a sweet touch. Espresso, soy and min join on the smooth mid-palate but doesn’t really add enough complexity for the real wow factor. The dark alluring feeling is interesting and is perhaps an indication that there is more to find with additional aging. Exotic and sweet today and very drinkable. Now-2023 93p
  • 93p
Late bottle release, from the Latour cellar in 2005. Ruby, outstanding nose, starting to show some development on the nose, a great Pauillac on the elegant side, both for the vintage and for Latour, elegant and truly refined. Superb balance, beautiful acidity, ripe tannins, perfect texture, immensely long, minutes of aftertaste.
  • 98p
Medium intense, ruby colour. Pronounced, classic cassis nose with floral tones and pencil shave some floral tones. Medium-bodied, vivid acidiry, supple yet firm tannins, long finish with black fruits. Decant for 4 hours. Ready but will improve by 2040.
  • 92p
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Information

Origin

Pauillac, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Good

Fake factory

None

Highlights

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