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.
Château Latour is releasing the Grand Vin de Château Latour 2005 and Les Forts de Latour 2011.
For several years now we have been selecting wines from our cellars that we consider ready to drink. Whilst they can already be enjoyed by connoisseurs of the Estate, they also have excellent cellaring potential.
This year we have chosen to release the Grand Vin de Château Latour 2005 and Les Forts de Latour 2011.
2005 is a landmark year for Château Latour. The Grand Vin is an exceptional wine that is result of a harvest carried out in perfect conditions and it possesses all the hallmarks of an outstanding vintage. After undergoing twelve years of aging during its early youth in our cellars, this racy, opulent and full-bodied wine is starting to reveal the full depths of its magic and complexity. Its impressive structure, fine tannins and wide range of aromas will continue to evolve and surprise us in the decades to come.
2011 was a more challenging year to deal with, due to a hot spring and an uncharacteristically cold and wet summer season. However, as it is often the case, a hot and dry September enabled us to harvest perfectly mature grapes. Les Forts de Latour 2011 is an elegant, fruity and pure wine. Having reached its first stage of maturity, this wine unveils a deliciously fruity and delicate structure.
These two wines will be released onto the market mid-March via a selection of Bordeaux wine merchants. They will join the Pauillac de Château Latour 2012 (offered for sale at the beginning of the year), which is the first wine of this vintage to be released by the Estate.
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.
Weather and phenological conditions at Château Latour - Pauillac - Vintage reports
At Chateau Latour, the harvest started on September 23 with the Merlots during five days. Then we picked the first Cabernet Sauvignon from October 6. Recent controls of maturity, carried out at the beginning of the week, confirmed the potential of this vintage at Chateau Latour and the excellent balance of the grapes in sugar, acid and phenolic elements. Consequently, the average degree for the Merlots is of 13.5°, which was unexpected three weeks ago.
Once again, nature was very “moody” this vintage year at Chateau Latour. After a rather warm and dry winter, there was a lack of rain right at the beginning of the vegetative cycle, and expression of hydric stress was noticed on nearly all of the areas of the estate. Fortunately, the rainfall was brought back to a normal level in May, which enabled the vine to develop fully, setting off the flowering, which took place in exceptional weather conditions: heat, clear weather with light winds.
Within a week, all of the bunches had completed this important stage, which determines a good harvest and great consistency of ripening at Chateau Latour. By counting the bunches on all the plots of the estate, we were able to rapidly estimate that the yield would be of a good level (similar to that of 2000). Drought came back in June, depriving the vineyard from 50mm of water, the average of the last thirty years. As a result, the berries at Chateau Latour began to grow slowly. The first ten days of July were rainy, but was followed by warm and sunny weather until the end of the month. This warm and dry climate allowed the “veraison” to begin from July 20, and we presumed at Chateau Latour a normal harvest date for the region.
August was, at Chateau Latour much more inconsistent, when the sun often gave way to the rain. In fact, the quantity of rainfall which slowed down the ripening process is not of real importance as the vine had suffered since the beginning of its cycle; but it was more a question of the number of days without sun. Cool temperatures for the season, at Chateau Latour made the “veraison” longer, especially on the sandy plots.
Almost miraculously, at Chateau Latour, the weather which failed to appear in August arrived from the beginning of September. Beautiful cloudless days with some easterly wind, perfect for the ripening of the grapes, rapidly favoured the production of sugar in the berries. The range of temperatures in the day and in the night, at Chateau Latour also softened the grape skins and offered great flavour to the tannins.
As usual, at Chateau Latour, the difference in maturity between the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignons was important this year. However, our aim is to harvest the first when it has reached its peak in fruitiness and to preserve all its freshness. The seeds are tasty and dense with a fine tannic structure. The first tastings of the Cabernet Sauvignon berries, at Chateau Latour, lead us to believe that a good potential is on its way. However, we are patient a Chateau Latour is very promising.
Bordeaux Vintage Report 2005 is a truly fantastic vintage with great quality across the board on both the Left and Right Banks.
The 2005 vintage became the most expected since 2000. The en primeur market was heated, and prices skyrocketed. The cold winter delayed the bud break before the hot ans dunny spring broke up. Even vegetative growth and flowering gave a perfect start to the vintage. The summer turned out to be one of the driest ever which was avoiding disaster since the weather remained reasonably warm not excessively hot as in 2003. The soil is again becoming a decisive quality factor. Gravelly areas, such as Graves, were worst affected once more. In other words, top wines are to be expected.
For short term perspective, in the next couple of years, an excellent amount of mature red Bordeaux wines will be available in the market. The vintages 2004, 2002, 1999, 1994, 1992 and 1988 offer a wide selection of enjoyable wines to be consumed immediately or at most to be stored for a short period.
As investments, the best vintages from the past 35 years are 2003, 1996, 1989, 1986 and 1982. The most certain long-term investments are Latour, La Mission Haut-Brion, Haut-Brion, Le Pin and Pétrus.
In the last 35 years, Bordeaux has undergone a substantial change in winemaking. Modern equipment and developing know-how have guaranteed more even quality. It seems that the next challenge will be handling the extreme climates including slowly global warming, which has already given hints of its effects also in Bordeaux. It is impossible to say how the Bordeaux wines will change in the next 35 years. We can only hope that their most characteristic feature, elegant aristocratic nature highlighted by unique terroir, will never fade away.
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
|755€ +12.9%||669€ -4.8%||703€ -5.6%||745€ -6.2%||794€ +0.6%||789€ -12.8%||905€ +3.0%||879€|