Simply a monumental wine and one of the absolute top wines in Bordeaux

Latour

 

 2018 14

Chateau Latour pictured on a sunny day in April 2018

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Famous gravelly/stony surface of the soil in Latour's vineyard

Chateau Latour's fame started in 1718 when Marquis Nicolas-Alexandre de Ségur inherited this property. Latour stayed under the ownership of the de Ségur family for about 250 years and enjoyed unparalleled glory time during these years. Family de Ségur managed to own properties like Lafite, Mouton Rothschild and Calon Ségur during that period. In 1855, Latour was classified as 1. Growth.

In 1963, descendants of de Ségur family sold 75% shares in Latour to two British companies, Harveys of Bristol and Pearson Group.

In 1989, Allied Lyons, who already had owned 25% of shares in Latour, bought out Harveys of Bristol and Pearson Group. Allied Lyons ownership lasted until July 1993, when Francois Pinault, owner of France's biggest department store chain, purchased it. He employed a young and dynamic man, Frédéric Engerer, two years later as a daily manager.

Frédéric Engerer has set high standards by making changes in the winemaking team, improving the vineyard and vinification cellar. Latour is in the best hands now - no doubt about it! It has been a fantastic and stable wine since the 2000 vintage.

Latour is situated in Pauillac commune, just behind Pichon Comtesse, and its vineyard borders Gironde river. This close location to Gironde assures a unique micro-climate, protecting the vineyard against winter and spring frost. In April 1991, when spring frost (gelée noir in French - buds on vines become black) devastated many vineyards further inside the country, Latour was lucky to only lose 30% of production in its vineyard's more important part, Grand Enclos. Grand Enclos counts for 47 ha of Latours total 78 ha big vineyard and is the supplier of grapes to Grand Vin.

The soil's surface is a deep layer of gravel containing small and big stones, while the subsoil is a mixture of clay, marl, and sand. Grape varieties used are Cabernet Sauvignon (75%), Merlot (20 %), Cabernet Franc (4%) and Petit Verdot (1%). Vines are on average 40 years old, and vinification is carried out in stainless steel vats. Latour matures 18 months in 100% new barrels.

Latour is the most concentrated and potent 1. Growth and a perfect example of Cabernet Sauvignon's outstanding qualities. There are blackcurrants, mint and leather for all the money. Its unique micro-climate and soil conditions give the wine incredible strength, depth, richness and length, especially for Cabernet Sauvignon, which gets the best things out from Latour's heavy subsoil with a big contribution of power, tannin and a very strong backbone to the wine.

Most of the tasting notes below originate from an impressive tasting of 30 vintages of Latour in March 2006 in Copenhagen. Sadly, not all wines were pristine as they were collected at different auctions and from private investors. They could have travelled around the world several times before they ended in the hands of the person who arranged this tasting.

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Latour 2018 (barrel sample) 98-100p

Tasted in April 2019. Powerful with a lot of fat fruit and tannin, exceptional balance and long meaty aftertaste. Massive wine and well on the way to being a legend! 14.3% alcohol. 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot.

Latour 2017 (barrel sample) 97-98p

Tasted in April 2018. An elegant wine with finesse and richness. It seems to be a bit lighter than 2015 and 2016 vintages, but the quality is exceptionally high. Sophisticated and long on the palate.

Latour 2016 (barrel sample) 98-100p

Tasted in April 2017. This wine showed seamless structure, sophisticated touch, big concentration and intensity on the nose and palate. Perfect balance. A dazzling future awaits.

Latour 2015 (barrel sample) 96+p

Tasted in April  2016. 97% Cabernet Sauvignon + 3% Merlot. Closed on the nose, powerhouse on the palate, great depth and complexity. It needs time to develop into something extraordinary.

Latour 2014 (barrel sample) 95+p

Tasted in March 2015. More elegant than powerful, the nose was better than the palate, silky fruit and tannin, smooth aftertaste. Indeed not a hammer blow, more a soft slap to your face, but I'm sure this wine will put on weight and concentration later in its development.

Latour 2013 (barrel sample) 94+p

Tasted in April 2014. This wine was strong for the vintage with a powerful structure and backbone combined with intense fruit, ripe tannin, great complexity and a long finish. Probably the best 1. Cru wine in this vintage.

Latour 2012 (barrel sample) 94+p

Tasted in April 2013. Latour turned out with quite feminine wine with silky fruit and tannin, splendid length, depth and balance. More finesse than power here.

Latour 2011 (barrel sample) 96-97p

Tasted in April 2012. This wine was powerful and tight but, at the same time, refined and sophisticated. Stunning depth, complexity, richness and balance. As always, this is awesome stuff from this property.

Latour 2010 99p

Tasted three times - last time in May 2013. Consistent notes. It was an incredibly sophisticated and refined wine, but not as concentrated as I'd expected. However, there are many things to be hugely excited over, for this wine offers a myriad of nuances, velvety structure, immense depth and length. It's sublime wine, which has several decades to reach apogee.

Latour 2009 (barrel sample) 98-100p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2011. Consistent notes. It was multidimensional in every "corner", chocolate, mocha and black cherries, ripe tannin with exquisite balance. It's an incredibly complex wine with tremendous depth, superb richness, balance and length. A legend.

Latour 2008 97p

Tasted three times - last time in April 2019. Not consistent notes. It has improved a lot since tasting from barrel. A classic style of high-level Bordeaux wine and classic Latour with tobacco and leather flavours, the nose was extremely catchy, elegant and sophisticated with intense black cherries. On the palate, it had multiple flavours and an extremely long aftertaste. A similar experience took place in April 2019.

Latour 2007 92p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2011. Consistent notes This Wine was silky in fruit and tannins with exquisite balance, on the elegant side, very seductive with a soft and long finish. It shows its feminine side!

Latour 2006 95p

Tasted four times - the last time in April 2018. Not consistent notes. Similar to 2008 but with less intensity and ripeness of the fruit. Did not show well in April 2018 - dry and fruit slightly warm. Awkward stage?

Latour 2005 99p

Tasted five times - last time in April 2017. Consistent notes. When tasted in 2008, it had an almost coal-black colour, dense and powerful nose of black cherries, blueberries and blackcurrants. Incredibly sophisticated and multidimensional on the palate with an enormous load of super-ripe berries and silky tannins, stunning balance and aromatic fruit of highest quality. It finished with an aftertaste, which lasted for about two minutes. It's already legendary, and it's sure to bet for 30-40 years of cellaring. A little bit less impressive when tasted seven years later (2015). In April 2017 - closed at first sniff but immense potential waiting to come forward, extremely rich, complex and long. Everything is here to make this wine a legend. 99-100p.

Latour 2004 96p

Tasted three times - last time in April 2014. Consistent notes. Dense, deep red colour. A thick aroma of cherries and chocolate, tight, refined, rich and splendidly balanced. Long finish. Wonderful quality.

Latour 2003 97p

Tasted four times - last time in October 2021. Not consistent notes. Deep red. It had a seductive nose of perfectly ripe blackcurrants, intense. Iron strong structure with enormous depth and length and mega long aftertaste. Despite record hot August, grapes didn't seem to have suffered a heat stroke at all, for there wasn't the slightest indication of warm/jammy fruit in this wine. It was Latour when it blossoms. Exceptional quality, which requires 25-30 years in the cellar. It was in April 2006. Nine years later, this wine got some age with truffles and plummy character. No more than 94p here. In October 2021, I tasted a significantly better bottle of this vintage. This wine reflected the scorching weather in August by displaying the flavour of liquorice. It's a giant with walls of fruit and tannin. I rated it 98p.

Latour 2002 94p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2006. Consistent notes. Intense aroma of blackcurrants, really fine lusciousness and load, splendid structure and depth. The first sips were light, but suddenly something happened. wine became stronger and sappier, with a very long aftertaste. Brilliant wine for this vintage, and which can be enjoyed in the next 15-20 years.

Latour 2001 95p

Tasted in April 2006. A stunningly aromatic, beautifully constructed wine with exemplary balance, depth, nuance-richness and impressive length. It was packed with luscious blackcurrants and silky tannins. It wasn't Latour of giant look, but a wine with softer shapes. Exquisite enjoyment in the next 20-25 years.

Latour 2000 100p

Tasted three times - last time in October 2021. Consistent notes. Almost black red. A breathless wine with an extremely intense aroma of perfectly ripe blackcurrants and blueberries. Ultra-concentrated berries with delightful lusciousness on the palate. Extravagantly deep, extravagantly strong structure and impressive width. Angels sing! Sure bet to cellar it in at least 30 years from now on. It was in March 2006. Ten years later - monster wine with a fascinating nose of truffles, so fat on the palate that it can be cut in slices, almost oily texture, incredible richness, complexity and sophisticated touch. 50+ years to live out the dream. A fantastic tribute to the vintage! In October 2021, this wine was still dressed up in baby "clothes" Great potential and many years to go. Gobs of fruit and tannin waiting patiently to come up to the surface.

Latour 1996 96p

Tasted twice - last time in October 2021. Consistent notes. Dark red. Arch typical wine for the property with a solid handful of superbly concentrated fruit and fat tannin. There was plenty of power and vigour, luscious blackcurrants and nuances. There was absolutely nothing to complain about this wine – exceptional quality. It will surely benefit from additional cellaring for at least 20 years. Fifteen years later, in October 2021, this wine tasted more refined with great style and sophisticated touch. 

Latour 1995 94p

Tasted in April 2013. This wine showed mature flavours, a touch of coffee and fine complexity. Delicate balance and mellow finish. OK to drink now.

Latour 1994 89p

Tasted in March 2006. The erratic weather in 1994 didn't allow grapes on Left Bank to reach full maturity. Nevertheless, this wine was nice despite its light texture, with tasty fruit, nice structure, and length. It's at its peak now and will stay like that in the next 3-5 years.

Latour 1990 96p

Tasted in May 2013. This wine showed perfectly ripe fruit, truffles, incredibly concentrated, very strong structure, sophisticated, and extremely long palate. Riveting elegance and finesse.

Latour 1989 92p

Tasted in June 2014. Tight, the scent of pencil, fine balance and structure, fine complexity and length. Quite a strong backbone and very good balance. It lacks a bit more concentration to be really great.

Latour 1982 99p

Tasted four times - last time in October 2021. Consistent notes. An incredible intensity of everything. Fantastic on the nose and palate. A breathless richness of nuances and length. Truly a masterpiece with a bang! Keeps easily for another 20-25 years horizontally. I tasted it for the fourth time in October 2021, It was tremendous, but I had a better example of this wine before. Tight and strong, gobs of perfectly measured fruit and tannin, fabulous complexity and length. 97+p.

Latour 1979 92p

Tasted in March 2006. Dark red. Had intense nose and palate of ripe blackcurrants with delicious sweetness, spicy fruit. Strong tannin, which, however, wasn't allowed to dominate. It was meaty wine with splendid structure and a long aftertaste. All in all, it was an extremely successful wine in one of the so-called lesser vintages. This wine should be able to entertain us in additional 5-7 years.

Latour 1976 86p

Tasted in March 2006. Medium red. Quite light and old on the palate with distinct flavours of well-preserved marmalade. Dry tannin and dry aftertaste. Indeed a bottle, which hadn't been stored properly.

Latour 1975 88p

Tasted in March 2006. Medium red. Ripe berries with a scent of over-ripeness. Quite light. It was pleasant on the palate but quite dry in the aftertaste. Lacked concentration, sweetness and had too dry tannins on the palate to be a gilt-edged experience. It won't profit from additional cellaring.

Latour 1971 94p

Tasted in October 2019. Very complex, refined and sophisticated, still young and virile. Great depth and length. Strong backbone. Excellent effort.

Latour 1970 94-95p

Tasted twice - last time in October 2021. Consistent notes. It expressed itself as compact, well-structured and powerful wine with splendid depth and lasting aftertaste. Undoubtedly an ideally stored bottle with 36 years old Latour in stunning form. It will be a great pleasure now and in the next 5-10 years. Its life span seems longer as it showed fine Cabernet Sauvignon notes on the nose, lovely balance and complexity on the palate and a long finish in October 2021. A well-preserved wine with everything in splendid order. It was still going strong. 

Latour 1966 92p

Tasted twice - last time in October 2021. Not consistent notes. There was a bit more of everything here than in Latour 1964, and first of all, more lusciousness in the fruit, greater concentration and length on the palate. It's a great pleasure to drink now. 89p. I experienced a much better bottle in October 2021. It had a fine blackcurrant scented nose added notes of grilled bacon. Typical for the vintage with a bit of roughness and strong tannin on the palate. Meaty finish. It can keep everything intact for a decade, at least, if the bottle has been stored in ideal conditions, 94p.

Latour 1964 88p

Tasted in March 2006. Fine and intense nose of ripe blackcurrants and raspberries. It was packed with tannin, nice structure, tasty and quite entertaining. Ready to drink.

Latour 1962 91-92p

Tasted in October 2021. Typical for the estate and Pauillac with graphite cedarwood and cigar box. However, it was a bit coarse on the palate and rather older on the nose. Maybe it wasn't the best bottle of this vintage to taste.

Latour 1961 99-100p.

Tasted twice - last time in October 2021. Consistent notes. We experienced a perfect bottle on the tasting day!  At first sip, a wine tasted purely of Cabernet and showed delicious blackcurrants, tobacco leaves, mint and leather. Densely built wine, rock-solid and ultra-concentrated wine with fat and powerful tannin, unique structure and mega length. It hasn't reached full maturity yet. Will this wine do it after 10 or 20 years, for it seems eternal. It was in March 2006. Then in October 2021, I tasted it again. As expected, it was a monumental wine. Sixty years old and not ready yet. Still young and vigorous. Oceans of fruit and tannin were perfectly supported by underlying acidity. Enormous potential! 

Latour 1960 94p

Tasted in March 2006. Deep red. Ripe raspberries and raspberry drop on the nose. Very elegant and refined wine with beautiful balance and deliciously sweet aftertaste. It was a charming, stylish and graceful wine, which just tasted magnificently. It should be able to be like that for additional 4-5 years.

Latour 1958 90p

Tasted in March 2006. Medium red. Fine and aromatic blackcurrant nose with some sweetness. Well-balanced, reliable, but relatively light wine, which finished quite well in the aftertaste. Ready to drink and, by the way, a really good Latour in this off vintage.

Latour 1956 85p

Tasted in March 2006. Medium red. A scent of vanilla pudding on the nose. It was quite tart and light on the palate with a short aftertaste. Not the wine to be excited about.

Latour 1955 96p

Tasted three times - last time in October 2021. Not consistent notes. Deep red. It was pleasant wine on the nose with luscious berries (blackcurrants and raspberries). A delicate balance, splendid structure and long-lasting aftertaste. More elegance than power here, and probably not an ideally stored bottle we tasted, concerning this vintage. It was in March 2006. 93p.Then in April 2015, the bottle was much fresher, richer and longer on the palate. 95p. In October 2021, it was so nuanced, so complex, and so refined. It had immensely much to offer with its power, vibrancy, fatness, exceptional depth and length. Everything was perfect here. Third time for me, and this bottle was undoubtedly the best one I ever had. 15 years more life at least. I rated it 99p!

Latour 1953 92p

Tasted twice - last time in October 2021. Not consistent notes. Medium red. Latour made in light version with luscious blackcurrants, well-crafted and with fine length on the palate. There was a fight in this wine about who was in the driving seat, between fruit and tannin, but either of the competitors hadn't been able to take command on its own. The wine was in splendid condition but should be consumed in 1-2 years. It was in March 2006. 91p. I experienced a better bottle in October 2021. It presented itself somewhat dusty with notes of tobacco leaves and grilled bacon. Rather elegant than powerful with delicate complexity and balance. After one hour in the glass, it picked up a scent of grated milk chocolate on the nose, making the wine very seductive. 93p.

Latour 1951 87p

Tasted in March 2006. Close to Latour 1958 concerning style, but barely so well-balanced and aromatic. It's a lovely wine for immediate consumption.

Latour 1950 89p

Tasted in March 2006. It reminded me much of Latour 1955, but the wine here was lighter and barely so long in the aftertaste. It had peaked several years ago.

Latour 1949 0p

Tasted in March 2006. It was a wine that I believe went dead during one of its countless travels around the world. We disagreed, however, on this wine, just as we did with 1948.

Latour 1948 85p

Tasted in March 2006. Ugh! It was pretty confusing wine, where tannins ruled. Lovely fruit and length, otherwise there wasn't that much to write about. Some of the participants in the tasting found this wine to be young and fresh, but I didn't!

Latour 1947 0p

Tasted in March 2006. This wine had passed away.

Latour 1946 87p

Tasted in March 2006. A mature wine, somewhat tart, but quite tasty anyway. A pretty light wine with lovely concentration and a pleasant aftertaste. Not at all a failed shot!

Latour 1945 86p

Tasted twice - last time in May 2020. Consistently low rating. Champignon flavours, but otherwise nicely constructed wine. Lovely fruit and length. Not my cup of the. The man behind tasting told me that this bottle had always stayed in one place, and it was in Sweden. Despite that, it didn't impress. Neither luck with another bottle of this Wine 14 years later. Power and strong backbone present, but also some volatile acidity and balance out of function. For me, this wine tasted somewhat disjointed and quite old.

Latour 1943 86p

Tasted in March 2006. It was very mature wine, somewhat tart and quite light, but with relatively good balance. Had peaked 10-15 years ago and was well on the way to dry out.

Latour 1934 90p

Tasted in October 2021. It had some mushroomy sweet fruit on the nose and a nicely balanced palate, but it was obvious, that this wine was in decline, and that the fruit was running away. Probably a bottle that visited many cellars on its way to Denmark. 

Latour 1929 93p

Tasted in June 1990. Silky and pleasant with truffles and cherries, perfectly balanced, soft and long aftertaste. Great treat.

Latour 1928 0p

Tasted in March 2006. This wine had unfortunately passed away.

Latour 1919 88p

Tasted in March 2006. Red-brown. It looked like well-preserved wine with pleasing, mature aromas on the nose, good balance and quite tasty. This wine was quite a success despite the vintage.

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Latour 1919 was carefully decanted by our sommelier during the tasting in March 2006

Latour 1904 92p

Tasted in March 2006. German bottling. Colour like pale tea. This wine stood up as a surprisingly well-made one with ideal balance, pure and vivid and quite luscious. A delightful experience. An old lady with quite a spark!

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Les Forts de Latour 2018 (barrel sample) 94p

Tasted in April 2019. Probably the best effort ever here tasted powerful with a lot of fruit and tannin, added great complexity, structure and length.

Les Forts de Latour 2017 (barrel sample) 92p

Tasted in April 2018. It was well-made wine with substantial grip, fine depth and structure, and a meaty finish.

Les Forts de Latour 2016 (barrel sample) 93p

Tasted in April 2017. It appeared as a very expressive wine with a lot of dark fruit and silky tannin, splendid backbone, structure and length, excellent balance. A warrior effort.

Les Forts de Latour 2015 (barrel sample) 92p

Tasted in April 2016. A strong wine, fine concentration of fruit and tannin, fine structure and complexity as well. Long aftertaste.

Les Forts de Latour 2014 (barrel sample) 91p

Tasted in March 2015. Powerful and meaty with splendid acidity, strong structure and fine long finish. Very fine for the vintage.

Les Forts de Latour 2013 86p

Tasted twice last time in April 2019. Not consistent notes. Powerful, meaty and chewy, new oak upfront, strong backbone, splendid depth and length. Good for the vintage. That was in April 2014. Tasted in April 2019, it showed the problems with this vintage and was kind of jammy and lacked freshness and ripeness. 85p.

Les Forts de Latour 2012 90p

Tasted twice - last time in n April 2018. Not consistent notes. Not impressive from the barrel but much better from the bottle. Very attractive, fruity and pleasant to drink. Very good structure and depth. 

Les Forts de Latour 2011 92p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2013. Consistent notes. It displayed fine intensity and concentration of dark fruit, fat tannin, tight structure, lovely balance and firm finish.

Les Forts de Latour 2010 (barrel sample) 90-92p

Tasted twice in April 2011. Consistent notes. This wine offered aromatic intensity, chocolaty flavours, ripe berries, fine concentration, depth and finish. Silky tannin and long aftertaste. Fine quality indeed.

Les Forts de Latour 2009 93p

Tasted three times - last time in April 2016. Consistent notes. It was immensely seductive, with plenty of dark cherries and blackcurrants swimming in high-quality chocolate. What a treat! Stunning balance and long caressing aftertaste completed this beauty of a wine.

Les Forts de Latour 2008 91p

Tasted three times - last time in March 2015. Consistent notes. This wine displayed a fine spicy nose of blackcurrants, fine acidity, strong structure and firm aftertaste. Superb effort.

Les Forts de Latour 2007 89p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2011. Consistent notes. Here we had a lighter version of 2008 with some green undertones, but this didn't count that much because there was pretty much tasty fruit, nice balance, and nice aftertaste.

Les Forts de Latour 2006 91p

Tasted three times - last time in April 2014. Consistent notes. Two years older brother of 2008 and almost the same style. Pencil, leather and cedar flavours, same strong backbone and fine smooth finish. Superb Wine.

Les Forts de Latour 2005 92p

Tasted in April 2013. This wine displayed sweet black cherries, fine acidity, balance, and splendid complexity. Harmonious with a fine finish.

 

Latest news

I'll be visiting Bordeaux next month (November) after two years of absence. 12 days in Bordeaux and some incredibly interesting visits have been arranged!

1. A full report on the 2020 vintage tasted from the barrel is now available with approximately 500 tasted samples. (since June 2021).  Please check out chapter "2020 FROM BARREL" in "VINTAGES".

2. A full report on the 2018 vintage in the bottle is available with approximately 500 tasted wines (since April 2021). Please check out chapter "2018 IN BOTTLE" in "VINTAGES".

3. A full report on the 2019 vintage tasted from the barrel (300+ tasted samples) is available (July 2020). Please check out chapter "2019" in "VINTAGES".

The planned addition of a property profile during winter 2021/2022 is Angelus.

The Burgundy blog in the News chapter is a new feature, which includes impressions from tastings/tasting dinners attended since November 2018. It will also include impressions on tasted wines from Beaujolais' best winegrowers. Believe me that Beaujolais Crus are in the spotlight right now because of incredibly ambitious owners/winemakers! I recently came across some terrific Beaujolais wines and will go deeper into exploring this wine area in January and February 2022.

In addition to my website, I also post tasting notes to a well-driven and hugely-scaled website, www.tastingbook.com, where I have 9.300+ followers and 2.600+ TNs by ultimo October 2021.