Something about Chateau Latour
Chateau Latour can trace its history to the 14th century when the original tower was constructed on the estate by Gaucelme de Castillon during the Hundred Years War. The ancient Pauillac estate is among the four of the Medoc vineyards designated as a first growth in the classification of 1855 and today is owned by François Pinault’s through his holding company, Artemis. The 78 hectare vineyard of Latour rests on an extraordinary terroir and is planted with 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot and 2% of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
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A grand vin, the 2012 Latour (90.2% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9.8% Merlot) probably won’t be released to the market for another 7-8 years. Representing only 36% of the crop, it has an opaque ruby/purple color, a beautiful nose of crushed rock and blueberry and blackcurrant fruit, sweet tannin and a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel. The striking purity and intellectually satisfying texture and finish all are indicative of this great first-growth that has overcome all of the challenges of 2012 in the Médoc. It finishes long, rich and convincing. Of course, this isn’t in the league with the great vintages of 2000, 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2010, but it has nothing to be ashamed of. This wine should drink well for 25-30 years, and will probably prove to be one of the longest-lived of the 2012 Médocs. Drink: 2015-2045.
The 2012 Latour is a blend of 90.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.6% Merlot and 0.2% Petit Verdot. Medium to deep garnet colored, the nose slowly, measuredly emerges with notions of preserved Morello cherries, baked blackcurrants and blackberry compote, giving way to nuances of pencil shavings, unsmoked cigars, Chinese five spice and sandalwood plus ever so subtle hints of cardamom and eucalyptus. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers mouth-coating black and red fruit preserves with a firm, grainy-textured frame and fantastic freshness, finishing with a veritable firework display of lingering spices and minerals. This is a more restrained, relatively elegant vintage of Latour that may not have that “iron fist in a velvet glove” power of the greatest vintages but nonetheless struts its superior terroir and behind-the-scenes savoir faire with impressive panache. It is drinking nicely now with suitably rounded-off, approachable tannins, and the tertiary characters are just beginning to bring some more cerebral elements into the compote of temptingly primary black fruits. But, if you’re looking to drink it in full, flamboyant swing, give it another 5-10 years in bottle and drink it over the next 20-25 years+. Drink 2020 - 2050
The 2012 Latour has a potent bouquet of blackberry, graphite and distinctive tertiary notes [instead of more marine scents observed four years earlier]. Initially, the palate is slightly disjointed on the entry and displays a subtle herbal quality, plus hints of pencil shavings. The 2012 demands a few minutes to really coalesce and achieve the precision and pixelation that have been the hallmark of this Grand Vin in its youth. Layers of black fruit coat the mouth, and a bitter edge lends tension, particularly toward the very persistent finish. Though its release implies, and the rhetoric from the château indicates, that it is ready to drink, if you want my advice, cellar the 2012 for another five or six years to witness it in full flight. It has always been a candidate for wine of the vintage... just have a bit of patience. Drink 2027-2055.
Firm and muscular Latour with silky tannins that are surround by compacted fruit. Very integrated tannins. Bright finish. Long too. It's racy. I prefer the more structured 2011.
Looks a little less blue than Les Forts. Scented and lovely on the nose. Playing the playful card. Dense and rich. Vibrant. Not made to show well at this stage - which may be a good thing. A little tiny bit of green but very fine and confident. Just rather hidden and restrained. Not the butch style of some years. A little short.