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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The 2013 Latour comes from an infamously growing season that saw 30% more rain than the 25-year average and outbreaks of botrytis from 20 September, just seven days prior to the picking that was completed on 11 October. Deep purple in color, initially it has a relatively light bouquet compared to other vintages, scents of blackberry, raspberry preserve and pencil shavings plus hints of gravel. There are certainly no vegetal or green aromas. It has commendable purity, though it does not possess the complexity of profundity of a bona fide great Latour. Monitoring over time, it coheres and gains delineation, peaking about two or three hours after opening, so do not be averse to a short decant. The palate is medium-bodied with graphite-tinged black fruit, just a touch of cracked black pepper and noticeable salinity on the finish. Whilst it does not have Latour’s signature backbone or gravitas, it is approachable, harmonious and winsome. Frankly, it’s about as good as the Left Bank gets in this vintage. Drink 2022-2032
Composed of 95.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.4% Merlot and 0.4% Petit Verdot, the 2013 Latour offers an open-knit, fragrant nose of licorice, sandalwood, rose petals and cigar box over a core of Black Forest cake, stewed plums, mulberries and redcurrant jelly, plus a waft of cast-iron pan. The elegantly styled, medium-bodied palate (13% alcohol) fills the mouth with intense red and black berry preserves layers, framed by evolved, soft-textured tannins and well-knit freshness, finishing long and spicy. This vintage does not have the power and backbone of an outstanding vintage of Latour, but it is aging gracefully and, still possessing a lot of discernible fruit with plenty of tertiary pizazz, is absolutely delicious to drink right now. This sweet-spot stage is likely to continue for another 5-7 years, before the wine plateaus at a maturity peak and holds for a further 15+ years
The 2013 Latour is absolutely gorgeous. Of course, the 2013 is lighter in body than the norm here, but striking aromatics and silky tannins more than make up for that. A wine of total breed and class, the 2013 is a real pleasure to taste today. Naturally, the lighter structure of the year is impossible to escape. Even so, at eight years of age, the 2013 is just starting to show the first signs of aromatic nuance, and yet it remains a young wine. The spread of botrytis led to an early harvest, with the exception to some blocks on the western side of the enclos that were more resistant to conditions and were therefore picked later. This is a remarkable showing considering a little more than 2/3rds of the vineyards (for the Grand Vin) were farmed biodynamically back then. I can't wait to see how the 2013 ages. My opened bottle stayed fresh for a number of days. Drink 2021-2033
A blend of 95.3% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4.7% Merlot, the 2013 Latour represents only 31.5% of the total crop. It is a surprisingly soft, charming, fruit-forward Latour with moderate concentration, a deep ruby/purple color, and no herbaceousness. Although not terribly deep or rich, it is an excellent effort that will not hit the market for another 5-7 years given their new policy of holding Chateau Latour until it is deemed ready for sale.
Aromas of blackberry, dark chocolate and cedar yet bright and fragrant. Full body yet tight and polished. It starts off and then slowly grows on the palate with wonderful dimension of complexity and polished tannins. Better in 2022 but already so impressive.