Bold and concentrated wines have been made at Château Latour in 2014. They are fresh and vivid. There is a sense to me that these are long-term wines that have elegance and proportionality. Les Forts was more closed on the day than the grand vin which looks very impressive. We won’t see any of these wines for years, however, as the property has pulled out of the en primeur system. It now only releases wines when they are ready to drink. Currently it is the knock-out 2003 Latour, the famous Parker hundred pointer, that is on offer. This is brilliant stuff, even when tasted at nine in the morning. It has bags of life, fruit and sweet ripe tannin. It shrieks out for rib of beef. Also released are 2008 Les Forts de Latour and the 2011 Pauillac de Latour.
Posts Tagged ‘2008’
Once again there is a silky and Burgundian quality to the 2014 offering from pioneering bio-dynamic Pauillac producer Château Pontet-Canet. Much work here goes into not doing much work, if you get my drift. It’s not that there isn’t a lot going on or that they are not busy, but the holistic approach pursued at Pontet-Canet has that objective in mind. Vineyard balance is attained with the long view, through the use preventative preparations, horsepower and manual effort, not cajoling the vineyard with exaggerated regimes and petrochemicals, so that the vines find that gentle sweet spot of expression and harmony themselves. You can feel the philosophy in the unhurried, peaceful manner of the place when you are there [even in primeurs week, though perhaps not in the visiting merchants and critics]. And there’s no doubt the wine feels all the better for it.
At Vinexpo earlier this year I had the opportunity to taste twenty-nine Brunello di Montalcino wines from the 2008 vintage and eight Riservas from the 2007 vintage. I’m a student when it comes to Brunello and the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino offered a great opportunity to get down and dirty with the wines. There’s a lot to appreciate here. The best show balance, structure and acidity, with warmth and alcoholic punch. Not as dark as young Bordeaux, the thinner-skinned Sangiovese having less colouring matter than Cabernet and its relatives, the grape still provides Brunello di Montalcino with plenty of depth, sap and chew on the palate. When the balance is right there is a fascinating tension between the power, the warmth and the bite. I focus in this post on 2008 Brunellos, with thoughts on the 2007 Riservas up next.
You can always rely on Pomerol to provide something lush. It’s a tough call arriving at these wines last as I did at the MW tasting, particularly after some hefty numbers in St Emilion, but the fact is that Pomerol’s wines felt more nimble on their feet than those of their immediate Right Bank neighbour. There was also freshness and delicacy here. Along with the reds of Pessac-Léognan, many of these Pomerols are attractive already, and should provide satisfying drinking in the medium term.
I think St Emilion has made a good fist of 2008. There’s plenty to enjoy in a lot of the wines if you can get past the winemaking in some cases – unless you’ve a fondness for treacle and liquorice. The best here are full and generally have plenty of fruit and no shortage of ripe tannin. There are quite a few who seem to like to make their wines super-ripe and super-reduced – wines of staggering concentration without regard for drink-ability – though the modesty of the vintage has largely kept things in check.
This was without question the most exciting commune for reds at the 2008 MW Institute tasting. The same was also true in 2007. The wines are structured but have depth and complexity and overall feel pretty attractive and tasty. With one exception, unlike the other Left Bank appellations, there wasn’t the sense here that the wines were in retreat. Rather the wines seem to be developing well in this vintage. So if you were looking for an appellation to stock up with then do look at 2008 in Pessac-Léognan. The prices are still reasonable, the wines look good, some are drinking nicely already, and they have the structure and depth to take a bit of age.