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 ‘Chateau Latour’
Thursday’s 2014 primeurs tastings started at Château Latour and the wines showed impressive blackcurrant purity and freshness. Since Latour have withdrawn from the primeurs system, the current releases were also on show including their wonderful 2003 [more on this later]. Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste has also produced very refined and balanced wines in 2014 [including Haut-Batailley]. Lynch Moussas held the UGC tastings for St Estèphe and Pauillac. Top for me amongst the Pauillacs were Batailley, Lynch-Bages and an excellent Pichon Baron. In St Estèphe, Lafon Rochet is full and harmonious and Ormes de Pez concentrated. There was inconsistency in a few others, with hard tannins in some. At Pontet-Canet the chais was packed with visitors and the wine was round and vivacious. Pichon Lalande too has succeeded with a powerful wine with attractive fragrance. Cabernet has certainly done well in the Left Bank this year.
With the first reds finishing ferment but still much picking to do [see harvest at Chateau Quintus left] there are promising signs that Bordeaux 2014 will be a potentially good red Bordeaux vintage. Excitement has risen considerably following a near perfect month in September, one of the sunniest and driest on record. Some are comparing the conditions in the past month to 1961, 1929 and even 1921. Hold your breath though. While the weather has largely held in the first week of October, allowing many properties to finish harvesting their Merlot [the harvest is already over for several leading Pomerol properties] more variable weather is on the way. This week is likely to be critical for the Cabernets and perhaps the overall quality of the vintage on the left bank especially.
Pauillac in 2013 reminds me of a lesser version 2011. Sound like faint praise? Given the extremely challenging vintage conditions this is a success. There are some very good wines here; some are good values too. Others are a little compact and there is a degree of austerity to a few. Partly this is because of the increased percentages [even for Pauillac] of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blends, partly perhaps also because of less than fully ripe tannin, partly too the combined affect of very fresh acids this year, more so than 2011, 2008 and 2007, the vintages to which 2013 has been already been compared.
Maybe Château Latour has the edge over Lafite and Mouton in 2013 amongst the first growths. As the property has opted out of the en primeur system the wine is not available for sale, but the samples shown by the estate this April looked composed, linear on the palate and correct. The freshness and elegance of 2013 comes through, and while alcohols are comparatively low, there seems a fraction more substance and density here than at the other Pauillac properties. I’ll report in more detail on the current offerings of the château in a later post: 2004 Latour, 2006 Les Forts and 2008 Pauillac.
I have to say that overall I found Pauillac a bit tricky to assess in 2012. I’d really have liked to have recommended these wholeheartedly, but there was real variation in the two passes I made on these wines at the Union des Grands Crus events. Only a handful of wines were completely consistent on both occasions. I’ve already written on the first growths. For me Chateau Mouton-Rothschild leads the pack with Lafite and Latour behind, though in the overall qualitative list I’d put Chateau Pontet-Canet up in this group too. Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste also looked good as did Pichon-Comtesse de Lalande. Taken together these are my picks at the very top level.