Chateau Latour Wine Tasting back to 1959 at WWWB

Friday, February 23, 2018 - 07:30 PM

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Bad news isn't wine. It doesn't improve with age.

Colin Powell

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Life is short that is why I always say “Drink the good stuff first” and today you never know when your last bottle is with Kim Jong Un having nuclear weapons and Donald Trump as president we really have to appreciate every day above ground because it all could end very quickly with little notice as things continue to go from absurd to nuts with every passing day.
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Whenever I get a great bottle of wine like the 1959 Chateau Latour I am more interested in drinking it than selling it.  I know we just hosted a Chateau Latour Tasting back to 1937 a year ago but this bottle of 1959 Latour has been just begging me to open it so I figured why not do another Chateau Latour vertical to start out our "Once in a Lifetime" series of tastings in 2018.  In addition to the legendary 1959, we also have a 1961 that is begging to be opened along with our good friend Dr. D'Yquem who has offered up a bottle of 1945 to add to the already amazing line-up-  this will be a truly "Once in a lifetime" Chateau Latour tasting!

Throughout the 1980's, 1990's and into the 21st century Château Latour has repeated with a succession of brilliantly executed wines; in vintages such as 1982, 1983, 1986, 1990, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2014 has been a leading candidate for "Wine of the Vintage". Join us as we taste 10 vintages of this famous first growth going back to the legendary 1961 vintage.  This event is limited to 16 people and the fee for this dinner is $995 per person all-inclusive, for reservations call 954-523-9463 

We will take a bottle of Chateau Latour as payment for your seat at this event!  Just let us know what vintage of Chateau Latour that you have in your cellar and we will send you back what the value is and you can use your Chateau Latour to pay for our Chateau Latour tasting!

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Chateau Latour tasting back to 1945
Friday, February 23, 2018
7:30 PM

2003 Chateau Latour Pauillac (375ml)
Price: $475.00    Your Price: $418.00
Quantity in Stock: 20

(100 Points)  "Administrator Frederic Engerer says the 2003 is "the sexiest Latour ever made." He also described it as “the 1990 without any brettanomyces.” I loved this wine from the barrel and was fortunate enough to be able to purchase a small quantity, enjoying every bottle I have had. A profound example of Chateau Latour, the full-bodied, opulent 2003 is already performing well at age eleven, which is somewhat atypical. The pH is a relatively high 3.8, which also indicates low acidity. The wine is very ripe, but not over-ripe, offers great freshness, and lots of creme de cassis and camphor as well as hints of blackberries and chocolate. Dense, thick and unctuously textured, this staggering Latour is undeniably the most sumptuous, opulent wine made here since the 1982 or 1961. Drink it over the next two decades. " The Wine Advocate

2001 Les Forts De Latour Pauillac
Price: $299.00    Your Price: $263.12
Quantity in Stock: 1

(90 points) Increasingly one of Bordeaux’s finest second wines, the lush 2001 Forts de Latour exhibits a personality similar to its bigger sibling. Its deep ruby/plum color is accompanied by aromas of smoke, earth, black currants, and notions of walnuts as well as spice box. Round and generous. (RP) (6/2004) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

1999 Chateau Latour Pauillac
Price: $550.00    Your Price: $484.00
Quantity in Stock: 3

(94 Points) Readers looking for a modern day version of Latour's magnificent 1962 or 1971 should check out the sensational 1999 Latour. It is a big, concentrated offering, exhibiting a dense ruby/purple color, and a classic nose of minerals, black currants, leather, and vanilla. The wine is long, ripe, and medium-bodied, with high levels of sweet tannin. This surprisingly full, concentrated 1999 should be drinkable in 5-6 years; it will last for three decades. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

1978 Château Latour Pauillac
Price: $650.00    Your Price: $572
Quantity in Stock: 2

(90 points) Medium garnet-colored with moderate amber at the edge, the 1978 Latour offers a spicy, saddle leather, tobacco, dried herb, earthy nose with sweet fruit trying to poke through. Interestingly, new oak also makes an appearance in the flavors. Medium-bodied, elegant, and fragrant, but possibly beginning to dry out, this fully mature wine requires consumption over the next decade. Anticipated maturity: now-2010.- Robert Parker Jr. (06/2000) Wine Advocate

1975 Chateau Latour Pauillac
Price: $650.00    Your Price: $572
Quantity in Stock: 1

(93 points) Fascinating aromas of plums, minerals and mint, with a hint of peat. Medium- to full-bodied, with firm tannins and a long finish. Plenty of life left in it. This was rather controversial at the NY tasting, but I loved it.--Latour vertical. Drink now through 2015. –JS Wine Spectator

1971 Chateau Latour Pauillac
Price: $550.00    Sale Price: $484.00
Quantity in Stock: 4

(94 Points) Tasted blind from magnum at the chateau, this is certainly the best bottle I have had of the ’71, generally agreed to be the finest Left Bank of an average vintage. At first, it is a little subdued on the nose but unfurls in the glass to reveal notes of graphite, tobacco and liquorice. In fact, leaving it in my glass it offers an intriguing cola note. The palate is tannic and vibrant, dry and a little austere at first by mellowing with aeration with black pepper, graphite and crushed stone towards the finish. Linear and correct, this is an upstanding classic Latour that you will loathe if you dislike traditional Bordeaux....

1970 Chateau Latour Pauillac
Price: $700.00    Your Price: $616.00
Quantity in Stock: 9

(91 Points) Elegant and gorgeous to drink now. Peaked. Ruby red color with an amber edge. Lovely aromas of plum, berry and mint. Full-bodied, with currant, dried herb character. Medium finish.--Latour vertical. Drink now. –JS Wine Spectator Issue: Aug 31, 2000

1961 Chateau Latour Pauillac
Price: $4500.00    Sale Price: $3500.00
Quantity in Stock: 1

(100 Points) Port-like, with an unctuous texture, and a dark garnet color with considerable amber at the edge, the 1961 Latour possesses a viscosity and thickness. One of the three bottles served at the Chateau's tasting revealed a surprisingly aggressive, minty, herbaceous nose, but the other two bottles were liquid perfection, exhibiting fragrant, cedary, truffle, leather, mineral, and sweet, jammy aromatics, full-bodied, voluptuous textures, exquisite purity and concentration, and a layered, highly-nuanced finish that represents the essence of compellingly great wine.

The 1961 has been fully mature for over 15 years, but it seems to get richer, holding onto its succulence and fat, and developing more aromatic nuances without losing any sweetness or concentration. An extraordinary wine, it is unquestionably one of the Bordeaux legends of the century! Anticipated maturity: now-2025 Robert Parker

1959 Chateau Latour Pauillac
Price: $3500.00    Your Price: $3080
Quantity in Stock: 4

(96 Points) Dark garnet with an amber edge, the 1959 Latour reveals a touch of volatile acidity in the nose, along with aromas of melted caramel, tobacco, and jammy red and black fruits. As the wine sat in the glass, notes of minerals, coffee, spice, and underbrush emerged. There is still copious tannin in the finish (I am not sure it will ever be fully resolved), but this sumptuous, complex, fragrant, super-rich Latour cuts a broad swath across the palate. Fully mature, it is best consumed over the next decade. Wine Advocate # 129, Jun 2000

1945 Chateau Latour Paullac

(100 points)  Perfect in every way. Dark ruby color with an amber edge. Aromas of mint, berry, blackberry, earth and spices pop out of the glass. Full-bodied and brimming over with sweet fruit character, ripe and velvety tannins. Long and succulent finish.  What more could you want in a wine? Best bottle of1945 Latour I have ever had.—Latour vertical. Drink now. –JS WS Wine Spectator

Menu
Grilled Portobello Mushroom filled with Beef Tartar
Duck Confit Tacos with Black Currant Salsa and Foie Gras Dipping Sauce
Beff Wellington with Chestnut Mushrrom Duxelle, Foie Gras Pate, Bordeaux Natural Sauce and truffle Shoestring fries
Chocolate Bacon Breakfast Bars

 

The fee for this tasting is $995 per person + tax for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com

We will take a bottle of Chateau Latour as payment for your seat at this event!  Just let us know what vintage of Chateau Latour that you have in your cellar,  we will send you back what the value is and you can use your bottle of Chateau Latour to pay for our Chateau Latour tasting!

A bit about Chateau Latour:

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Since the 14th century vines have been planted at Latour. Towards the end of the 17th century the estate came into the hands of the Segur family, the owners of Calon-Segur and Lafite.  The property was divided during the French Revolution and remained so until 1841 when the family regained control.  The estate remained in family hands for 120 years until 1963; then two English groups purchased 76% of the stock.  The famous tower on the label - La Tour -stands alone at the edge of the vineyard. The tower is all that is left of a fortress built during the middle ages and used to protect the local citizens of Pauillac against pirates.  The chateau on the property is a modest building and belies the majesty of its wines.

There are several factors which contribute to the greatness of Latour; one is the soil.  Of course, every vineyard owner will tell you how important his particular plot of soil is; but the importance of Latour's rests in its unique composition.  50% of it is gravel pebbles the size of eggs!!  The average age of vines at Latour is 33 years, and the vines are allowed to live to maximum age before being uprooted.  It is just this combination of stress placed by the gravelly soils and the old age of the vines which produce very low yield and high quality.  Cabernet Sauvignon accounts for about 75% of the vineyard.  In 1966 the chateau began to make a "second" wine, the Les Forts de Latour.  Les Forts is made from the property's young vines and from vines in what is considered the less desirable portion of the vineyard.  In price and quality it is now considered the equivalent of a second growth.  The wine has all the earmarks of a Latour but with less concentration.

The Latour vineyard covers around 78 hectares of the Pauillac appellation, of which 47 hectares surround the château, these being referred to as L'Enclos. This, the source of the grand vin, extends from the commune boundary with St Julien, where the vines meet its closest neighbor to the south Léoville Las-Cases separated by the Ruisseau de Juillac, which drains into the Gironde. There have been plots added over the 19th century under the control of the Ségur family, which include Comtesse de Lalande and Petit-Batailley, but rarely are they used for the grand vin.  The soil is technically Gunzian gravel, a surface layer just 60 - 100cm deep, beneath which is a subsoil of clay and marl up to 5m, past that is the limestone bedrock of Bordeaux. Cabernet Sauvignon accounts for 80% of the vines, the remainder Merlot (18%), which is planted wherever clay is prominent, then Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot together make up 2%.  The typical blend at Château Latour is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, the balance Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.  These percentages vary naturally according to the vintage conditions. There are approximately 18,000 cases of the grand vin produced each year. The next cuvée in the line-up is Les Forts de Latour, made for the first time in 1966, and typically 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot.  There are approximately 11,000 cases produced each year.  But perhaps the best value and defiinatly the hardest to find of the wines made at Latour is the simple Pauillac de Latour.  This stunningly good wine is based on fruit from younger vines outside L'Enclos. Introduced with the 1973 vintage, this cuvée was only made a few times after that in 1974 and 1987.  This wine became a permanent member of the line-up in 1990.

Masculine in a word best describes Latour.  The wines are full-bodied, firm, virile, and tannic.  Two years after the vintage the other great Pauillacs like Lafite and Mouton will usually show better than Latour, for Latour is rarely accessible at an early age.  However, as time passes, Latour will eventually outlast them and can be counted on to be alive and sound when the others are but a memory.  Any knowledgeable claret buyer knows that Latour is always the best bet at rare wine auctions.  Pre-1900 vintages of Latour have held up remarkably well.  Probably the most comprehensive report on all the vintages of Chateau Latour was published in The Underground WineLetter in February of 1984.  It was a summary of tasting notes over different occasions including the legendary vertical tasting of 86 vintages conducted in San Francisco in 1981.  Vintages as far  back as 1865 and 1870 were in impeccable condition; the 1870 received a perfect (20) score with the comment that it was possibly "the greatest red wine ever."  Over the years Chateau Latour has also been regarded by connoisseurs as being the most consistent property in Bordeaux.  According to David Peppercorn in his epic work, Bordeaux: "One of Latour's outstanding characteristics has always been that it is magnificent in poor and moderate years."  Perhaps other chateaux of the Medoc occasionally rise above Latour in the great years, but none of them have come close in the lesser ones.

The modern day era of Chateau Latour began in 1993 French billionaire François Pinault brought Latour into his ring of luxury business portfolio which was later augmented by Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Christie's auction house and Chateau Grillet.  Although the old vintages are stunning I can't think how good these new wines of Chateau Latour will be in 20-30 years from now.   Since Frederic Engerer has taken control of this estate in the late 1990’s Chateau Latour has been the single most consistent wine made in Bordeaux. 

 

Other Vintages of Chateau Latour

Image result for 2004 Chateau Latour Pauillac
2004 Chateau Latour Pauillac
Price: $650.00    Sale Price: $525.00
Quantity in Stock: 1

(95 Points) A terrific effort from Administrator Frederic Engerer and owner Francois Pinault, the dark ruby/purple-tinged 2004 Latour exhibits a strong cassis character intermixed with notes of crushed rocks, earth, cedar, and forest floor. Racy, elegant, but powerful with medium to full body, and sweet tannin, it will benefit from 5-7 years of cellaring, and should keep for three decades. It is a very impressive offering. Wine Advocate #171, Jun 2007

1982 Chateau Latour Pauillac
Price: $2200.00    Sale Price: $1825.00       Quantity in Stock: 1

1966 Chateau Latour Pauillac
Price: $1400.00    Sale Price: $1100.00       Quantity in Stock: 4

(96 Points) The wine of the vintage, the 1966 Latour is a classic, old style Bordeaux that has required decades to become drinkable. A dark, opaque garnet color is followed by a fabulous nose of cedar, sweet leather, black fruits, prunes, and roasted walnuts, refreshing underlying acidity, sweet but noticeable tannin, and a spicy finish. This powerful, vigorous, immensely impressive, concentrated Latour has reached its plateau of maturity, where it will remain for another 10-20 years.

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