Chateau Latour Vertical Tasting back to 1937 with Special Guest Dr. Robert Maliner

Friday, January 22, 2021 - 07:30 PM

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

Colin Powell

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Whenever I get a great bottle of wine like the 1937 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 few years ago but when I got another cellar with a few bottles of 1937 Latour the bottles have just been begging me to open them!  So, I figured why not do another Chateau Latour vertical to start out our "Once in a Lifetime" series of tastings in 2021.  In addition to the legendary 1937, we also have a 1959 and 1964 out of (375ml) two of the oldest half bottles that we have every opened at an event. 

I am not a big fan of 375mls but even if these are just ok we have some of the greatest vintages of Chateau Latour from the last few decades on the table this evening indlucing the single greatest Bordeaux that I have ever tasted always a candidate for Wine of the Night the 1982 Chateau Latour will be here this evening a total of 12 vintages in all!

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, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Latour has been a leading candidate for "Wine of the Vintage".   Join us as we taste 12 vintages of this famous first growth going back to the legendary 1937 vintage.  This event is limited to 14 people and the fee for this dinner is $1500 + tax per person, 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 and we will send you back what the value is and you can use your Chateau Latour to pay for our Chateau Latour tasting!  Wine is as good as money in the bank of Wine Watch!!

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Chateau Latour tasting back to 1937
Friday, January 22nd 2021
7:30 PM

 

 

Chateau Latour 1937                                       
Chateau Latour 1959 (half)                        
Chateau Latour 1964 (half)                          
Chateau Latour 1975                                   
Chateau Latour 1980                              
Chateau Latour 1982                               
Chateau Latour 1988                              
Chateau Latour 1989                                
Chateau Latour 1990                             
Chateau Latour 1996                                    
Chateau Latour  1998                             
Chateau Latour 2000    
                          
Menu
Selection of Cheese and Charcuterie
Portobello Mushroom and Burrata Salad with Sundried Tomato Basil Vinaigrette
Crispy Duck Confit with Bordeaux Natural Sauce and truffle Shoestring fries
Chocolate Bacon Breakfast Bars

The fee for this tasting is $1500 per person + tax for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.  Please let us know when you make your reservation if you have an aversion to Duck and we can make you a hamburger or something. 

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. 

All the Chateau Latour we have in stock:

Image result for 2004 Chateau Latour Pauillac

2006 Chateau Latour Pauillac
Price: $855.00    Sale Price: $625.00          Quantity in Stock: 1

2002 Chateau Latour Pauillac
Price: $795.00    Your Price: $699.60         Quantity in Stock: 1

1990 Chateau Latour Pauillac
Price: $1250.00  Your Price: $1100.00       Quantity in Stock: 1

1959 Chateau Latour Pauillac (high shoulder)
Price: $4500.00                  Your Price: $3960.00       Quantity in Stock: 2

1937 Chateau Latour Pauillac
Price: $1495.00  Your Price: $1315.60       Quantity in Stock: 2

 

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