Chateau Latour 1er Grand Cru Classe, Pauillac 2018
This vintage has a very pure, elegant nose. The attack is clear, and the wine progressively gets bigger, reaching a very sophisticated balance between the magnificent quality of the tannins, substance, tension and freshness. There is 50% Cabernet Franc in the blend, which elevates the elegance of the wine’s tannic structure and makes the finish complex and long.
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Many have called this the best vineyard in the world and the dynamic Director of Chateau Latour, Frédéric Engerer, is determined to make the greatest wine possible. He has the confidence of owner, François Pinault, to do all that it takes to achieve this aim. Only the best vines from the “enclos” of the vineyard are used for the Grand Vin. There is an outstanding second label – Les Forts de Latour – that is of super-second growth quality, a third wine – Pauillac de Latour – matches well known classed growths and even a very good 4th wine that is Chateau bottled but not released under the Chateau’s own label. The policy here is to no longer sell the wines en primeur but to wait until they are mature before they are released. The 2012 should be released in March 2020. This 2018 will need at least 10 years until we see it again, but could it be the new 1959? It combines tannin with cream and is both muscular and elegant. Made from 91% Cabernet Sauvignon with 9% Merlot.
WINE TASTING NOTES
The 2018 Latour is composed of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot, with 14.3% alcohol and an IPT (total polyphenol index) of 81. Very deep purple-black in color, it is very reluctant to show itself to start. With considerable coaxing, it begins to give up notions of chocolate-covered cherries, kirsch, blackcurrant cordial, Sichuan pepper, hoisin and underbrush scents with slowly unfurling red roses, woodsmoke and espresso plus a waft of truffles. The full-bodied palate is a bodybuilder—absolutely stacked with taut, muscular cassis and savory layers, structured with sky-high, very firm, very ripe tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and layered. Powerful!
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019