Chateau Latour 2012 & Forts de Latour 2014 – First Release

by Charles Lea

Château Latour 2012 is released today – for the first time, as this was the first vintage in which Latour was not offered en primeur.

It’s also the first outing for Les Forts de Latour 2014.

Quantities being put on the market are likely to be limited, and so one can expect that the Château will be holding back some stock for future releases.

This Latour release is comfortably below the current market price for any other vintage, despite being probably better than some of them, showing that Frederic Engerer and his team have recognised the exceptional market conditions.

To order please email primeurs@leaandsandeman.co.uk. Offered subject to stock remaining.

2012 CHÂTEAU LATOUR 1er Cru Classé Pauillac £2100 per six bottle case in bond

The 2012 Latour has a potent bouquet of blackberry, graphite and distinctive tertiary notes [instead of more marine scents observed four years earlier]. Initially, the palate is slightly disjointed on the entry and displays a subtle herbal quality, plus hints of pencil shavings. The 2012 demands a few minutes to really coalesce and achieve the precision and pixelation that have been the hallmark of this Grand Vin in its youth. Layers of black fruit coat the mouth, and a bitter edge lends tension, particularly toward the very persistent finish. Though its release implies, and the rhetoric from the château indicates, that it is ready to drink, if you want my advice, cellar the 2012 for another five or six years to witness it in full flight. It has always been a candidate for wine of the vintage… just have a bit of patience. 96. Neal Martin, www.vinous.com

The 2012 Latour is a blend of 90.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.6% Merlot and 0.2% Petit Verdot. Medium to deep garnet colored, the nose slowly, measuredly emerges with notions of preserved Morello cherries, baked blackcurrants and blackberry compote, giving way to nuances of pencil shavings, unsmoked cigars, Chinese five spice and sandalwood plus ever so subtle hints of cardamom and eucalyptus. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers mouth-coating black and red fruit preserves with a firm, grainy-textured frame and fantastic freshness, finishing with a veritable firework display of lingering spices and minerals. This is a more restrained, relatively elegant vintage of Latour that may not have that “iron fist in a velvet glove” power of the greatest vintages but nonetheless struts its superior terroir and behind-the-scenes savoir faire with impressive panache. It is drinking nicely now with suitably rounded-off, approachable tannins, and the tertiary characters are just beginning to bring some more cerebral elements into the compote of temptingly primary black fruits. But, if you’re looking to drink it in full, flamboyant swing, give it another 5-10 years in bottle and drink it over the next 20-25 years+. 96+ Lisa Perrotti-Brown, RobertParker.com

2014 FORTS DE LATOUR Pauillac £840 per six bottle case in bond

Highly enjoyable, has gorgeous elegance and freshness, and is showing better right now than the 2015 Pauillac de Latour. Extremely fresh, hedgerow and cassis bud backed up by richer seams of liquorice and blackberry. Not yet ready but you can see that with a stiff wind and a good carafe, you could get there in the next few years. Tight black spice uncurls to show carefully-delivered smoked cedar on the finish. 93. Jane Anson, Decanter

The 2014 Les Forts de Latour is a blend of 71.4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28.6% Merlot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it needs a little coaxing to reveal expanding scents of blackcurrant pastilles, baked plums and boysenberries with suggestions of wood smoke, fragrant earth, cast-iron pan and charcuterie plus a faint waft of black truffles. Medium-bodied, the earthy/savory palate has loads of lively black fruit with a refreshing line and firm, grainy tannins, finishing on a lingering ferrous note. 93. Lisa Perrotti-Brown, RobertParker.com

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