2006 1er Cru Classé Pauillac


En Primeur: Quite closed on the nose, so it throws off a very attractive oakiness, almost timber-yard. On the palate the fruit picks up - plum and blueberry, rich. Lots of power, quite intense, good old-style Latour-like seriousness, mineral and pencils, with that characteristic austere dryness. Long, with damsons and sloes on the finish. All very buttoned-up. It's hard to give this a thrilling score just now, but the élevage will always be first-rate here, and there is a long way to go. I'd bet on it being a top Latour. Rating: 94++ L&S(Apr 2007)

In Bond

75cl bottles (wood case of 6)

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The 2006 Latour is composed of 91.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7.5% Merlot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc and 0.5% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it charges out of the gate with impressively energetic crème de cassis, cured meats, wood smoke and black forest cake notions plus hints of licorice, sandalwood and iron ore, not to mention a fragrant waft of dried roses that emerges with coaxing. Medium to full-bodied, suitably rich, expressive and accented by sparks of exotic spices, it has a frame of now velvety tannins contributing just a bit of chew to the long, perfumed finish. Drinking beautifully now, it should cellar gracefully over the next 20+ years. Rating: 95 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, 2018)

Tasted blind at Southwold ’06 Bordeaux tasting. The Latour ’06 has a wonderfully defined nose with blackberry, macerated black cherries, a hint of quince jus, graphite and scorched earth. At this early juncture, it comes across as a little sullen compared to the other First Growths, but that will change in time. The palate is medium-bodied with that power channelled brilliantly across the mouth. Vibrant acidity, expanding with each sip; refined with a meaty/dried blood note towards the austere, earthy finish. Beautifully integrated new oak, this is an excellent Latour. Tasted January 2010. Rating: 95 Neal Martin, 2010)

Bright full ruby. Slightly stern aromas of cassis, graphite, licorice, incense and flowers. Then dense and penetrating, with terrific energy to the subtle dark fruit, licorice and mineral flavors. There's a coolness to the fruit that makes this wine dramatically different from the Forts de Latour. Finishes with big, building tannins and a powerful sense of structure. A fairly large-scaled Latour but not particularly sweet in the early going. In fact, this went into a shell with 24 hours in the recorked bottle. Rating: 95 Stephen Tanzer, 2009)

The 2006 Latour performed even better from bottle than from barrel. Only 38% of the production (10,000 cases) made it into the grand vin, a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest primarily Merlot and a small amount of Cabernet Franc. From barrel, I thought it was a modern day version of the 1996 or 1986, and certainly the 1996 comparison still holds. I thought it was somewhat austere from barrel, but that is no longer an issue. This is a beautifully rich Chateau Latour boasting a dense ruby/purple color, a sweet, smoky, charcoal, cassis, graphite, and forest floor-scented nose, full body, an attractive freshness, and sweet, noble tannins. This layered Latour is one of the vintage's top dozen or so wines. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2030. Drinking range: 2013 - 2030 Rating: 95 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, 2009)

Very long. Wonderful licorice, berry and currant character. Full and silky, beautiful and pure. This is really distinguished. Feminine but strong. Classic Bordeaux style. Rating: 95-100 James Suckling, The Wine Spectator(May 2007)

Intense vibrant colour, marked crunchy, cassis fruit, wild violets, really quite exceptional freshness on the nose matched by richness and succulence on the palate, a very pure, very beautiful wine. 2015-40. Rating: ***** 2007)

6% press wine. This vintage can be compared with 1986 yet in 2006 105mm rain fell in September, whereas 1986 was a perfect summer - which just shows how much work in the vineyard has evolved, and how much work is involved. The harvest took 250 people five muddy weeks, and the labour costs were 60% higher than in 2005. Picked at 4.5 g/l TA (acidity levels in the Cabernet were unusually high) but a lot was lost during fermentation (partly because there was quite a high proportion of malic acid in the grapes and this was softened by the malo, and partly because of the amount of tartaric acid that settled out). This is quite different from the old Latour yet the current team have managed to get it to evolve rather than change. Very dark crimson right out to rim. Dense with some wild herbs on the nose. Very wild and smooth and racy. Rather musical in the sense that there seem to be many different themes here. Not a hint of rusticity. Delicacy actually with masses of very very fine tannins. Great finesse as well as intensity. But very embryonic even though this is the final assemblage. Very very dry - very bright fruit. Strong herbs yet polish too. Very slightly raw and angular yet lifted lively. 2015-35 Rating: 18.5 Jancis Robinson OBE MBE - 2007)

1855 classification - Premier Grand Cru Classé The famous dovecot at Château Latour dates from the early 17th Century when vines were just starting to edge out general agriculture as the business of the Haut-Médoc. Later on in the 17th Century, Latour came into the ownership of the Ségur family who owned Lafite at the time too. The Ségur family, and their descendents, owned Latour right up until the 1960's. Sale of shares in Latour freed up finance for investment and modernisation. In 1993, Latour was purchased by the billionaire François Pinault from whom has flowed renwed investment. Château Latour sits at the southern end of Pauillac, facing Leoville Las Cases across the Ruisseau de Juillac. 47ha of vines sit around the château itself - the l'Enclos - and this provides grapes for the grand vin. From the l'Enclos, and other vines spread around Pauillac, comes the second wine - Les Forts de Latour and a "third" wine generically labelled "Pauillac". The vineyard is planted to 80% Cabernet Sauvignon with nearly 20% Merlot and a small amount of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The grand vin is aged all in new wood, Les Forts de Latour is a 50/50 mix of new and one year old casks. Latour's reputation is built as much on weaker vintages as the classic years - whilst everybody can make a great wine in years like 2005 and 2009, Latour has a consistency across the vintages that sees great wines made even when others are struggling.

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