STORY BEHIND THIS WINE
Pauillac de Latour is the third wine of legendary Chateau Latour, one the five estates rated as ‘premier cru classé’, or first growths in the Médoc, the elite of Bordeaux. Wine has been made at the property continuously since the 14th century but its ‘modern’ history begins in the late 17th century when it came into the ownership of the Segur family who owned it for nearly 300 years. Today it is the property of French billionaire industrialist Francois Pinault.
The estate has 78 hectares of vineyards. The ‘grand vin’ or main label always comes from a gravel rich 47-hectare site called ‘Enclos’. The second label, Les Forts de Latour is considered good enough to be a classified growth in its own right. The third label Pauillac de Latour mostly comes from an 8ha plot called Artiques and from younger vines on the estate.
The director since 1996 has been Frederic Engerer and the period since his appointment is considered by many as the most successful in its entire history. The vineyards are made up of 74.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23.8% Merlot, 1.8% Cabernet Franc and 0.2% Petit Verdot. 100% of the vineyards are certified as organic and 50% is farmed biodynamically and ploughing is done with horses.
Each plot, divided by age, variety and site is fermented separately, fully destemmed and kept on skins for about three weeks before ageing in French barriques, 100% new for the grand vin, 50% for Les Forts and 20-25% for the third label. The volume of the grand vin with stricter selection has been lowered in the last 20 years, which of course means quality and volume of the other two labels has increased.
Pauillac de Latour is Chateau Latour’s third label and gives a chance to tap into and get an understanding of the style of this exceptional estate at a much lower the price than the grand vin, but grown and made with the same loving care as the main label from very slightly less favoured terroir and from younger vines.
2015 was a good to very vintage in Pauillac and this is, as you’d expect, a classic Pauillac. That is to say that there is plenty of the commune’s hallmark cigar box and tobacco like aromas complimenting blackcurrant and cherry like fruit. It’s medium bodied with some tannin but soft enough to be enjoyed now.
Awards & Reviews
92/100 Tim Atkin MW.
16.5/100 Jancis robinson
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