Château Latour 2008
• Domaine: Château Latour
• Appellation: Pauillac
• Classification: Second Wine, First Growth, 1èr Grand Cru Classé in 1855
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
At Château Latour, Cabernet Sauvignon is king. The estate boasts the most plantings of this regal varietal out of all the First Growths at about 10,000 plants per hectare – that’s over 80% of its vineyard! The wines of Château Latour possess everything a Cabernet-lover dreams about. Raw, unbridled power, energy, stunning fruit, and of course – ageability. Château Latour’s Grand Vin is one of the most age-worthy wines on the market, with the ability to lay down for decades.
In fact, Latour wines are so robust, that in 2012 Château Latour made the radical decision to eliminate Futures and only release their wines when they were ready to drink. It’s decisions like these – and many others – that put Château Latour in a league of its own. The visionaries at this property do not rest on their laurels by any means. Instead, they focus tirelessly on making innovative choices in their relentless pursuit of a perfect bottle, vintage after vintage.
Their instincts are often spot on- Château Latour is one of the most consistent First Growths on the market, producing knockout vintages year after year.
References to Château Latour date as far back to the 1300s, where its fortress served as a garrison during the 100 Year’s War. The Château really became known for its wine legacy when Marquis de Ségur – whom Louis XV affectionately referred to as, “the Wine Prince,”– snapped up the property as an addition to his collection of legendary châteaux. It seemed Marquis de Ségur had the magic touch, considering he owned the second-to-none Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Mouton Rothschild and Château Calon Ségur as well. During Marquis de Ségur’s ownership, the Château experienced a golden age and rose to prominence, earning its First Growth title during the 1855 Classification.
Château Latour has often stood at the forefront of vineyard management with cutting-edge practices. In 1965, they were one of the first châteaux to introduce stainless steel vats to the fermentation process. In 2008, they reassessed their vineyard management processes and decided to implement horses to plough the soil. Château Latour is one of the leading châteaux in terms of organic winemaking and obtained their organic certification from Ecocert in 2015. For some of the choicest parcels, the château uses Biodynamic philosophies and curates each vintage based on the weather conditions and lunar calendar. There is no end to the amount of energy, resources, and time the winemaking team at Château Latour will put into ensuring the best harvest is brought to bottle.
The wines of Château Latour are considered standouts in unremarkable years and in great years, they are considered legendary.
"The 2008 Latour has a more bold and concentrated bouquet compared to the Lafite-Rothschild, scents of blackberry, bilberry, iris, cigar humidor and cold wet stone that all surge from the glass. This is beautifully defined. The palate is medium-bodied with firm in tannin, a light marine influence infusing the black fruit, a little spice towards the finish with superb persistency. It is an authorative Latour as usual, one now beginning to enter its stride although naturally it will last for two or three decades with ease. (Tasted at BI Wine & Spirit’s annual 10-Year On tasting.)." - Neal Martin, vinous.com (February 2018), Rating: 96, Drink: 2018-2050
"An extraordinary wine, the classic 2008 Latour (13.5% natural alcohol) is composed of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc (40% of the production made it into the grand vin). Its dense purple color is followed by hints of espresso roast, cassis, burning embers, truffles and graphite. Rich with full-bodied power, beautiful purity and graciousness allied to a voluminous, savory, broad mouthfeel, this beauty will be drinkable in 4-5 years and will keep for three decades." - Robert Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate (5/1/2011, Issue 194), Ratings: 95+, Drink: 2015-2045
"Damn me for saying it, but I actually think the 2008 Latour will turn out to be even better than the 2005 or 2000. I still have a weakness for the 2003, but it is somewhat atypical in how forward, fleshy, and opulent it is. The 2008 Latour is a more concentrated version of the 1996, and that’s saying something. The harvest took place between September 29 and October 7 for the Merlot, but the Cabernet Sauvignon finished around the 19th of October. The natural alcohol of 13.48% may be the highest ever achieved at Latour. The final blend is 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, and 1% Cabernet Franc. Moreover, in a low yield year, only 40% of the production made it into the grand vin, so even with the global economic crisis, this is going to be a tightly allocated wine – with under 10,000 cases produced. A fabulous infant, it exhibits an inky/purple color as well as extraordinarily pure notes of creme de cassis, crushed rocks, and flowers. The fact that there is no hint of oak is a testament to the vintage’s density and richness. The wine possesses full-bodied power as well as a boatload of tannin, and it is even more backward than Lafite Rothschild. Nevertheless, the hallmark of a great wine and potentially top-notch vintage is the sweetness of the tannin, and that is evident. The wine is young, unevolved, and incredibly pure (another hallmark of this unexpectedly magical vintage) with an amazingly long, textured, layered finish. It should be forgotten for 5-8 years, and consumed over the following four decades." - Robert Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate (4/28/2009, Issue 182), Ratings: 96-98
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