Château Latour 2009
• Domaine: Château Latour
• Appellation: Pauillac
• Classification: First Growth, 1èr Grand Cru Classé
• 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.
"A blend of 91.3% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8.7% Merlot with just under 14% natural alcohol, the 2009 Latour is basically a clone of the super 2003, only more structured and potentially more massive and long lived. An elixir of momentous proportions, it boasts a dense purple color as well as an extraordinarily flamboyant bouquet of black fruits, graphite, crushed rocks, subtle oak and a notion of wet steel. It hits the palate with a thundering concoction of thick, juicy blue and black fruits, lead pencil shavings and a chalky minerality. Full-bodied, but very fresh with a finish that lasts over a minute, this is one of the most remarkable young wines I have ever tasted. Will it last one-hundred years? No doubt about it. Can it be drunk in a decade? For sure." - Robert Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate (12/22/2011, Issue 199), Ratings: 100
"The 2009 Latour has off the charts concentration in addition to the highest level of tannin ever measured at the estate. The final blend was somewhat unusual in that it consists of 91.3% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8.7% Merlot, and clocked in at 13.7% alcohol (even higher than the 2003). Possibly a 100-year wine, it boasts an inky/black/purple color as well as an extraordinary perfume of super-intense blue and black fruits, graphite, and a liqueur of rocks-like minerality. Enormously full-bodied yet at the same time incredibly fresh, vibrant, and precise, it coats the mouth, and builds incrementally to skyscraper-like texture, and a whopping finish that lasts over a minute. This remarkable wine reveals a certain accessibility already, yet one senses that it will be even richer, more nuanced, and fuller by the time it is bottled in mid-2011. A monumental wine from a monumental vintage in the Medoc, this is our children's children's children's elixir. (Tasted once.)
There is no doubting that Director Frederic Engerer and owner Francois Pinault are thrilled with what they have accomplished at Latour. These three wines are hugely different in price, but all are extraordinary." - Robert Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate (6/29/2006, Issue 165), Ratings: 98-100
Technical Notes: After a relatively wet start to spring, 2009 will be remembered for its exceptionally hot, dry summer that was even sunnier than 2005.
The coolness at the start of spring resulted in slow growth. From May onwards, the year was marked by monthly temperatures that were well above seasonal norms, enabling the vines to catch up. Beautiful summer weather arrived and was only interrupted by a few stormy periods in July, which did not enable the soil to replenish its reserves. The deficit increased in August and September.
Shortly after veraison began, the vines suffered significant levels of stress. Very dry conditions in the first half of September resulted in the concentration of the already small berries. Rain on 19-20 September was very beneficial in refining the tannins. The harvests began on Wednesday, 23 September, and continued until 10 October in splendid sunshine and perfect healthy conditions.
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