Château Latour 2012
• 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.
"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." - Neal Martin, vinous (4/2020), Ratings: 96, Drink: 2027-2055
"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+." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (3/5/2020), Ratings: 96+, Drink: 2020-2050