Le Pauillac de Château Latour 2011
• Domaine: Château Latour
• Appellation: Pauillac
• Classification: Second Wine, 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. With all that in mind, sometimes there are occasions that require a more accessible Pauillac. For Cabernet-lovers who favor a more friendly wine, Le Pauillac de Château Latour is the perfect option.
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 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. The vineyard has a mixture of heat absorbing gravel, sand, and clay soils. This allows the vines – some as old as 100 years – to absorb the water from the neighboring Gironde estuary in their strong roots. Mild winters followed by rainy springs and summers put the perfect amount of stress on the vines. During the perfectly crisp, sunny, harvest season, these vines are hand-picked to achieve optimum expression of terroir.
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. Château Latour was one of the first estates to introduce a third wine in order to perfect the process of crafting the grand vin. Le Pauillac de Château La Tour has been in existence since 1989 and is crafted using some of the younger vines at the property. Though Le Pauillac de Château Latour may lack the enormous power and ageability of the grand vin it certainly epitomizes the energetic style of this legendary property. The wines of Château Latour are considered standouts in unremarkable years and in great years, they are considered legendary.
"Tasted from my cellar, the 1986 has consistently been outstanding, falling short of being sublime. The spicy, peppery bouquet reveals aromas of dried herbs and red currant fruit. Medium-bodied, austere, but youthful, vigorous, and concentrated, this wine still requires 4-5 years of cellaring. It is surpassed in this vintage (which favored the northern Medoc and Cabernet Sauvignon) by its rivals, Lafite-Rothschild and Mouton-Rothschild. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2020." - Robert Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate, Ratings: 90
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