53% of this great vineyard's production went into the grand vin this year. Although the harvest was over by 30th September, the Cabernet Sauvignon which makes up 81% of the blend, was harvested fully mature and in beautiful condition. The Chateau is in no doubt that this is one of the greatest Latours of recent years and makes comparisons with 1982.At this stage it is a brooding dense wine. Its huge reserves of fruit and power and great balance will ensure that it will age seamlessly for many decades.
Administrator Frederic Engerer says the 2003 is “the sexiest Latour ever made.” He also described it as “the 1990 without any brettanomyces.” I loved this wine from the barrel and was fortunate enough to be able to purchase a small quantity, enjoying every bottle I have had. A profound example of Chateau Latour, the full-bodied, opulent 2003 is already performing well at age eleven, which is somewhat atypical. The pH is a relatively high 3.8, which also indicates low acidity. The wine is very ripe, but not over-ripe, offers great freshness, and lots of creme de cassis and camphor as well as hints of blackberries and chocolate. Dense, thick and unctuously textured, this staggering Latour is undeniably the most sumptuous, opulent wine made here since the 1982 or 1961. Drink it over the next two decades.
There are only 10,800 cases (rather than the normal 15,000-20,000) of the 2003 Latour, a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot (13.3% finished alcohol). A prodigious effort, it boasts a saturated purple color as well as a gorgeous perfume of smoke, cedar, creme de cassis, flowers, crushed rocks, and blackberries. Massive and multi-layered, with huge richness and low acidity, it is about as unctuous as a young Latour can be. It could be compared to the 1982, but it may be even more pure, at least at this early stage, than that monumental wine. The level of intensity builds prodigiously in the mouth, and the finish lasts nearly a minute. Disarmingly accessible (although analytically the tannin level is high), I suspect it will ultimately shut down, but it was performing impeccably when I tasted it. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2040+. What can one say about proprietor Francois Pinault and his manager, Frederic Engerer? A strong argument can be made that in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004, Latour produced the wine of the vintage, although it has plenty of competition in the Northern Medoc in 2003. Moreover, the bargains are the estate's least expensive cuvee, Pauillac, followed by Les Forts de Latour, Latour's second wine which continues to increase in quality. Drink 2010-2040
Unusual because of its extraordinary opulence, voluptuous texture, and almost over-the-top thickness and richness, the 2003 Latour is somewhat reminiscent of the 1982. This amazingly profound wine (only 10,500 cases made of a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot) has an inky/purple color and a wonderfully sweet, almost exotic nose of black fruits intermixed with some scorched earth, fig, plum, and blackberry liqueur. It is a massive, multi-layered wine, with enormous quantities of glycerin and richness, low acidity, elevated alcohol (13%), and a huge, unctuous texture. It is unusual to find Latour so friendly and accessible with such huge levels of soft, sweet tannin, but the fact is that most of these tannins are concealed by massive layers of fruit and extract. This is truly a compelling Latour, if somewhat atypical. I remember how the 1982 tasted early on, and this wine is built somewhat along those lines, but potentially even richer. The finish just goes on and on, and although I didn't clock it, the aftertaste lingers well past a minute. This wine will be surprisingly accessible young, but age effortlessly for three to four decades. Drink 2005-2045
Very dark crimson, still with purple hints. Wonderful freshness and intensity on the nose - extremely atypical of the vintage. Very sumptuous texture. Utterly Latour - quite miraculously more Latour than 2003. Long, precise, great opulence yet absolutely not OTT. Very, very long. Very, very good job. Definite Latour minerality.
Inky, with masses of licorice, coffee and currant character on the nose. It's full-bodied and supersilky. Thick yet elegant, with fantastic ripe tannins and exciting juicy fruit on the finish. This could be 1982 in the remake, but cleaner and classier. One of the smallest productions ever for this estate.
Huge colour, big chunky fruit and yet all elegance and terrific purity of expression, total harmony in all its elements and a marvellous example of the freshness and fragrance of Cabernet in this vintage. Superb. Drink: 2014-2035.
It is a common misconception that Château Latour was named after its cream-coloured tower - a 17th century edifice that served as a dovecote. The original tower that gave its name to this exemplary property was built in the 15th century as a watchtower to fend off invading pirates during the Hundred Years War. Unfortunately, it has long been eroded away. It can be considered the King of the First Growths, having the extraordinary power, structure and presence.
Due south of St Estèphe lies the appellation of Pauillac, the king of Left Bank communes. It is home to three first growths as well as a plethora of other classified growths. Pauillac's renowned well-draining, gravelly soils enable its dominant grape Cabernet Sauvignon to reach fantastic heights of complexity and concentration. As a result, Pauilac's wines tend to be full-bodied with compact tannins and good freshness. Its aromatics are often what one associates with classic Bordeaux: pencil shavings, black currant and occasional mint. Some of the most famous châteaux of the commune are Latour, Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, Pichon Baron, Pichon Lalande and Lynch Bages.