2012 Chateau latour pauillac bordeaux blend

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2012 Chateau Latour

Decanter 97
WA 96
  • S$1,05297

Vintage: 2012

Region: Pauillac, Bordeaux

Country: USA

Château Latour is one of Bordeaux's – and the world's – most famous wine producers. It is situated in the southeast corner of the Pauillac commune on the border of Saint-Julien, in the Médoc region. Rated as a First Growth in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification, it has become one of the most sought-after and expensive wine producers on the planet, and produces powerfully structured Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant wines capable of lasting many decades.

Typically for the region, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in the vineyard, accounting for around 80 percent of plantings. Merlot makes up most of the remainder, and there are also small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

97 points Decanter
This will be by far the biggest release since Latour brought in the new system, as the 2012 has not been on the market before. It's a good one to start with as this is a vintage where the drinking window is starting to come into view. This is pure liquorice, graphite and profoundly dark fruits, gourmet brushed damson and crushed stones, with a silky, appealingly open texture. The tannins are as bracing as you hope for from this estate, not giving an inch yet, but there is air between them and the structure is starting to loosen up. Harvest from September 24 to October 16, under rainy conditions after a super hot summer and early September that ensured the grapes stayed in good condition, but turned the concentration from impenetrable to an altogether more approachable style. (JA)(2/2020)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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+. (LPB) 96+ (3/2020)

 

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Château Latour is one of Bordeaux's – and the world's – most famous wine producers. It is situated in the southeast corner of the Pauillac commune on the border of Saint-Julien, in the Médoc region. Rated as a First Growth in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification, it has become one of the most sought-after and expensive wine producers on the planet, and produces powerfully structured Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant wines capable of lasting many decades.

The site has been occupied since 1331, with a fort and garrison to guard the estuary. Several smallholdings began to grow vines, and wine from the site gained recognition from Montaigne as early as the 16th Century. The original tower no longer exists; the famous tower featured on the label was designed as a pigeon roost and built around 1620.

Latour's development as a single property came with the beginning of a long unbroken period of connected family ownership, based around the de Ségur name, also associated with Mouton and Calon-Ségur. This began in 1670 and lasted 290 years although, after the French Revolution, Latour was divided up and not fully reunited until 1841.

The château has been owned by French billionaire François Pinault since 1993 and falls under the umbrella of his holding company, Groupe Artemis. Other notable Artemis possessions include the likes of Burgundy's Le Clos de Tart (in Morey-Saint-Denis) and Domaine d'Eugénie (in Vosne-Romanée), Château-Grillet in Condrieu, and Napa Valley's Araujo Estate.

The Latour estate courted controversy in 2012 when it announced – through long-time director Frédéric Engerer – that it would no longer take part in Bordeaux's En Primeur pre-release sales campaign (an annual installment for nearly all the major names in the region). Since 2012, the estate has shown no signs of going back on this decision.

Typically for the region, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in the vineyard, accounting for around 80 percent of plantings. Merlot makes up most of the remainder, and there are also small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

The grand vin is only made from the vineyard plots surrounding the chateau and shown on the 1759 plan of the domaine. Vine age in these sections is around 60 years old.

Latour makes two other wines: Les Forts de Latour (a well-regarded second wine in its own right) and Pauillac de Latour (a third wine), both of which are made from younger vines. 

97 points Decanter
This will be by far the biggest release since Latour brought in the new system, as the 2012 has not been on the market before. It's a good one to start with as this is a vintage where the drinking window is starting to come into view. This is pure liquorice, graphite and profoundly dark fruits, gourmet brushed damson and crushed stones, with a silky, appealingly open texture. The tannins are as bracing as you hope for from this estate, not giving an inch yet, but there is air between them and the structure is starting to loosen up. Harvest from September 24 to October 16, under rainy conditions after a super hot summer and early September that ensured the grapes stayed in good condition, but turned the concentration from impenetrable to an altogether more approachable style. (JA)(2/2020)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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+. (LPB) 96+ (3/2020)

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