2008 Latour

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Average critic rating : 94.42 points



An extraordinary wine, the classic 2008 Latour (13.5% natural alcohol) is composed of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc (40% of the production made it into the grand vin). Its dense purple color is followed by hints of espresso roast, cassis, burning embers, truffles and graphite. Rich with full-bodied power, beautiful purity and graciousness allied to a voluminous, savory, broad mouthfeel, this beauty will be drinkable in 4-5 years and will keep for three decades. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate May 2011 Damn me for saying it, but I actually think the 2008 Latour will turn out to be even better than the 2005 or 2000. I still have a weakness for the 2003, but it is somewhat atypical in how forward, fleshy, and opulent it is. The 2008 Latour is a more concentrated version of the 1996, and that’s saying something. The harvest took place between September 29 and October 7 for the Merlot, but the Cabernet Sauvignon finished around the 19th of October. The natural alcohol of 13.48% may be the highest ever achieved at Latour. The final blend is 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, and 1% Cabernet Franc. Moreover, in a low yield year, only 40% of the production made it into the grand vin, so even with the global economic crisis, this is going to be a tightly allocated wine – with under 10,000 cases produced. A fabulous infant, it exhibits an inky/purple color as well as extraordinarily pure notes of creme de cassis, crushed rocks, and flowers. The fact that there is no hint of oak is a testament to the vintage’s density and richness. The wine possesses full-bodied power as well as a boatload of tannin, and it is even more backward than Lafite Rothschild. Nevertheless, the hallmark of a great wine and potentially top-notch vintage is the sweetness of the tannin, and that is evident. The wine is young, unevolved, and incredibly pure (another hallmark of this unexpectedly magical vintage) with an amazingly long, textured, layered finish. It should be forgotten for 5-8 years, and consumed over the following four decades. (96-98) Robert Parker, Wine Advocate # 182



Frederic Engerer describes this as a mixture of the 01, 02 and 04...he might be right. Tasted at the chateau, 2008 Chateau Latour has an intense blackberry, cedar, graphite-scented bouquet that is very tight at first but opening in the glass. The palate is full-bodied with mouth-coating black fruits infused with a touch of liquorice and black plum. The Latour -08 is underpinned by tensile tannins that lend it a linearity that finally broadens out on the long, persistent finish. Coming back after a few minutes I notice a touch of espresso on the finish. One feels that this could still surprise in a few years-I wonder if this has something up its sleeve? Drink 2014-2035. Tasted October 2010. Neal Martin, eRobertParker.com



Gorgeous aromas. Sandalwood and flowers, so perfumed and beautiful. Spices and currants with cassis too. Amazing nose. Such beauty and density with an iron and pure fruit character. Solid and racy. Best after 2015. James Suckling, jamessuckling.com



Offers currant and blackberry aromas, with hints of flowers. Starts as a slow attack on the palate, then builds with superpolished tannins and pretty fruit, offering berries and mineral. Long and caressing. James Suckling,Wine Spectator 2009



Deep crimson with a purple tinge. The only blend that might change very slightly - maybe add a little bit more press wine or something. Really rather seductive nose. You could almost drink this now! Very polished and rich and zesty. Pretty clever. Hint of malt that softens it. Then scrunched up on the finish. Clean and neat. Lots of Merlot. Jancis Robinson, jancisrobinson.com



Black-red, terrific expression of blackcurrant fruit, slightly smoky and already complex, really fine floral fruit, really fine clear depth and length, a tight style, firm and classic, full of energy and savoury fruit, excitingly precise, tannins in perfect balance. Drink 2018-40. Decanter.com

Graphs indicate market price trends as calculated by FINE+RARE’s internal market making system and are for guidance only. E&OE.

Chart showing (to 19/10/2016) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

Latour 2008
+£2,796.00     (+175.3%) Latest price:  £4,391.00
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Latour: The Importance

Château Latour is one of the finest wines in Bordeaux and one of the three Pauillac first growths, along with Mouton-Rothschild and Lafite Rothschild. The château is situated on the appellation’s southern edge, shouldering the border with St Julien and just a quickstep from the sloping banks of the Gironde.


Latour is often considered to be the most classic in style of all first growths. Described by Neal Martin as “a supernova around which others orbit”, Latour has a long history at the very top of the Bordeaux hierarchy, making it one of the region’s most desirable wines.


Latour: The Insight

Latour is situated on what could well be the best terroir on the left bank; built upon trademark Pauillac gravel and clay subsoil and perfectly positioned to reap the benefits of the Gironde breeze, Latour combines all the necessary elements for perfect wine. These excellent natural conditions are matched by rigorous production methods, with Antonio Galloni commenting “it is impossible to visit Latour and not be impressed by the total commitment to detail. Nothing goes unobserved”. This yields spectacular results: Latour produces wines of haunting precision, power and finesse – with few finer expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon (80% of the vineyards) to be found anywhere in the world. Other grape varietals grown are Merlot (18%), Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.


There are three wines produced at Château Latour: the Grand Vin, Les Forts de Latour and Pauillac de Latour. Latour is often described as one of Bordeaux’s most consistent wines. The Grand Vin is a very serious prospect in any given year, but 1982, 2003, 2009 and 2010 are among its greatest ever vintages, with each awarded 100 points by Robert Parker. Les Forts de Latour comes largely from vines situated outside the heart of the estate and includes some of the younger vines of the flagship Château Latour itself. Occasionally, vats originally destined for the Grand Vin will be incorporated into Les Forts de Latour, and top vintages of this second wine are at the same level of quality as some past vintages of the Grand Vin itself: 2005, 2009 & 2010 spring to mind.


Latour: The Background

While the history of Latour’s emblematic château building dates back to at least the 14th century, its world-renowned vineyards were fully established in the 17th century, making them some of the oldest in Bordeaux. However despite this ancient heritage, Latour is not afraid to buck tradition. The house recently took the unprecedented decision to remove itself from the En Primeur system, meaning that it no longer releases wine still in barrel. This means that 2011 was the last wine to be released from barrel, with all future vintages to be held in Latour’s cellars until they are considered ready to drink. This move sets Latour aside from the other first-growths and has been hailed by some commentators as a shift in the future of Bordeaux.

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