First things first - there is an undeniable enjoyment in finding a vintage of Latour's grand vin that doesn't need to be put away for a few decades, and it is smart of the estate to release this wine now, at eight years old, because 2013 is unquestionably a year that lacks the intensity and structure to allow long ageing. I tasted it both on its own, just opened from bottle, and over lunch to see how it held up. Smoke, floral notes and spice are the three main lines that you are going to find, and each one has its appeal. Expect raspberry, blueberries, cassis bud and cherry pit - all markers of a cooler vintage - together with a seductively intense level of retro-olfaction that brings in waves of peony, smoked tea, tomato leaf and rosemary aromatics. The Latour tannins build slowly over the palate, although they are finer than you find in most vintages, and overall there is a successful emphasis on precision and finesse. 31% of the total production. At the time around half of the main L'Enclos vineyard was in organic and biodynamic farming, and this was the last year with Penelope Godefroy as winemaker, before she headed over to the newly bought (and now re-sold) Right Bank estates of Vray Croix de Gay and Le Prieuré. Around half the usual production, no more than 5,000 cases, because the final yield came in at 25hl/ha. In my view, one of the wines of the vintage.
Score: 93 / 100DecanterDrinking Window: 2021-2038
Composed of 95.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.4% Merlot and 0.4% Petit Verdot, the 2013 Latour offers an open-knit, fragrant nose of licorice, sandalwood, rose petals and cigar box over a core of Black Forest cake, stewed plums, mulberries and redcurrant jelly, plus a waft of cast-iron pan. The elegantly styled, medium-bodied palate (13% alcohol) fills the mouth with intense red and black berry preserves layers, framed by evolved, soft-textured tannins and well-knit freshness, finishing long and spicy. This vintage does not have the power and backbone of an outstanding vintage of Latour, but it is aging gracefully and, still possessing a lot of discernible fruit with plenty of tertiary pizazz, is absolutely delicious to drink right now. This sweet-spot stage is likely to continue for another 5-7 years, before the wine plateaus at a maturity peak and holds for a further 15+ years.
Score: 93 / 100Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine AdvocateDrinking Window: 2021-2041
The 2013 Latour is absolutely gorgeous. Of course, the 2013 is lighter in body than the norm here, but striking aromatics and silky tannins more than make up for that. A wine of total breed and class, the 2013 is a real pleasure to taste today. Naturally, the lighter structure of the year is impossible to escape. Even so, at eight years of age, the 2013 is just starting to show the first signs of aromatic nuance, and yet it remains a young wine. The spread of botrytis led to an early harvest, with the exception to some blocks on the western side of the enclos that were more resistant to conditions and were therefore picked later. This is a remarkable showing considering a little more than 2/3rds of the vineyards (for the Grand Vin) were farmed biodynamically back then. I can't wait to see how the 2013 ages. My opened bottle stayed fresh for a number of days.
Score: 92 / 100Antonio Galloni, VinousDrinking Window: 2021-2033
The 2013 Latour comes from an infamously growing season that saw 30% more rain than the 25-year average and outbreaks of botrytis from 20 September, just seven days prior to the picking that was completed on 11 October. Deep purple in color, initially it has a relatively light bouquet compared to other vintages, scents of blackberry, raspberry preserve and pencil shavings plus hints of gravel. There are certainly no vegetal or green aromas. It has commendable purity, though it does not possess the complexity of profundity of a bona fide great Latour. Monitoring over time, it coheres and gains delineation, peaking about two or three hours after opening, so do not be averse to a short decant. The palate is medium-bodied with graphite-tinged black fruit, just a touch of cracked black pepper and noticeable salinity on the finish. Whilst it does not have Latour’s signature backbone or gravitas, it is approachable, harmonious and winsome. Frankly, it’s about as good as the Left Bank gets in this vintage.
Score: 91 / 100Neal MartinDrinking Window: 2022-2032