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Chateau Latour 2005

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
  • WE100
  • W&S100
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  • RP98
0% ABV
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4.2 21 Ratings
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4.2 21 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Ex-Chateau Release

The 2005 vintage demonstrates the superiority of the Cabernet Sauvignon which alone brings body, power, fruit, and structure. A wine of great complexity, we note at this stage the dominance of very ripe fruit and can fully perceive its enormous power, filled out with sleek, silky tannins.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 100
Wine Enthusiast
A great wine, the summation of a great vintage in Bordeaux. The core of richness, the dense, bone-dry tannins, the black currants, red berries and black plum skins are the elements, but it’s the way they have been integrated that makes this such an impressive wine. There is great elegance as well, a fabulous counterpoint to such power. Cellar for at least 15 years, but this will keep forever.
W&S 100
Wine & Spirits
How rare to confront a wine of this inner strength and perfect form. Grown at a 116-acre vineyard at the southern border of Pauillac, some of the vines now reaching 100 years of age on a gravel bar overlooking the Gironde, Latour harvests cabernet sauvignon with natural power. I could describe it as colors, from glistening ruby to purple-black then back to scarlet tannins that vibrate in red. Or just the pure, unadulterated flavor of black currant, unformed as a child is unformed, beautiful as a child is beautiful. However I might describe it, the wine is stronger than I am and will outlast me by decades. This is the most provocative and most brilliant Latour I have tasted on release.
JS 100
James Suckling
A very complex nose of lavender, currants, spices, and hot stones. Full and dense on the palate, with a very tight structure. The tannins have a perfect polish to their density, and the finish is very intense, with wonderful fruit and truffle character. This turns almost decadent, with tremendous energy and a constantly changing profile. This is a very challenging wine to get to know, please leave this for at least ten years.
WS 99
Wine Spectator
Dark ruby black in color. Brilliant, intense aromas of mineral, blackberry and currant, with hints of Indian spices and cigar box, lead to a full-bodied palate, with ultrafine tannins and a beautiful balance of blackberry, raspberry and mineral. There's subtlety, yet also great depth. Lasts for minutes on the palate. This is a Latour with fabulous tone and vigor. Best after 2018. 12,500 cases made.
RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2005 Latour has long been a formidable wine. I was granted the opportunity to re-taste the 2005 at the property after their estate released library reserves in February 2017. Now at twelve years of age, it has retained that riveting bouquet of black cherries and black plum, crème de cassis and graphite, although I find less of the latter compared to previous bottles (including the one tasted blind just three weeks earlier). The palate is very well balanced with blackberry, black plum, sea salt, a hint of balsamic, quite spicy in the mouth with a hint of cloves. There is immense weight and presence in the mouth, although I wonder whether the tannins are as fine as say the 2010 or even the nascent 2016 Latour tasted alongside? Either way, it remains a fabulous First Growth destined to last many, many years. Tasted March 2017.
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Chateau Latour

Château Latour

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Château Latour, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Château Latour started to be highly recognized around the world, thanks to the reconquest of the British market and the development of the wine business in Northern Europe. The aristocracy and other wealthy groups of consumers became very enthusiastic about a few great estates, of which Latour was one. And that was how Thomas Jefferson, ambassador of the United States in France, and future President, discovered this wine in 1787. At that time, a cask of Château Latour was already worth twenty times as much as one of ordinary Bordeaux wine.

The reputation of Château Latour was consolidated during the 19th century. It was confirmed in 1855, when the government of Napoléon III decided to classify the growths of the Médoc and the Graves for the International Exhibition in Paris: Château Latour was classified as a First Growth. The existing château was built during this "Golden Age", between 1862 and 1864.

Pauillac

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The leader on the Left Bank as far as number of first growth classified producers within its boundaries, Pauillac has more than any of the other appellations, at three of the five. Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild border St. Estephe on its northern end and Chateau Latour is at Pauillac’s southern end, bordering St. Julien.

While the first growths are certainly some of the better producers of the Left Bank, today they often compete with some of the “lower ranked” producers (second, third, fourth, fifth growth) in quality and value. The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification that goes back to 1855. The finest chateaux in that year were judged on the basis of reputation and trading price; changes in rank since then have been miniscule at best. Today producers such as Chateau Pontet-Canet, Chateau Grand Puy-Lacoste, Chateau Lynch-Bages, among others (all fifth growth) offer some of the finest wines in all of Bordeaux.

Defining characteristics of fine wines from Pauillac include inky and juicy blackcurrant, cedar or cigar box and plush or chalky tannins.

Layers of gravel in the Pauillac region are key to its wines’ character and quality. The layers offer excellent drainage in the relatively flat topography of the region allowing water to run off into “jalles” or streams, which subsequently flow off into the Gironde.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

MAH97450_2005 Item# 97450