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Chateau Latour 2006

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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Winemaker Notes

Ex-Chateau Release - March 2018

Despite the heavy rain in September, the wines were very richly coloured and classy, showing great power and a beautiful liveliness, with a pronounced expression of Cabernet. The fruit is less exuberant, but the "Latour" character is very present. A wine that will benefit from very long ageing and that will require a long time in the bottle before showing a more integrated structure.

Critical Acclaim

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D 97
Decanter
Powerful, concentrated and seriously young tannins are closed tight around the pure, intense, dark, sweet fruits, followed by a deep undertow of liquorice, cloves and graphite. Extraordinary balance, polish and control. Textbook Pauillac.
WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
Latour has always had the reputation of producing great wines in the less great vintages. The 2006 is a case in point. It brings structure and ripeness into a form that is almost ethereal. That elegance doesn’t take away from the powerful fruit. The fruit in fact melds into the structure with ease. And, as a reminder this is a 2006, the density gives way to freshness on the finish.
JD 96
Jeb Dunnuck
As to the Grand Vin, the 2006 Latour showed beautifully. A blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance mostly Merlot, with a splash of Cabernet Franc, it offers a deep ruby/purple color to go with straight up classic Latour graphite, lead pencil and minerality all balanced by terrific cassis and blackcurrant fruit. With medium to full-bodied richness, present, yet silky tannin, impeccable balance and a great finish, it’s terrific today and I suspect on the early edge of a long drinking plateau.
W&S 95
Wine & Spirits
In describing the feel of this wine, Lacey Burke of Gotham Bar & Grill said it was "like a cat wrapping around your ankles." Such a sensation clearly separates the '06 Latour from the '05, which is anything but cuddly. This does have the gravity of classic wines from the deep pile of river stones that counts for soil in this vineyard-its harmonious intensity a direct result of the superior drainage of those stones (and the rigorous farming and selection of the fruit). The tannins hold their share of mystery, both luscious and muscular at once, the source of the wine's minerality and strength. The fruit is black and compact, completely filling those tannins, with a hint of earthy root vegetable flavor that gives the sweeter aspects a savory cut.
WS 95
Wine Spectator
Offers a pure nose of currant and blackberry, with crushed fruit. Full-bodied, with a solid core of fruit and very polished, refined tannins. Long and classy. Best after 2016.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Not an outstanding vintage overall for Bordeaux, 2006 had the potential to be very good. Things got off to a pretty impressive start in Pauillac this year, and then it all went a bit pear-shaped toward the end with a cool, rainy August and late September. Vineyard diligence and a take-no-prisoners attitude on the sorting table were the keys to relative success here. While it is clear Latour had their work cut out for them with this 2006 release, they managed to produce an incredibly impressive grand vin, which is drinking beautifully now yet should cellar gracefully over the next 20+ years. The 2006 Latour was just released this year and is composed of 91.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7.5% Merlot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc and 0.5% Petit Verdot. It has a medium to deep garnet-purple color and lovely open nose with florals and red fruit aromas. The palate is medium-bodied, elegant and minerally with a compelling iron ore character and great length.
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Chateau Latour

Chateau Latour

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Chateau Latour, France - Other regions
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At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Chateau 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 Chateau Latour was already worth twenty times as much as one of ordinary Bordeaux wine.

The reputation of Chateau 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: Chateau Latour was classified as a First Growth. The existing chateau was built during this "Golden Age", between 1862 and 1864.

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The leader on the Left Bank in 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 most outstanding wines in all of Bordeaux.

Defining characteristics of fine wines from Pauillac (i.e. Cabernet-based Bordeaux Blends) 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.

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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 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 lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally 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 in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

GNN97997_2006 Item# 97997