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Chateau Latour 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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750ML / 13.5% ABV
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750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Ex-Chateau Release - March 2019

Beautiful dark color. An aromatic nose that is fresh and pure. Whilst a little austere, it is rich on the palate yet taught and very elegant. The tannins are soft and supple. A magnificent vintage with an alluring velvetiness accompanied by great depth and body.
Blend: 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 0.75% Cabernet Franc, 0.25% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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D 98
Decanter
This takes a heartbeat to kick in, and then the weight and impact of this wine slowly kicks in. Those Cabernets have lift and punch, and although it's not ethereal like the Ausone or even the Lafite, it has power, structure, impact and kick, and you know it's going the distance. It has really lovely menthol notes which play around on the finish, preceded by layers of cassis and liquorice. It's more accessible than many Latours at 10 years old - just give it another couple of years to fully get into its stride.
WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
Expressive fruit aromas and wood perfumes announce this wine. With 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a complex wine marked by purity of black fruits, berries, toast and tannins. It has power, richness and a lovely edge of spice to go with the acidity. The wine is firmly structured, while bursting with fruit and freshness. Cellar Selection.
JD 96
Jeb Dunnuck
The brilliant 2008 Château Latour has the classic stature and regal style of the estate front and center. A blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, and 1% Cabernet Franc, it’s still purple-colored and brilliantly concentrated, offering medium to full-bodied aromas and flavors of blackcurrants, tobacco, lead pencil, and graphite. Dense, perfectly balanced, with ripe tannins, it’s a few years away from prime time (although it certainly offers pleasure) but will drink well for another 2-3 decades.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Composed of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 0.75% Cabernet Franc and 0.25% Petit Verdot, the 2008 Latour gives a medium to deep garnet color and slips sensuously out of the glass with Chinese five spice, unsmoked cigars, sandalwood and dried roses scents over a core of warm cassis, Black Forest cake, chocolate mint and smoked meats plus a waft of black olives and garrigue. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is well-sustained in the middle with generous black fruits and lovely red fruit sparks, layered with savory nuances and a firm, grainy backbone, finishing with bags of perfume and freshness.
JS 95
James Suckling
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.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
This is dense and muscular, but balanced, with the flesh to offset the sinew, as pure mulled black currant, melted fig and crushed plum fruit is caressed by substantial but fine-grained structure. The long, iron- and tobacco-filled finish has excellent focus and drive. This could rival LLC for longest-lived wine of the vintage. Best from 2013 through 2022.
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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.

BAN103720_2008 Item# 103720