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Chateau Latour 2011

  • WE97
  • WS96
  • JS95
  • RP95
750ML / 13.1% ABV
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750ML / 13.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

In the glass, the crimson color of the wine is deep and intense. The nose is elegant, combining both floral and fruity notes. In the mouth, the wine reveals a suave and fleshy texture, yet remains delicate with much promise. The finale is powerful and complex. An incredibly lengthy and structured Chateau Latour.

Blend : 84.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 0.5% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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WE 97
Wine Enthusiast
Big tannins and impressive fruits are the hallmarks of this impressive wine. It is also subtle, not showing all its flavors at once, hiding beneath tannins and structure. For this fruity vintage, it shows a strong sense of direct, solid structure, only allowing the strong black plum and berry flavors to come through slowly. Cellar Selection
WS 96
Wine Spectator
This has a gorgeous core of steeped plum, boysenberry and black currant coulis flavors, backed by a prominent graphite note that drives through the lengthy finish, where extra hints of anise and sweet tobacco flitter in the background. Regal. Best from 2018 through 2035.
JS 95
James Suckling
The nose is complex, featuring smoke, meat and hints of wood, with currants, olives and berries underneath. Full body with super-velvety tannins. The strong acidity gives the wine an edginess. Love the spicy, subtly fruity finish. Steely
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A blend of 84.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 0.5% Petit Verdot, the 2011 Latour represents only 34% of the crop. It hit 13.1% natural alcohol. One of the vintage's most compelling wines, it possesses a dense ruby/purple color as well as a sweet, open-knit personality with ripe tannin, superb intensity, good purity and harmony, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, and lots of crushed rock, floral and black as well as blue fruit notes in addition to hints of ink and forest floor. This beautifully rich, savory Latour will be surprisingly drinkable in 4-5 years, and should age easily for two decades or more.
Rating: 93-95 Points
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Chateau Latour

Chateau Latour

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Chateau Latour, France
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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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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.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. 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.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

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 Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

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.

MHR129070_2011 Item# 129070

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