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Chateau LaTour-Martillac 2014

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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14% ABV
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4.2 5 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 60% Cabernet, 32% Merlot, 8% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

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JS 93
James Suckling
The cassis, dried-cranberry and herbal nose has some real complexity. Very expressive on the palate with great balance of crisp acidity, tannins and lively fruit. A joyful wine!
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Latour-Martillac has an attractive bouquet with intense blackberry, briary, warm gravel and balsamic notes that are very well defined and evoke Pessac-Léognan through and through. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, ripe tannin. It feels gentle in the mouth, not structured but fleshy and full, fanning out with crushed strawberry, red cherry and white pepper towards the satisfying finish. This is early drinking compared to its peers, yet well crafted. Could it have striven for more? Yes, probably.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Ripe and focused, with layers of plum paste, raspberry coulis and macerated bitter cherry driving along, backed by anise and iron notes on the finish. Has a slightly taut edge, so cellar for maximum effect. Best from 2018 through 2026.
WW 90
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
The 2014 Château LaTour-Martillac is a well-built wine. It shows black fruit and savory spices. The finish stays generous and persistent, suggesting a pairing with a well-marbled steak. (Tasted: January 27, 2017, San Francisco, CA)
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Chateau LaTour-Martillac

Chateau LaTour-Martillac

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Chateau LaTour-Martillac, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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The estate takes its name from the tower which stands in the main courtyard of the château; it is the remnant of a fort built in the 12th century by the ancestors of Montesquieu. In 1871, the estate attracted the attention of Edouard Kressmann who had just founded his wine merchant business in Bordeaux. He was seduced by the quality of the white wines grown on a remarkable gravelly hilltop with marked relief and outstanding exposure.

Alfred Kressmann, eldest son of Edouard, acquired the property in 1930. He changed the name to avoid confusion with its illustrious namesake in the Medoc and therefore Château Latour became Château LaTour-Martillac. There then followed a long period of reconstruction. The vineyard consists of a dozen hectares of which the majority was planted in white wine. Without touching the oldest plots, Alfred Kressmann added Cabernet Sauvignon to the merlot already in place. Interrupted by the war, the reconstruction was continued after by Jean Kressmann, who succeeded his father in 1954. Jean finally achieved the family dream to acquire the gravel slope, which separates the property from the village. Thus the vineyard was gradually extended to nearly 30 hectares.

Today, the 6 children of Jean Kressmann own the domain and continue on the family tradition. Tristan and Loïc, the two younger sons, manage the estate with the assistance of the best wine consultants in Bordeaux. With each following vintage they produce the best from this authentic Graves soil. Since the 1980’s, they have increased the area planted in Sauvignon Blanc to compliment perfectly with the Semillon, the historical grape variety of the property. For the red varieties, the tradition of blending Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot is now topped up with the excellent Petit Verdot variety, which is planted in one of the best gravel plots of the plateau of Martillac.

Pessac-Leognan

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Recognized for its superior reds as well as whites, Pessac-Léognan on the Left Bank claims classified growths for both—making it quite unique in comparison to its neighboring Médoc properties.

Pessac’s Chateau Haut-Brion, the only first growth located outside of the Médoc, is said to have been the first to conceptualize fine red wine in Bordeaux back in the late 1600s. The estate, along with its high-esteemed neighbors, La Mission Haut-Brion, Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pique-Caillou and Chateau Pape-Clément are today all but enveloped by the city of Bordeaux. The rest of the vineyards of Pessac-Léognan are in clearings of heavily forested area or abutting dense suburbs.

Arid sand and gravel on top of clay and limestone make the area unique and conducive to growing Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc as well as the grapes in the usual Left Bank red recipe: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and miniscule percentages of Petit Verdot and Malbec.

The best reds will show great force and finesse with inky blue and black fruit, mushroom, forest, tobacco, iodine and a smooth and intriguing texture.

Its best whites show complexity, longevity and no lack of exotic twists on citrus, tropical and stone fruit with pronounced floral and spice characteristics.

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.

TON1815_14_2014 Item# 142819