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Chateau LaTour-Martillac Blanc 2014

Bordeaux White Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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  • WS91
13% ABV
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4.1 14 Ratings
13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
The wine is rich with layers of wood aging and ripe tropical fruits. Pineapple and peach dominate, cut with some attractive lime acidity. Full of the fruit of the vintage with a texture of serious intent, the wine is tight, tangy and likely to age well. Drink from 2022.
Cellar Selection
WW 94
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
I have been a longtime fan of Château LaTour-Martillac, one of the best white wines from Pessac-Léognan The 2014 vintage is ultra-rich, yet classic and elegant on the palate. The wine exhibits green apple, chalk, and a charming accent of wood. Its richness calls for Dungeness crab over a bed of arugula. (Tasted: July 6, 2017, San Francisco, CA)
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Latour-Martillac Blanc builds upon its promise en primeur, offering succinct aromas of citrus fruit, linseed and a touch of jasmine. I appreciate the detail and the focus of this white Pessac. The palate is fresh and vibrant with really lip-smacking salinity on the entry, a wine determined to grab your attention straight from the off. And why not when it is this good? Brimming with tension and vivacity, it fans out gloriously towards the finish. One of the best white wines from this estate in recent years—bravo!
JS 93
James Suckling
Tangy and fruity with lemon and green-apple aromas and flavors. Medium body, lovely fruit and a bright finish. A little tight now. Give it a year or two to come out.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
There's lots of vibrancy here, with gooseberry, fennel, green and yellow plum and verbena notes that are fused together, zipping through a long, mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2019. 3,000 cases made.
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Chateau LaTour-Martillac

Chateau LaTour-Martillac

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Chateau LaTour-Martillac, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
Video of winery
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, Malbec and Camenere

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 White Blends

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Sometimes light and crisp, other times rich and creamy, Bordeaux white blends typically consist of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Often, a small amount of Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris is included for added interest. This blend was popularized in the Bordeaux region of France (where it also comprises outstanding sweet wines like Sauternes and Barsac), but is often mimicked throughout the New World, particularly in California, Washington, and Australia.

In the Glass

Sémillon provides the background to this blend, with a relatively full body and an oily texture. Sauvignon Blanc adds acidity and lots of bright fruit flavor, particularly white grapefruit, lime, and freshly cut grass. Used in smaller proportions, Muscadelle can contribute fresh floral notes, while Sauvignon Gris is less aromatic but offers ripe, juicy fruit on the palate. These wines run the gamut from unoaked, refreshing, and easy to drink to serious, complex, and barrel-aged. The latter style, usually with a higher percentage of Sémillon, can develop aromas of ginger, chamomile, and dried orange peel. The dessert wines produced by these blends, often with the help of noble rot, can have lush stone fruit and honey character.

Perfect Pairings

Crisp, dry Bordeaux white blends are the perfect accompaniment for raw or lightly cooked seafood, especially shellfish. A more structured, Sémillon-based bottling can stand up to richer fish, chicken, or pork dishes in white sauces. These blends also work well with a variety of vegetables and fresh herbs, like asparagus, peas, basil, and tarragon. Sweet dessert wines are traditionally enjoyed with strong blue cheeses, foie gras, or fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

Sauternes and Barsac are usually reserved for dessert, but smart sommeliers know that they can be served at any time—before, during, or after the meal. Try these sweet wines as an aperitif with jamón ibérico or oysters with a spicy mignonette, or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage, poached lobster in beurre blanc sauce, or even fried chicken.

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