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Chateau LaTour-Martillac Blanc 2016

Bordeaux White Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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750ML / 13% ABV
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750ML / 13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2016 Latour-Martillac is pale yellow color with sparkling highlights and has complex aromas of both floral (verbena, honeysuckle) and some exotic fruits (passion fruit) and lemon. The palate is beautifully fresh and is balanced by a delicious creaminess. In the mouth, there is elegance with the same complex, fruity aromas of white peach and ripe apricots as well as the floral note of verbena and fresh mint. This wine is remarkably long length on the finish. This is good for drinking over the next 8-10 years and is a blend of 60% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillon.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
This estate, owned by the Kressmann family, is particularly known for its white. Lightly wood aged, this wine is already delicious, boasting great citrus and white fruits, and sure to be delicious.
JS 94
James Suckling
A succulent and punchy style with very assertive, yellow-grapefruit and lemon aromas and a super concentrated, long, focused palate that is very tightly contained for now. The finish holds so long. Age without reservation. Try from 2021.
JD 92
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2016 Château Larrivet Haut-Brion Blanc is 80% Sauvignon and 20% Sémillon brought up in a mix of new and used barrels of varying sizes. It offers a serious bouquet of white graphite, caramelized lemons, crushed rocks, and just hints of brioche. With beautiful purity, a balanced, juicy, layered texture, and a great finish, this outstanding Bordeaux Blanc will keep for over a decade.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Latour Martillac 2016 Blanc is a little closed on the nose, offering up glimpses of lemon peel, yuzu and fresh grapefruit scents with hints of wet pebbles and lanolin. Medium-bodied, the palate has plenty of exuberant citrus fruit with a lively backbone and minerally finish.
D 91
Decanter
A good quality wine. As in many vintages, I have a slight preference for the red over the white, but it's hard not to enjoy this citrus and peach mid-palate, given a rosemary, salty lick on the finish, with persistency helped by a firm punch of lime zing.
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Chateau LaTour-Martillac

Chateau LaTour-Martillac

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Chateau LaTour-Martillac, France - Other regions
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The estate takes its name from the tower which stands in the main courtyard of the chateau; 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 Chateau Latour became Chateau 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.

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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.

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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 intrigue. 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" called botrytis, can have lush stone fruit and honey characteristics.

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 astute 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, 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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