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Chateau Latour Pauillac 2005 - 1.5L WS99


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Varietal: Bordeaux Blend Appellation: Pauillac Region: Bordeaux Country: France


Chateau Latour is a First Growth estate that lies at the southeastern tip of Pauillac in the Medoc region of Bordeaux bordering St Julien and covers 78 hectares. The estate site has been occupied since at least 1331, and the estate itself dates back to at least 1378. A fort was built 300 meters from the estate to guard against attack during the Hundred Years' War. The tower that was built ultimately gave rise to the estate's name. The original tower was destroyed but in the 1620's a new, circular tower (La Tour de Saint-Lambert) was built on the estate and is said to have been constructed using components from the original. 

Chateau Latour produces three red wines: its Grand vin, a second wine, Les Forts de Latour has been produced since 1966, and a third wine, called Pauillac, had its first release in 1990. The estate has been home to grape vines since the 14th century. On average, approximately 16-20,000 cases of Latour are made each year, 10-12,000 cases of Les Forts de Latour, and production varies for the generic Pauillac year-to-year. The vineyard is comprised of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc/Petit Verdot. The Latour gets 100% new oak barrels for aging, and the Les Forts de Latour is aged in 50% new oak and 50% one-year-old oak barrels.


James Suckling - 100 points

"A very complex nose of lavender, currants, spices, and hot stones. Full and dense on the palate, with a very tight structure. The tannins have a perfect polish to their density, and the finish is very intense, with wonderful fruit and truffle character. This turns almost decadent, with tremendous energy and a constantly changing profile. This is a very challenging wine to get to know, please leave this for at least ten years."(February 2011)

Wine & Spirits - 100 points

"How rare to confront a wine of this inner strength and perfect form. Grown at a 116-acre vineyard at the southern border of Pauillac, some of the vines now reaching 100 years of age on a gravel bar overlooking the Gironde, Latour harvests Cabernet Sauvignon with natural power. I could describe it as colors, from glistening ruby to purple-black then back to scarlet tannins that vibrate in red. Or just the pure, unadulterated flavor of black currant, unformed as a child is unformed, beautiful as a child is beautiful. However I might describe it, the wine is stronger than I am and will outlast me by decades. This is the most provocative and most brilliant Latour I have tasted on release." (October 2008)

Wine Enthusiast - 100 points

"A great wine, the summation of a great vintage in Bordeaux. The core of richness, the dense, bone-dry tannins, the black currants, red berries and black plum skins are the elements, but it’s the way they have been integrated that makes this such an impressive wine. There is great elegance as well, a fabulous counterpoint to such power. Cellar for at least 15 years, but this will keep forever." (June 2008)

Wine Spectator - 99 points

"Dark ruby black in color. Brilliant, intense aromas of mineral, blackberry and currant, with hints of Indian spices and cigar box, lead to a full-bodied palate, with ultrafine tannins and a beautiful balance of blackberry, raspberry and mineral. There's subtlety, yet also great depth. Lasts for minutes on the palate. This is a Latour with fabulous tone and vigor. Best after 2018. 12,500 cases made." (March 2008)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - 98 points

"The 2005 Latour (87% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot and Petit Verdot) is a spectacular effort from Château Latour. It has an inky plum/purple color and a gorgeous nose of graphite, crème de cassis, and floral notes with some forest floor in the background. It is full-bodied, super-concentrated, and for my taste, probably one of the two or three most intense, rich, and complex wines of the entire Médoc. The wine has great texture, purity and a finish of close to 40 or 45 seconds. The tannins are surprisingly sweet, even in this large-scaled, masculine wine. Drink it over the next 50+ years." (June 2015)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar - 98 points

"Deep ruby-red. Reticent, brooding aromas of cassis, black plum, graphite and flowers. Then utterly explosive in the mouth, with wonderful sappy complexity of flavor and a thickness of texture that builds and builds toward the back; almost no sign of the new oak here. Offers a near-magical combination of power and refinement, but this extremely primary wine is still an infant. Finishes with extraordinary persistence that leaves the palate vibrating. One of the greatest young Bordeaux I've tasted in recent years, and more complete and classic than the outrageously lush 2003. For his part, Engerer feels that this wine combines the best traits of the 2003 and 2000 Latours. I made the mistake of retasting the 2007 after trying this, and the tannins of the younger wine came off as dry by comparison." (June 2008)

Jancis Robinson

"Mid to dark ruby – a less impenetrable colour than I would have expected. Savoury, meaty nose. And then some unexpectedly polished tannins. This is far from the monster you might expect from the combination of property and vintage. Quite readable and fine. Quite a surprise. Marked acidity. The building blocks are there but they have yet to be put together. (18/20 points)" (January 2015)

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