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Owned by one of France’s richest people, François Pinault, Latour is now back where it belongs – as the producer of perhaps the most complex and structured Cabernet Sauvignon wine on earth. The vineyards are planted with 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The estate’s supreme reach for quality means that only a small percentage (usually around a third) of this goes into the Grand Vin itself and on occasion the wine is 100% Cabernet, according to the vagaries of the vintage.
Although there is a beautiful château building on the property, Latour is famous for the tower which stands out on the Gironde skyline. It marks the crest of a small hill at the centre of the enclosed vineyard, L’Enclos, which is at the heart of the estate and the wine. The tower gave the property its name and was constructed in the 1620s as a pigeon roost, but is said to exactly replicate the original rather more militarily defensive tower built around 1331.
“The heart of the Enclos is the only terroir that, every year, can produce the depth, elegance and concentration that we expect of the Grand Vin. It is here that the Cabernet Sauvignon (accounting for more than 90% of the blend) can achieve optimal expression in terms of colour, richness and freshness.” Château Latour
“This is the most exuberant and long-lived wine, with layer upon layer of fruit, spices, oak and texture. Curiously approachable in youth, it lasts for decades, softening and evolving into an autumnal cornucopia of flavours.” Rod Smith MW
The production of this château is 200,000 to 220,000 bottles per year. Besides Château Latour, the estate produces a second wine called Les Forts de Latour as well as a Pauillac. Robert Parker gave a score of 100/100 to the 1961, 1982, 2003, 2009 and 2010 vintages.