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Château Latour Red Bordeaux Blend Pauillac Grand Vin 2003

Winemaker's Notes:

Tasting Notes :There are only 10,800 cases (rather than the normal 15,000-20,000) of the 2003 Latour, a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot (13.3% finished alcohol). A prodigious effort, it boasts a saturated purple color as well as a gorgeous perfume of smoke, cedar, creme de cassis, flowers, crushed rocks, and blackberries. Massive and multi-layered, with huge richness and low acidity, it is about as unctuous as a young Latour can be. It could be compared to the 1982, but it may be even more pure, at least at this early stage, than that monumental wine. The level of intensity builds prodigiously in the mouth, and the finish lasts nearly a minute. Disarmingly accessible (although analytically the tannin level is high), I suspect it will ultimately shut down, but it was performing impeccably when I tasted it. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2040+. What can one say about proprietor Francois Pinault and his manager, Frederic Engerer? A strong argument can be made that in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004, Latour produced the wine of the vintage, although it has plenty of competition in the Northern Medoc in 2003. Moreover, the bargains are the estate’s least expensive cuvee, Pauillac, followed by Les Forts de Latour, Latour’s second wine which continues to increase in quality.

Château Latour:
  Château Latour is a First Growth wine estate in Pauillac in the Bordeaux region of France. The castle was built in the early 14th century as a home shared by various feudal lords. It played a role in the Hundred Years War, serving as a garrison for the Anglo-Gascon army. But it wasn’t till the 16th century that wine production began there in earnest. In the late 17th and ... Read more
  Château Latour is a First Growth wine estate in Pauillac in the Bordeaux region of France. The castle was built in the early 14th century as a home shared by various feudal lords. It played a role in the Hundred Years War, serving as a garrison for the Anglo-Gascon army. But it wasn’t till the 16th century that wine production began there in earnest. In the late 17th and early 18th century, Latour was owned by Alexandre de Ségur, whom Louis XV referred to as “Prince of the Vines.” Before his death in 1716, de Ségur purchased Lafite, and his son Nicolas-Alexandre, then President of Bordeaux, acquired Mouton and Calon in 1718. By the 18th century, peace between England and France meant increased trade with Bordeaux. This elevated the status of the finest French estates, which increased in value significantly as they saw more attention from the nobility. Though Bordeaux saw a lot of damage to estates in the French Revolution and breakups of their ownerships, Latour remained unharmed and remained in the Ségur family. It was officially named a First Growth, the highest possible honor for a French wine, in 1855.    By the mid 20th century, various inheritances meant many shares in Latour, which for 30 years became owned almost entirely by the British financial group Pearson and Harveys of Bristol. But in 1993, the majority of the estate was sold to François Pinault in Artemis, once again in French hands.    The prestigious wines are produced with respect to tradition with modern techniques assuring the highest possible quality. Latour is best known for its Grand Vin, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, with an average annual production of 18,000 cases. They have a second wine, Les Forts de Latour and also a “third wine,” simply called Latour Pauillac. Bottles of Latour Grand Vin, particularly older vintages, have been known to sell for astronomical prices at auctions. Read less

External Reviews for Château Latour Red Bordeaux Blend Pauillac Grand Vin

External Review
Source: Sam's Wine
09/15/2009

Unusual because of its extraordinary opulence, voluptuous texture, and almost over-the-top thickness and richness, the 2003 Latour is somewhat reminiscent of the 1982. This amazingly profound wine (only 10,500 cases made of a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot) has an inky/purple color and a wonderfully sweet, almost exotic nose of black fruits intermixed with some scorched earth, fig, plum, and blackberry liqueur. It is a massive, multi-layered wine, with enormous quantities of glycerin and richness, low acidity, elevated alcohol (13%), and a huge, unctuous texture. It is unusual to find Latour so friendly and accessible with such huge levels of soft, sweet tannin, but the fact is that most of these tannins are concealed by massive layers of fruit and extract. This is truly a compelling Latour, if somewhat atypical. I remember how the 1982 tasted early on, and this wine is built somewhat along those lines, but potentially even richer. The finish just goes on and on, and although I didn?t clock it, the aftertaste lingers well past a minute. This wine will be surprisingly accessible young, but age effortlessly for three to four decades.


External Review
Source: JJ Buckley Fine Wines
03/06/2013

Red-ruby. Explosive aromas of plum liqueur, currant, minerals and lead pencil. Huge, lush, sweet and utterly seamless; this has the palate-caressing texture of liquid velvet. About as deep as this extreme vintage gets. Finishes with noble, compelling... Stephen Tanzers IWC. A Bordeaux Blend wine from Bordeaux in France. 2003 Latour, Chateau 750ml


External Review
02/16/2011

There are only 10,800 cases (rather than the normal 15,000-20,000) of the 2003 Latour, a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot (13.3% finished alcohol). A prodigious effort, it boasts a saturated purple color as well as a gorgeous perfume of smoke, cedar, creme de cassis, flowers, crushed rocks, and blackberries. Massive and multi-layered, with huge richness and low acidity, it is about as unctuous as a young Latour can be. It could be compared to the 1982, but it may be even more pure, at least at this early stage, than that monumental wine. The level of intensity builds prodigiously in the mouth, and the finish lasts nearly a minute. Disarmingly accessible (although analytically the tannin level is high), I suspect it will ultimately shut down, but it was performing impeccably when I tasted it. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2040+.


External Review
10/15/2009

The very cold climate during the maturation cycle slowed down te development of the vine. As a result it was more difficult to obtain a good level of phenolic maturity. The climate in September helped to obtain round and soft tannins. The impression of the "Grand Vin" is of dense, ripe fruit, full and fleshy. The structure is powerful and intense, and the finish is impressively long. Without doubt, Latour 2003 will be one of the ver best vintages of the estate and, in the best sense, one of the most atypical. Robert Parker 100.


External Review
05/18/2010

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Tasting Notes :There are only 10,800 cases (rather than the normal 15,000-20,000) of the 2003 Latour, a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot (13.3% finished alcohol). A prodigious effort, it boasts a saturated purple color as well as a gorgeous perfume of smoke, cedar, creme de cassis, flowers, crushed rocks, and blackberries. Massive and multi-layered, with huge richness and low acidity, it is about as unctuous as a young Latour can be. It could be compared to the 1982, but it may be even more pure, at least at this early stage, than that monumental wine. The level of intensity builds prodigiously in the mouth, and the finish lasts nearly a minute. Disarmingly accessible (although analytically the tannin level is high), I suspect it will ultimately shut down, but it was performing impeccably when I tasted it. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2040+. What can one say about proprietor Francois Pinault and his manager, Frederic Engerer? A strong argument can be made that in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004, Latour produced the wine of the vintage, although it has plenty of competition in the Northern Medoc in 2003. Moreover, the bargains are the estate’s least expensive cuvee, Pauillac, followed by Les Forts de Latour, Latour’s second wine which continues to increase in quality.

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