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Premier Grand Cru Classé of 1855
Producer: Château Latour
Created around 1680, the Château Latour vineyard is one of the oldest in the Médoc. Located 50km north-west of Bordeaux and 300 meters from the Gironde estuary, it covers 92 hectares divided between the historic Enclos terroir, located in the heart of the estate, and the outdoor plots (47 hectares). The grape variety is mainly made up of Cabernet Sauvignon (76%), followed by Merlot (22%) as well as Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc (2%). The planting density is high with 9,000 plants per hectare on average (for a total of nearly 800,000 plants). For twenty years, the estate has been working to reduce the use of phytosanitary products and was also certified organic in 2015.
Concerning the vinification, the grapes are destemmed and crushed before being put in vats for a fermentation of about three weeks. The second fermentation (malolactic) takes place after having transferred the wine into new vats or clean barrels to separate from the marc (which will also be pressed to form the press wine, to be added to the final blend). Aging lasts in French oak barrels (100% new for the great wine, 50% for the Forts de Latour and 20% for Pauillac).
Particularity of the château: no longer participating in the futures, the Pauillac is marketed after 4-6 years, Les Forts de Latour after 6-8 years and the great wine after 8-10 years.
After a relatively wet start to spring, 2009 will be remembered for its exceptionally hot, dry summer that was even sunnier than 2005. The coolness at the start of spring resulted in slow growth. From May onwards, the year was marked by monthly temperatures that were well above seasonal norms, enabling the vines to catch up. Beautiful summer weather arrived and was only interrupted by a few stormy periods in July, which did not enable the soil to replenish its reserves. This deficit increased in August and September. Shortly after veraison began, the vines suffered significant levels of stress. Very dry conditions in the first half of September resulted in the concentration of the already small berries. Rain on 19-20 September was very beneficial in refining the tannins. The harvests began on Wednesday, 23 September, and continued until 10 October in splendid sunshine and perfect healthy conditions.
Great concentration and a previously unseen quantity of tannins characterized the wines, which possessed extraordinary aromatic intensity, freshness and precision. Rich, ripe and mineral, with a very long, lingering finish. An exceptional year which will improve for many years to come.
Robert Parker Rating: 100
Grape Variety: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon , 20% Merlot , 4% Cabernet franc , 1% Petit verdot
Alcohol percentage: 14.5%