Latour 2017

Pauillac, First Growth

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Tasting Notes

A seriously pretty Latour, not a phrase often associated with this most concentrated of wines, with real lyricism. Beautifully layered, with muscles that have a cushion of air underneath them. As during En Primeur, its sculpted character highlights the impact of biodynamic farming, but bottle ageing has seen it take on the customary concentrated layers of this Pauillac First Growth. The signature pencil lead, crayon, mint leaf and crushed rocks are here in abundance, along with cassis and bilberry fruit, kissed with rosebud and peony florality, and textured slate tannins that slow things down through the mid palate. A delicious wine, vibrant, balanced, decades ahead of it, even if the soft sculpting of the vintage means it will be ready to drink earlier than 2016 or 2018 on either side. First year in full organics, although not certified until 2019, and the first without Cabernet Franc in the blend. 100% new oak. No frost on the Grand Vin plots, in a year where many parts of Bordeaux were impacted, proof again of what a favoured site this is.

Score: 98

Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux 13 March 2024

Latour is an utterly fascinating wine to taste nowadays, as there is little doubt that it is undergoing a profound change - almost certainly due to biodynamics. The 2017 is less monumental and yet no less impactful than previous vintages, and is very much in the frame of recent Latours. They are bravely following where they believe it should be, rather than where the market expects it to be. It opens with hugely vibrant spice followed by powerful, richly concentrated cassis and autumnal fruits that steal up on you. This beautiful wine has great persistency and precision, with real bearing and good Pauillac structure. Those tannins come rushing in until, by the end, you feel their insisting power. The levels of precision are astonishing - the team blind-tasted the berries for three weeks before harvest to track maturity and decide picking dates. There are touches of 100-year-old Petit Verdot in here. 30.3% of the estate's production went into the grand vin. 6.4% press wine. 66 IPT.

Score: 97

Jane Anson, Maturity: 2027-2042 01 April 2018

The 2017 Latour is a blend of 92.1% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7.8% Merlot and 0.1% Petit Verdot with 13.3% alcohol and an IPT of 66. Deep garnet-purple in color, it starts off a little broody before exploding from the glass with powerful scents of ripe blackcurrants, blackberry pie and preserved black cherries plus touches of cedar chest, fenugreek, cumin seed and charcoal with emerging wafts of violets, dark chocolate, star anise and fertile loam. Medium-bodied, this may be one of the most elegant, great Latours ever, revealing layer upon layer of fresh, crunchy black fruits with a vast array of exotic spice and floral nuances, framed by super ripe, super fine-grained tannins, finishing very long with mineral sparks coming through. This is so nuanced and perfumed that I imagine, in 50 years, this wine could be mistaken for a great red Burgundy.

Score: 98

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, Maturity: 2026-2075 16 March 2020

The 2017 Latour lives in the realm of the totally sublime. Vertical and deep, with soaring intensity, Latour is simply magnificent in 2017. I especially like the energy and aromatic depth of the 2017, but all the elements are just impeccably balanced throughout. Constantly changing in the glass, the 2017 is a mesmerizing Latour that will thrill those lucky enough to own it.

Score: 97

Antonio Galloni, Maturity: 2025-2047 01 December 2019

The 2017 Latour, which was bottled mid-June and mid-July, has a tightly wound bouquet with black fruit, pencil lead and a strong marine influence. This is utterly compelling. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, what you may call an "athletic" Latour. There is no "fat" hear, just pure black mineral-infused fruit with quintessential Pauillac notes of graphite and a touch of cedar on the persistent finish. Superb.

Score: 97

Neal Martin, Maturity: 2024-2060 01 September 2019

The 2017 Latour has a backward bouquet compared to the Les Forts de Latour, very well defined but it needs coaxing from the glass. Eventually it clicks into fifth gear, offering subtle iris and wild hedgerow aromas, just a touch of mint developing with time. The palate is medium-bodied with firm but fine tannin that provides this Grand Vin with real backbone, also a sense of symmetry. It might not possess the flair or quite the enthralling precision of the 2016, but it is a quintessential Latour in many ways with a very long persistence on the finish.

Score: 94 - 96

Neal Martin, Maturity: 2023-2050 01 May 2018

Black core with purple rim. Subdued but inviting nose, with an attractive dustiness to the restrained, pure black fruit. Tannins are so dry but so not drying, paper-fine finesse. Great refinement and purity with no attempt to seduce at the moment. Coming back to this after the 2006, it seems so fruity. Dark-red fruit and even a touch of violets. Really opened up in the last 20 minutes. So fragrant now. Deep and long. Excellent balance and refinement. Freshness does not come from the acidity, suggests technical director Hélène Génin (pH is 3.75). Incredibly long.

Score: 18

Julia Harding MW, Maturity: 2030-2050 27 April 2018

I suspect the wine of the vintage on the Left Bank, the 2017 Château Latour is similar in style to the 2008, with maybe a hint of the 2012 in there as well. Concentrated, backward, full-bodied and reserved (it is Latour after all), yet with serious potential, it has textbook lead pencil and graphite aromas and flavors, sweet tannin, and a long, structured style on the palate. Hitting 13.4% alcohol (with a pH of 3.72), it’s not in the same league as some of the great vintages from this estate, yet it’s still a profound wine that will keep for 25-30 years. The final blend is 92.1% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7.8% Merlot, and just a splash of Petit Verdot, which accounts for a miniscule 30% of the total production of the estate.

Score: 95 - 97

Jeb Dunnuck, 23 April 2018

This is very dense and tight with a super center palate of dark fruit with blackberries and currants. Full-bodied, so precise and focused. Great length and depth. Superb. Classic great Bordeaux. Wow. Pure cabernet sauvignon.

Score: 98 - 99

James Suckling, 05 April 2018

The 2017 Château Latour Pauillac grand vin is pure and driven, with a youthfully taut edge to the long cassis, raspberry and violet core. It has lots of bay leaf, and iron, too, as it stays tightly focused through the finish, showing terrific length and cut. It reminds me a bit of the 2011 in style, with its slightly taut grip, though director Frédéric Engerer likens it to the 2012.

Score: -

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator 04 April 2018