Latour 2003

Pauillac, First Growth

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24 75cl Bottle Case 12 £6,800 per Case Cases [Add to shopping basket]
Tasting Notes

Administrator Frederic Engerer says the 2003 is 'the sexiest Latour ever made.' He also described it as 'the 1990 without any brettanomyces.' I loved this wine from the barrel and was fortunate enough to be able to purchase a small quantity, enjoying every bottle I have had. A profound example of Chateau Latour, the full-bodied, opulent 2003 is already performing well at age eleven, which is somewhat atypical. The pH is a relatively high 3.8, which also indicates low acidity. The wine is very ripe, but not over-ripe, offers great freshness, and lots of crème de cassis and camphor as well as hints of blackberries and chocolate. Dense, thick and unctuously textured, this staggering Latour is undeniably the most sumptuous, opulent wine made here since the 1982 or 1961. Drink it over the next two decades.

Score: 100

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2014-2034 01 August 2014

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+

Score: 100

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2010-2040+ 30 April 2006

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.

Score: 98 - 100

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2005-2045 30 April 2005

One of the three greatest young Bordeaux I have ever tasted Chateau Latour’s 2003 is one of the candidates for "wine of the vintage" (Latour’s 2002 is the wine of the vintage in my opinion). This great estate has produced a freakishly rich, concentrated Pauillac revealing no evidence of over-ripeness or too much weight. A blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot, only 53% of the production made it into the 2003 Latour, which tips the scales at 13% alcohol. Manager Frederic Engerer told me that 6% press wine was added to the final blend. The Merlot harvest occurred between September 8 - 13, and the Cabernet Sauvignon between September 22 - 30. This remarkable effort boasts a black/purple color in addition to an extraordinary bouquet of creme de cassis, blackberries, and subtle sweet oak in the background. A massive, multilayered texture inundates the palate with a seamless wealth of glycerin, extract, and richness. Tasters must search especially hard to find the structure and tannin. In that sense, the 2003 is reminiscent of how the 1982 performed at the same age. Tasted next to the undeniably great 2000 Latour, the 2003 came across as almost twice as concentrated, with a fruit presence that had to be tasted to be believed. In fact, I do not believe I have ever tasted a Latour like this. I wonder how the 1961 would have tasted at a similar period? Extraordinarily pure, with a finish that lasted over 70 seconds, this is a tour de force as well as a modern day legend in the making. Sadly, Latour’s small production means that only 10,000 cases will be produced.

Score: 98 - 100

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2010-2040 30 April 2004

Tasted blind at Farr Vintner’s Left Bank tasting. Great clarity on the nose: blackberry, boysenberry, hot bricks, cedar and sandalwood. Very complex and nuanced. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, good acidity, cedar-infused black fruits mixed with a touch of dark plum and cassis. Filigree texture towards the finish that shows wonderful tension that is utterly seductive. Tasted October 2010.

Score: 97

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com 01 March 2011

Dark crimson. Glowing. Lovely depth, smoothness and glamour. This is the business! Long and fresh and wonderfully well balanced.

Score: 18

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2010-2025 13 October 2010

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, compellingly sweet tannins and great length. This is amazing wine, and only its exotic character prevented me from giving it an even higher score. Interestingly, the IPT here is 65, compared to 67 for the 2005. But this voluminous and powerful wine will be more fun to drink than the 2005 for many years simply due to its sensual appeal, even if the 2005 should ultimately surpass it in verve, minerality and overall aromatic complexity.

Score: 97

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar 01 May 2006

Intense aromas of blackberry, licorice, currant and mineral. Full-bodied, with very well-integrated tannins and a long, long finish. Very refined and beautiful. Goes on for minutes. This reminds me of the fabulous 1996. But even better. Best after 2012. 10,000 cases made.

Score: 98

James Suckling, Wine Spectator Maturity: 2012+ 31 March 2006