Latour 1998

Pauillac, First Growth

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Tasting Notes

Plenty of raspberry, dark chocolate and mint on the nose. Full-bodied, with licorice and sweet tobacco character and a cedar undertone. Outstanding.

Score: 90

James Suckling, Wine Spectator 01 January 2009

A deep garnet core with a deep crimson rim. I was never convinced about this wine when I tasted it at en primeur and contrasted against its contemporaries in this horizontal, its deficiencies are all too visible. Moderate intensity on the nose, open and expressive with notes of black fruits, wild hedgerow, pencil lead, dried leaves, roasted herbs, perhaps lacking the freshness and vigour of say Haut Brion 1998. The palate is medium-bodied, very harmonious and surprisingly fleshy for Latour, with rounded supple tannins, a certain lushness that you infrequently find here, a touch of spice on the finish. But it lacks the tautness, the tension, the depth and grip of a truly great Latour and against Haut Brion, it shows like the bantamweight of First Growths, a bantamweight Latour? Approach with caution in 2-3 years. Tasted March 2008.

Score: 93

Neal Martin, robertparker.com 01 May 2008

Minerals and savour and sappiness. Certainly nothing as simple as fruit! Although in this vintage Latour does not outshine the others as obviously as in some more recent years. Really sappy perfume. Great rich spread across the palate is impressive. Density and energy. Dry finish. Good lift. Suitably dense and very mineral. But polished too.

Score: 18 - 19

Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2013-2028 07 April 2008

Red-ruby. Deep aromas of cassis, licorice and lead pencil. Deeper than Les Forts but currently rather mute in the middle. Strongly minerally. Offers classic Latour structure and spine. Finishes with sneaky, subtle persistence. (91+ points)

Score: 91

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar 01 May 2001

Not a blockbuster, the 1998 possesses a dark garnet/purple color in addition to a complex bouquet of underbrush, cedar, walnuts, and licorice-tinged black currants. Although medium to full-bodied and moderately tannic, it lacks the expansiveness in the mid-palate necessary to be truly great. Moreover, the tannin is slightly aggressive, although that is hardly unusual in such a young Latour.

Score: 90

Robert Parker, robertparker.com Maturity: 2009-2030 01 April 2001

Not a blockbuster, the 1998 possesses a dark garnet/purple color in addition to a complex bouquet of underbrush, cedar, walnuts, and licorice-tinged black currants. Although medium to full-bodied and moderately tannic, it lacks the expansiveness in the mid-palate necessary to be truly great. Moreover, the tannin is slightly aggressive, although that is hardly unusual in such a young Latour.

Score: 90

Robert Parker, robertparker.com Maturity: 2009-2030 01 April 2001

This opaque ruby/purple-colored, closed 1998 reveals some of the vintage's tell-tale harsh tannin in the finish. There are abundant quantities of ripe black currant fruit, medium body, and a sweet attack, but a narrow, tough finish. The wine should be outstanding, but it is a firmly-structured Latour.

Score: 89 - 91

Robert Parker, robertparker.com Maturity: 2007-2025 01 April 2000

Latour's harvest occurred between September 22 and October 5. As my vintage report indicated, that is a period of considerable precipitation. Fifty-nine percent of the production was included in the grand vin, and the final blend consisted of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. The 1998 is a refined, elegant offering with a dark ruby color, sweet cassis fruit, attractive fat, surprisingly soft tannin, and a good finish. There is firmness and muscle in the background, but this is not an enormous or powerful Latour. However, it is very pure, with the vineyard's mineral/black fruit character presented in a medium-weight format.

Score: 89 - 91

Robert Parker, robertparker.com Maturity: 2007-2025 30 April 1999