This morning marks the release of ex-chateau stock of one of the modern great wines, the spellbinding Chateau Latour 2009. This was released during en primeur, prior to their promethean decision to remove themselves from the en primeur system in favour of ageing their wine prior to release. The appeal is obvious, allowing consumers to buy wine with perfect provenance, direct from the Chateau cellar. Indeed, the removal from en primeur has seen the Chateau’s physical vintages make steady gains, having increased 25% across the most recent 15 vintages since 2015. Their strategy is to release their wine once they believe it is ready to be opened, within its drinking window. More importantly it is released ex-cellar, with perfect provenance, the wine not moving from their cellar since it was bottled and containing a proof tag on the label. The releases are always highly anticipated, the prevailing question is always whether Chateau Latour can shake hands with commercial sense and release at a compelling market price. This they have done this morning with a price of £5,150 per six or £10,300 per 12. This puts it in line with the current market price, yet for a wine with perfect ageing. The 100 point 2010 currently trades at £10,600 per case of 12 and the original release price of the 2009 during en primeur was £11,000 per case.
Latour 2009 is a wine for a lifetime, a modern legend which will become Latour 1982 in style and price, a wine that currently costs £28,000 a case of 12. It will age and improve for another forty years yet drink brilliantly now. Robert Parker awarded it 100 points describing it nearly 10 years ago as ‘Full-bodied, but very fresh with a finish that lasts over a minute, this is one of the most remarkable young wines I have ever tasted. Will it last one-hundred years? No doubt about it. Can it be drunk in a decade? For sure.’ Lisa Perrotti-Brown of The Wine Advocate has recently awarded it a perfect 100 points describing it as embracing ‘blackcurrants, black cherries and warm plums notes plus nuances of cedar chest, aniseed, beef drippings, truffles and tapenade with a waft of tilled black soil.’ James Suckling also awards it 100 points. Neal Martin, says ‘The 2009 Latour is endowed with a simply magnificent nose with intense blackberry and cassis fruit laced with minerals and graphite, extremely focused to the point of overwhelming the sense.’ He awards it 99 points, yet surely, he has it headed for perfection. This is a wine for the ages.

Chateau Latour has arguably the best terroir in Pauillac, its famous tower visible as you drive north into the village from St Julien. Latour is surrounded by top Second Growths, with Leoville Las Cases to the south and Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron to the west; all powerful wines with high percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon. Latour tends to be the biggest of the first growth wines, with an intense colour, powerful flavours and aromas, firm tannins and intense vitality. Latour is the epitome of left bank Bordeaux.
Whether to drink now or over a lifetime, Latour 2009 is a must own wine for lovers of the great Bordeaux vintages and wines.