Saturated ruby-red. Dark berries, violet, licorice and a note of torrefaction. Explosive, pure flavors are almost too big for the mouth. Finishes with big, sweet tannins and expanding, exhilarating flavors of pruneaux and crystallized dark berries. Perfectly integrated oak. A great Latour.
Robert Parker 99
A hot, dry August produced very concentrated grapes in 1996. However, it turned a bit rainy in mid-September through early October, making the vintage less consistent on the Right Bank and in Graves. But as the weather turned glorious from early October on, it was an amazing year for later-harvested Cabernet in the Médoc. There was new ownership at Latour by this time, and a new vat room was completed just prior to the harvest this year. The 1996 Latour is medium to deep garnet in color with a profound earthy, meaty, gamey nose with hints of blueberry preserves, crème de cassis and pencil shavings. The palate is full-bodied, concentrated and packed with muscular fruit, with a firm, ripe, grainy backbone and epically long finish. Showing much more youthfully than the 2000 tasted on the same day and still possessing bags of youthful fruit in the mid-palate, this beauty is going to go on and on!
Anticipated maturity: 2017-2040
Inky black even at 25 years old. A hugely impressive wine, with plenty of chewy tannins still in play, ripples of cassis, bilberry and blackberry fruits, set against olive paste, charcoal and eucalyptus. Things have softened around the edges no question, this is still full of life with decades ahead of it, but this is a great moment to start enjoying its promise. Textbook Latour in many ways, for its austerity and power, and its serious character that is underlaid by concentrated pleasure showcasing ‘the gift of sub-gravel clays’. 56% of overall production in the first wine. 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Last released in 2014 as an ex-château wine.
Anticipated maturity: 2023-2040