Chateau Latour broke the mould in 2012, declaring that they would no looking participate in the en primeur system, with the 2011 vintage marking their last en primeur release. Latour took the polemical decision to leave in favour of ageing their wine themselves and thereon releasing them to market when they considered that they have entered their drinking window. The appeal is obvious, allowing consumers to buy wine with perfect provenance, direct from the Chateau cellar. Post en primeur exit, we have seen several releases, the first of which were released unwisely 10-20% above market price, overestimating the value of ex-chateau stock, therefore failing to establish a vibrant market. Since then we have seen several releases, the most recent being released at more appealing prices and achieving success through global markets.
This morning Latour have released the 2007 vintage and have provided the market with a large incentive to buy, releasing for the first time, below the current trading market price. This will result in a positive reaction from the market. The current market price for a 6x75cl case of Latour 2007 is £2,100 and as such, £2,000 for an ex-cellar release offers a real incentive and immediate appreciation. The 2007 vintage has been chosen for release, as it is drinking beautifully. It is not to be considered a vintage of the century, it is rather a charming vintage, which is capable for ageing for fifteen years, not fifty. Latour 2007 has been scored 92+ by Robert Parker, who says ‘Undoubtedly one of the longest lived wines of the vintage, the 2007 Latour should last for two decades or more.’ The 2007 has one of the highest percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon in its history, with 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot.
Moreover, as displayed by the table below the 2007 will therefore be the lowest priced vintage of Latour in the last fifteen years. As such, it will appeal greatly in Asian markets, where brand and price trumps any question of vintage distinction. Truly great vintages take decades to enter their drinking windows and the market has observed that the best performing vintages for investment have very often been the lowest priced in the market, rather than the highest scoring, the market driven by buying the lowest priced vintage, rather than the best. Today’s price offers an excellent entry point, below market, to the most attractively priced vintage of Latour. We consider this a buy at £2,000.
A strategically important fort occupied the site of Chateau Latour in the middle ages guarding the river estuary. The original buildings were destroyed in the 1450s by the King of France while expelling the English and all that remains from this time is one of the most recognisable symbols of Bordeaux, the tower. Latour spent 300 years under the control of connected families (directly related or related by marriage) and was finally sold in 1963. The French billionaire Francois Pinault purchased the property in 1993 and the day to day running is handled by Latour’s President Frederic Engerer.
Latour has arguably the best terroir in Pauillac, its famous tower visible as you drive north into Pauillac from the village of 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.
Chateau Latour 2007, 6×75 £2,000 IB - 92+ Points, Robert Parker
The 2007 Latour (the first wine made in the newly renovated cellars) exhibits a dense ruby/purple color as well as a sweet, expansive bouquet of black fruits and spring flowers interwoven with a striking minerality. The wine’s dense, medium to full-bodied flavors are surprisingly evolved, with soft tannins, an ample, generous mouthfeel, and an endearing texture. Undoubtedly one of the longest lived wines of the vintage, the 2007 Latour should last for two decades or more. Drink 2010-2030.
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