Chateau Latour Pauillac 2005
|France, Bordeaux, Pauillac
A great wine, the summation of a great vintage in Bordeaux. The core of richness, the dense, bone-dry tannins, the black currants, red berries and black plum skins are the elements, but it's the way they have been integrated that makes this such an impressive wine. There is great elegance as well, a fabulous counterpoint to such power. Cellar for at least 15 years, but this will keep forever.
Dark ruby black in color. Brilliant, intense aromas of mineral, blackberry and currant, with hints of Indian spices and cigar box, lead to a full-bodied palate, with ultrafine tannins and a beautiful balance of blackberry, raspberry and mineral. There's subtlety, yet also great depth. Lasts for minutes on the palate. This is a Latour with fabulous tone and vigor. Best after 2018. 12,500 cases made.
International Wine Cellar
Deep ruby-red. Reticent, brooding aromas of cassis, black plum, graphite and flowers. Then utterly explosive in the mouth, with wonderful sappy complexity of flavor and a thickness of texture that builds and builds toward the back; almost no sign of the new oak here. Offers a near-magical combination of power and refinement, but this extremely primary wine is still an infant. Finishes with extraordinary persistence that leaves the palate vibrating. One of the greatest young Bordeaux I've tasted in recent years, and more complete and classic than the outrageously lush 2003. For his part, Engerer feels that this wine combines the best traits of the 2003 and 2000 Latours. I made the mistake of retasting the 2007 after trying this, and the tannins of the younger wine came off as dry by comparison.
Only 44% of the production made it into the dense ruby/purple-hued 2005 Latour, a powerful, backward, 12,000-case blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Petit Verdot and Merlot. As I wrote last year, this classic effort is built for the ages, and is largely destined to be drunk by our offspring rather than anyone over the age of 50 today. Complex aromas of crushed rocks, graphite, black cherries, creme de cassis, new saddle leather, and dried mushrooms are still tightly wound. The wine is full-bodied and powerful with exceptionally high tannin combined with zesty acidity, and laser-like focus. It will require 15 or more years of cellaring. I still prefer the 2003, but administrator Frederic Engerer says this "is more Latour." Anticipated maturity: 2020-2060.