Louis Latour White & Red Burgundy Tasting

Monterrey, Mexico

Tasted October 19, 2010 by hcampana with 770 views

Introduction

A local retailer put together a tasting to showcase Louis Latour wines. Vivienne Holliday, a young Brittish lady that works for Louis Latour in Beaune directed the tasting. She flew from France exclusively for the tasting. There were 12 of us attending. I was eager to attend as I am not very familiar with the wines of Louis Latour, and the vintages to be tasted (all top recent vintages) should give me a good glimpse of what Latour can do quality-wise. To be frank, I have always (mostly un-foundedly, I must say) have considered them to be low on the overall quality and QPR totem pole of Burgundy.

Flight 1 - Chablis (3 notes)

This is a Chablis estate that Louis Latour bought in 2003.

White
2007 Simonnet-Febvre Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru
87 points
Light straw with faint green hue. Nose offers pure pear and flowers with no buttery nor oaky notes. In the palate, it is medium bodied, mineral, citric and has a dash of dried honey. This has marked acidity that exceeds my pleasurable treshold.

Color paja claro con un brillo verde tenue. La nariz ofrece pera y flores blancas. No hay indicio alguno de roble o mantequilla. En boca, es de cuerpo medio, mineral, cítrico y con una nota de miel d eabeja seca. Tiene marcada acidez que sobrepasa mi nivel de tolerancia agradable.
White
2006 Simonnet-Febvre Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru
86 points
Just by looking at its deeper straw color, this is obviously from a hotter vintage than the previous wine. The nose is very honeyed, dominated by beeswax. With less acidity than the 2007 Chablis Les Clos, this is medium to full bodied, has an oily finish and is less elegant and aromatic than the previous wine.

Solo con mirar su color paja más profundo, uno puede deducir que este vino es de una cosecha más caliente que el vino anterior. La nariz es bastante confitada, dominada por un aroma a panal de abeja. Tiene menos acidez que el 2007 Chablis Les Clos, tiene más cuerpo y un final aceitoso. Tiene menos elegancia y menos frescura aromátcia que el vino anterior.
White
2005 Simonnet-Febvre Chablis Grand Cru Blanchot France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru
90 points
In color, this is the lightest, most transparent of all three Chablis Grand Cru tasted in this flight. Very pretty nose of honeysuckle and jazmin flowers. It is medium bodied, delicious and very aromatic. It has the least acidity of all Chablis in this flight. Delicious.

En color, es el más transparente y tenue de los tres Chablis Grand Crus probados esta noche. La nariz es muy atractiva, redolente de honeysuckle y jazmín. Tiene cuerpo medio y es delicioso y muy aromático. Tiene l menor acidez entre los tres vinos de esta ronda. Muy agradable.

Flight 2 - The White Premier Crus (3 notes)

White
2005 Louis Latour Puligny-Montrachet France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet
88 points
Pale yellow in color. The nose has a burnt rubber aroma that is off putting, overpowering all else. Heavier weight than all Chablis in previous flight, it has power and personality, as well as a nice finish that makes up some for the funky nose.

Color amarillo pálido. La nariz tiene una nota dominante de hule quemado que no deja asomar nada más. Más pesado y viscosos que los Chablis de la ronda anterior, tiene poder y personalidad, así como un final agradable que compensan en mucho la deficiiencia de la nariz.
White
2005 Louis Latour Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru La Garenne France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru
90 points
The nose is initially lactic, but turnos out very exotic, flowery and perfumed. It is fat in the mouth, with lower acidity and an oily feel. The finish is rather short, but the nose makes up for it.

La nariz es inicialmente láctica, pero se transforma en algo exótico, floral y muy perfumado. En boca es gordo, con aidez más baja y una sensación aceitosa en el paladar. El final es corto, pero la nariz compensa mucho esa deficiencia.
White
2005 Louis Latour Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru
85 points
First whiff is oxidized. Beeswax and pineapple come out with heavy swirling, but it is less aromatic than the previous Puligny. The finish is slightly hot.

Signos de oxidación. En nariz ofrece reticentemente panal de abeja y piña, pero es mucho menos aromático que el Puligny previo. El final termina un poco alcohólico.

Flight 3 - The top dogs (3 notes)

White
2005 Louis Latour Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrières France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru
87 points
The initial nose is hot, reminiscent of añejo Tequila. Beneath the obvious alcohol there are peaches and minerality. The mouthfeel is very attractive, oily, and fat but the heat keeps dominating. It improved throughout the evening, with the alcohol showing a bit less.

La nariz inicial es muy alcohólica, reminiscente a Tequila añejo. Debajo del alcohol se asoman duraznos y mineralidad. La sensación en el paladar es atractiva, untuoso y gordo, pero el alcohol sigue dominando. Mejoró a través d ela noche, con el alchol menos y menos obvio.
White
2001 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
89 points
Decanted from magnum two hours before consumption, this has the richest color among all whites in the tasting. The initial nose is dominated by burnt rubber and little else. With time and swirling, white flowers emerge. In the palate, it is fat, New Worldish, but disjointed. It improved tremendously through the night but the nose never catches up with the tremendous palate.

Decantado de una magnum dos horas antes de la cata. Tiene el color más profundo de todos los blancos de la noche. La nariz inicial es dominada (oootra vez) por hule quemado y nada más. Con mucha coerción surgen flores blancas. En boca, este vino es una estrella. Untuoso, gordo, neo-mundano, pero un poco en desorden. Mejoró muchísimo a lo largo de la noche, pero la nariz jamás alcanzó al extraordinario paladar.
White
1996 Louis Latour Bâtard-Montrachet France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru
92 points
From magnum. You can tell there is more pedigree in this glass. Candied nose, with beautiful honeysuckle, jazmin and a bit of funk. The palate has clear acidity and a great mouthfeel. Lighter on its feet than the Meursault Perrieres. Excellent persistence on this surprisingly youthful wine. Very long and savory. A great wine.

De magnum. Al olerlo, se advierte que hay más pedigrí en la copa. La nariz es golosa, con notas hermosas de honeysuckle, jazmín y hongos. En boca muestra clara acidez y una excelente sensación tactil. Más ligero y ágil que el Meursault Perrieres. Excelente persistencia en este vino sorprendentemente juvenil. Final largo y sabroso. Un gran vino.

Flight 4 - Red Flight 1 (2 notes)

Red
2002 Louis Latour Nuits St. Georges France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Nuits St. Georges
89 points
Light ruby color with a purplish hue. Spicy nose of strawberries, wild mountain berries and cinammon. This nose is very extroverted and delicious. Medium bodied, with marked acidity. In the palate it comes across a bit disjointed and funky, but the savory finish brings it home nicely.

Color rubí tenue con tonos liláceos. Nariz especiada de fresas, moras silvestres de montaña y canela. La nariz es muy extrovertida y deliciosa. De cuerpo medio, este vino tiene acidez marcada, pero agradable. En boca es un poco difuso, pero el final frutal lo salva.
Red
2002 Louis Latour Pommard 1er Cru Les Rugiens France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Pommard 1er Cru
86 points
Light ruby color with a hint of garnet. The nose is dominated by a burnt ash smell. With swirling, some raspberries and spice come forth. Very reserved. Tannin is obvious, and there is some bitterness in the finish.

Color rubí claro con tonos ocres. La nariz está dominada por ceniza de habano. Con aereación, algunas notas a frambuesa y especias aparecen, pero es un vino muy reservado. El tanino es obvio y el final tiene algo de amargor.

Flight 5 - Red Flight 2 (2 notes)

Red
2002 Louis Latour Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru
87 points
Muted nose. With heavy swirling, some darks fruits emerge. There is obvious power lurking beneath. This is a medium to full bodied wine with marked tannin and a good dash of acidity. Most powerful red so far, but reserved.

Nariz reticente. Con mucha aereación, uno forza algunas notas a frutos negros. Hay poder asomandose debajo de la armadura. De cuerpo medio a corpulento, este vino tiene taninos ben marcados y una acidez bien presente. El tinot más poderoso probado hasta ahorita, pero introvertido.
Red
2002 Louis Latour Beaune 1er Cru Vignes Franches France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru
77 points
From magnum. The nose is marred by burnt rubber and iodine. Very muted otherwise. Dull. Lower acidity and some smoke. Dissapointing.

De magnum. La nariz está afectada por un aroma penetrante a hule quemado y yodo. Poca fruta. Aburrido. Con menos acidez que los demás. Decepcionante.

Flight 6 - The Red Grand Crus (2 notes)

Red
1998 Louis Latour Corton-Grancey France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru
90 points
From magnum. Slightly oxidized nose of cherries and red currant. Earthy and very together. Good acidity. Long, spicy finish. A wine that slowly grows on you.

De magnum. La nariz muestra notas oxidadas de cerezas y grosella roja. Terroso y muy bien integrado. Con buena acidez y un final largo y especiado. Un vino que poco a poco te convence.
Red
1999 Louis Latour Chambertin Cuvée Héritiers Latour France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambertin Grand Cru
90 points
From magnum. Dark cherries, cold steel and cinammon frame the deep nose. Medium to full bodied, with obvious tannin. Deeper mid palate than all previous reds. Lacks a bit of excitement and gives limited pleasure, but the origin seems noble.

De magnum. Cerezas negras, acero frío y canela enmarcan la nariz profunda. De cuerpo medio a corpulento, tiene taninos bien marcados. Con un paladar medio más profundo que el resto de los tintos. Carece de un factor muy alto de excitación hedonista y da relativamente poco placer sensorial, pero el origen parece noble.
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Closing

This was an informative tasting. I was surprised to learn that Latour produces much more red wines than whites. I had always pigeon-holed them as white Burgundy producers. The whites impressed me more than the reds, most of which were lacking the suppleness and fruit concentration you would expect from top vintages in Burgundy. While informative, this tasting won't make me start buying Louis Latour wines in any quantity. I was frankly abit underwhelmed at the performance of most wines as I would have expected higher quality from the appellations and vintages showcased.

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