The 2003 Latour is a wine that I have tasted many times, even buying some en primeur. Now it is reaching 20 years, and like other 2003s, I am beginning to think that even the best wines in the early days are starting to fall short of expectations. That is not to say it is a bad wine by any means. With layers of black fruit on the nose and hints of cedar, white pepper and aniseed, it is pretty burly aromatically and opens nicely with 20-30 minutes in the glass. The palate is structured and assertive, with grippy tannins and plenty of tobacco-infused black fruit. However, compared to other vintages, there is something just a bit “static” about this First Growth, an immovable object. Moreover, the longer I remain in its presence, it seems a little removed from a typical Latour as if the imprimatur of the growing season is beginning to influence the wine more than the terroir. I’ve scored this wine high in the past, but it’s a complex wine to really love at the moment. Tasted at Medlar restaurant.
Anticipated maturity: 2024-2050
Mid ruby with a pale rim. Light, fruity nose with some sweetness on palate entry but no rasping tannins. Some Pauillac stoniness on the nose – just rather weak for a Latour without enormous palate weight, though it does linger pretty satisfactorily in terms of time if not concentration.
Anticipated maturity: 2010-2023
Robert Parker 100
2003 was one of the hottest, earliest Bordeaux vintages ever. Some vines suffered from lack of moisture, but old vines and clay subsoil at Enclos saw this vineyard through. The Merlot harvest occurred between September 8 and 13, and the Cabernet Sauvignon was picked between September 22 and 30. The 2003 Latour is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. Six percent of the press wine was added to the final blend. It has a medium to deep garnet-purple color, then wowâ€”it explodes from the glass with bombastic black and blue fruits, followed up by meat, wood smoke, sandalwood and Indian spice accents with underlying floral wafts. The palate is full, rich, velvety, seductive and very long on the finish. There were only 10,800 cases made (rather than the normal 15,000-20,000).