Château Latour 2012
Appellation - Pauillac
Owner - Francois Pinault
80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot
Second wine – Les Forts de Latour
Annual production – 380,000 bottlesTASTING NOTES
The 2012 Latour is a blend of 90.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.6% Merlot and 0.2% Petit Verdot. Medium to deep garnet colored, the nose slowly, measuredly emerges with notions of preserved Morello cherries, baked blackcurrants and blackberry compote, giving way to nuances of pencil shavings, unsmoked cigars, Chinese five spice and sandalwood plus ever so subtle hints of cardamom and eucalyptus. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers mouth-coating black and red fruit preserves with a firm, grainy-textured frame and fantastic freshness, finishing with a veritable firework display of lingering spices and minerals. This is a more restrained, relatively elegant vintage of Latour that may not have that “iron fist in a velvet glove” power of the greatest vintages but nonetheless struts its superior terroir and behind-the-scenes savoir faire with impressive panache. It is drinking nicely now with suitably rounded-off, approachable tannins, and the tertiary characters are just beginning to bring some more cerebral elements into the compote of temptingly primary black fruits. But, if you’re looking to drink it in full, flamboyant swing, give it another 5-10 years in bottle and drink it over the next 20-25 years+. Drink 2020 - 2050
Score: 96+ Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, March 2020
Tasted blind at the 2012 Southwold tasting, the 2012 Latour put in a deeply impressive showing. It has a precise bouquet: graphite-infused black fruit, hints of iodine and a light marine influence—shucked oyster shell and Japanese nori. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, well-judged acidity, quite sensual and harmonious with seductive purity on the finish. This possesses exquisite precision and detail that evinces a wine of genuine class. Of course, perhaps this tasting note is irrelevant for the moment, at least until the Grand Vin is released onto the market. It will be intriguing to re-taste it when it does see the light of day. Tasted January 2012.
Score: 97 Neal Martin, RobertParker.com (227), October 2016
A grand vin, the 2012 Latour (90.2% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9.8% Merlot) probably won’t be released to the market for another 7-8 years. Representing only 36% of the crop, it has an opaque ruby/purple color, a beautiful nose of crushed rock and blueberry and blackcurrant fruit, sweet tannin and a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel. The striking purity and intellectually satisfying texture and finish all are indicative of this great first-growth that has overcome all of the challenges of 2012 in the Médoc. It finishes long, rich and convincing. Of course, this isn’t in the league with the great vintages of 2000, 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2010, but it has nothing to be ashamed of. This wine should drink well for 25-30 years, and will probably prove to be one of the longest-lived of the 2012 Médocs. Drink: 2015-2045.
Score: 94+ Robert Parker, RobertParker.com (218), April 2015
Reminiscent of the 2008, the 2012 is a classic Latour, but is neither profoundly concentrated nor potentially one of the greatest efforts from this exceptional terroir. While noble, racy, stylish and medium-bodied, the normal power and density one expects of Latour is missing in this vintage. It is made in a more elegant, softer, lighter style, undoubtedly a smart decision since pushing extraction with potentially less than ideal grapes could have resulted in rustic aromas and flavors. This medium-bodied Latour reveals moderate tannin, but it should be drinkable when released, and last for nearly two decades.
Chateau Latour harvested its Merlot between September 24 and October 4, and most of the crop ended up in Les Forts de Latour and Pauillac. The Cabernet Sauvignon was picked between October 5 and 16, the Cabernet Franc on October 8 (obviously a wet harvest), and the Petit Verdot on October 12. The 2012 Latour, which is off the market as a wine future until the Pinault family and Frederic Engerer agree on when to release it (probably 7-8 years from now), is a blend of 90.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.6% Merlot and the rest a tiny dollop of Petit Verdot. Only 36% of the crop was utilized in the grand vin, which achieved 12.8% natural alcohol.
Score: 92/94 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (206), April 2013
Firm and muscular Latour with silky tannins that are surround by compacted fruit. Very integrated tannins. Bright finish. Long too. It's racy. I prefer the more structured 2011.
Score: 93/94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2013