Chateau Latour   Latour

1996 Latour

By Chateau Latour

1996 Latour from Chateau Latour, Pauillac, Bordeaux

The 1996 Latour from Chateau Latour is a beacon of excellence in a year that crafted some of Bordeaux's most enduring and resplendent offerings. This Pauillac stands as a testament to the estate's unwavering commitment to quality amidst the challenges and triumphs of a remarkable vintage. My tryst with the ’96 has been long-standing, witnessing it evolve from its haughty youth to a majestic maturity that continues to astonish investors and connoisseurs alike.


Clarity in Complexity: A Vintage that Speaks

The harvest of 1996 in Bordeaux was marked by an auspiciously dry September which allowed for impeccable phenolic ripeness; The grapes achieved a level of tannic maturity that serves as the backbone for this wine's grandeur. Upon decanting, the 1996 Latour enchants with an olfactory tapestry woven with the essences of blackcurrant, cigar box, and an ephemeral hint of truffle – an aroma profile that lingers seductively in the memory.


An Investment Worthy of Its Terroir

The masculine power synonymous with the château's hallowed terroir expresses itself through a harmonious balance on the palate. The deep garnet hue harbours flavours that are profound yet impeccably polished; it asserts itself with concentrated black fruit, accentuated by a symphony of graphite and earthy undertones – indicative of its noble pedigree. Tannins, though matured, still hold firm, promising additional years of graceful evolution. This complexity underpins the distinction of the 1996 Latour as a cornerstone for any serious wine investment.

Decades into its life, the 1996 Latour from Chateau Latour exudes an aristocratic poise. It exemplifies how Pauillac's quintessential power can marry elegance – creating not just a wine but an experience etched in time. With demand perpetually outstripping supply, its investment allure only heightens as it matures. It remains one of the most sought-after vintages for collectors betting on blue-chip wines. The ’96 deftly straddles the line between sheer drinking pleasure and prudent fiscal foresight—making it a superlative choice for discerning palettes and portfolios alike.

Market price (CAD)



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Scores and tasting notes


A spectacular Latour, the 1996 may be the modern day clone of the 1966, only riper. This vintage, which is so variable in Pomerol, St.-Emilion, and Graves, was fabulous for the late-harvested Cabernet Sauvignon of the northern Medoc because of splendid weather in late September and early October. An opaque purple color is followed by phenomenally sweet, pure aromas of cassis infused with subtle minerals. This massive offering possesses unreal levels of extract, full body, intensely ripe, but abundant tannin, and a finish that lasts for nearly a minute. Classic and dense, it displays the potential for 50-75 years of longevity. Although still an infant, it would be educational to taste a bottle. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2050.

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #129 June 2000


A hot, dry August produced very concentrated grapes in 1996. However, it turned a bit rainy in mid-September through early October, making the vintage less consistent on the Right Bank and in Graves. But as the weather turned glorious from early October on, it was an amazing year for later-harvested Cabernet in the Médoc. There was new ownership at Latour by this time, and a new vat room was completed just prior to the harvest this year. The 1996 Latour is medium to deep garnet in color with a profound earthy, meaty, gamey nose with hints of blueberry preserves, crème de cassis and pencil shavings. The palate is full-bodied, concentrated and packed with muscular fruit, with a firm, ripe, grainy backbone and epically long finish. Showing much more youthfully than the 2000 tasted on the same day and still possessing bags of youthful fruit in the mid-palate, this beauty is going to go on and on!

Lisa Perrotti-Brown - The Wine Advocate, 28 February 2019


Tasted at the Grand Cru Classe opening dinner at Haut-Brion. Sitting next to me, Frederic Engerer rather scorned the ’96, commenting that it would have been a better wine if made nowadays. I think he is being a bit mean. The nose is initially very conservative with sultry aromas of blackberry, tar, cedar and graphite, similar in profile to the 2003 but leaner and less intense. The palate is medium-bodied with great definition and freshness, perhaps a little “dusty” compared to recent vintages with a drier vintage than might be accepted nowadays. Still, it has a delightful touch of smoke and black truffle on the austere finish. Very fine indeed. Tasted June 2011.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal Mar 2012

Vintage performance