Chateau Latour   Latour

2003 Latour

By Chateau Latour

2003 Latour from Chateau Latour, Pauillac, Bordeaux

The 2003 Latour from Chateau Latour is a formidable testament to the resilience and expertise within this esteemed estate. Nestled in the revered commune of Pauillac, Chateau Latour’s parcels overlook the Gironde estuary, a setting that played a pivotal role in buffering the extremities of 2003's scorching summer.


The Vintage Defined by Contrast

In Bordeaux, 2003 was marked by record-breaking heatwaves, placing emphasis on adept vineyard management to salvage the opulence of the fruit without succumbing to over-ripened despondency. The ability of Chateau Latour's team to navigate this sweltering scenario has resulted in a vintage imbued with both power and grace. Against all odds, Chateau Latour triumphed, producing a wine whose concentration and structure manage to harmoniously echo the intensity of the year.

The profound nose of this vintage elicits dark fruits, crème de cassis with undercurrents of truffle and leather, announcing its arrival with poised authority. On the palate, this 2003 Latour from Chateau Latour reveals muscular tannins that have begun to round beautifully with age, giving way to a velvety mouthfeel densely packed with blackberry, cigar box, and graphite notes.


An Investment in Liquid Aristocracy

For connoisseurs considering deepening their enological treasury, this vintage is an illustrious asset. Its atypical conditions have bestowed a wine that expresses both its noble heritage and the unique climatic influences of 2003—a year that imprinting itself indelibly upon the narrative thread of Bordeaux's viticultural annals.

As it continues to evolve within the bottle's confines, this investment certainly promises to regale palates for decades hence. Its potential longevity is bolstered by skilled vinification and the renowned ageing prowess inherent to Chateau Latour's offerings. As such, this exemplar not only titillates the hedonist but satisfies the sagacious investor.

There can be no doubt that this remarkable expression captures not only the essence but also the anomalies of its birth year. Its finesse acts as a beacon for the capabilities of Chateau Latour under weather-beaten trials—validating its standing as one of Pauillac's most illustrious ambassadors.

Emboldened by time yet still youthful in spirit, the 2003 Latour from Chateau Latour encapsulates an enigma worth exploring both on the palate and as a worthy centrepiece in an investor’s collection.

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Scores and tasting notes


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 wow—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).

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


There are only 10,800 cases (rather than the normal 15,000-20,000) of the 2003 Latour, a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot (13.3% finished alcohol). A prodigious effort, it boasts a saturated purple color as well as a gorgeous perfume of smoke, cedar, creme de cassis, flowers, crushed rocks, and blackberries. Massive and multi-layered, with huge richness and low acidity, it is about as unctuous as a young Latour can be. It could be compared to the 1982, but it may be even more pure, at least at this early stage, than that monumental wine. The level of intensity builds prodigiously in the mouth, and the finish lasts nearly a minute. Disarmingly accessible (although analytically the tannin level is high), I suspect it will ultimately shut down, but it was performing impeccably when I tasted it. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2040+. What can one say about proprietor Francois Pinault and his manager, Frederic Engerer? A strong argument can be made that in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004, Latour produced the wine of the vintage, although it has plenty of competition in the Northern Medoc in 2003. Moreover, the bargains are the estate’s least expensive cuvee, Pauillac, followed by Les Forts de Latour, Latour’s second wine which continues to increase in quality.

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #164 April 2006


Fascinating nose of fresh flowers, currants, and sandalwood. Full bodied, with a seamless core of fruit that goes on and on. Love the polished tannins and the beauty here. A powerful and rich wine with so much class and finesse for such a hot vintage. Pull the cork after 2016.

James Suckling -, March 14th 2011


Tasted at Bordeaux Index's "10-Year On" tasting in London. The Chateau Latour 2003 has to be one of the best wines of the vintage. There is a sense of grandeur on the nose, one of those rare Latour vintages that is so sensual and extraordinarily pure. There are subtle graphite notes, cedar and brambly black fruit that are supremely well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins, perfectly judged acidity and a beautifully composed, focused finish. It has lost its voluptuousness in recent years and is being "honed down" by the passing years into a wine that whilst not matching the 1959, is certainly inspired by it. Tasted March 2013.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal May 2013

Vintage performance