Tasting Notes Latour 1990
Tasted at a private dinner in Zurich. The 1990 Latour, like the 1970, can be variable from bottle to bottle for some inexplicable reason. Fortunately, this is one of the best ones that I have encountered. It has a sensual incense and lavender scented bouquet that unfolds wonderfully: blackberries, bilberry and raspberry intermingling with cold limestone that later reveals tobacco scents and that old mahogany bureau that I have namechecked in previous notes. The palate is full-bodied with more fatness than the 1988 tasted alongside. It is actually more backward than previous bottles, quite focused and structured towards the truffle and cedar finish. Only with 20 or 30 minutes in the glass does it choose to fan out and revel in its class. Superb. Tasted March 2013.
This wine was tasted at a vertical tasting held in Charlotte, North Carolina several days before the Christie tasting. The Latour staff spoke far more highly of the 1989 than my experience has shown. It possesses many characteristics that make great vintages of Bordeaux so alluring - softness, overripeness, and sweet fruit. The problem is that there are insufficient quantities of these components. An evolved dark ruby color reveals amber at the edge. The nose offers aromas of caramel, coffee, ripe black cherry and currant fruit, cedar, and spice box. Although medium-bodied, with low acidity, the wine lacks richness in the mid-palate, and is surprisingly abrupt in the finish. It is a very fine, delicious Latour, but it is hard to believe it will attain the weight and flavor dimensions its producers suggest. Anticipated maturity: now-2020.