Tasting Notes Latour 2018
A solid and statuesque Latour with an extremely dense yet refined center palate of steely tannins and lots of blue fruit and an undertone of graphite. Some slate, too. It’s tight and very powerful. Reminds me of the texture of the 1959 (which I didn’t taste in barrel!) But the density here is so, so long. Steely.
The 2018 Latour is composed of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot, with 14.3% alcohol and an IPT (total polyphenol index) of 81. Very deep purple-black in color, it is very reluctant to show itself to start. With considerable coaxing, it begins to give up notions of chocolate-covered cherries, kirsch, blackcurrant cordial, Sichuan pepper, hoisin and underbrush scents with slowly unfurling red roses, woodsmoke and espresso plus a waft of truffles. The full-bodied palate is a bodybuilder—absolutely stacked with taut, muscular cassis and savory layers, structured with sky-high, very firm, very ripe tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and layered. Powerful!
A hugely impressive wine, powerful and concentrated, this is going to make a lot of friends, particularly those who loved the style of Latour in vintages like 2010. It has less fragrant nuances than in recent years but it’s full of liquorice, slate, cigar box, pencil lead, bergamot, black tea, black fruit jelly and fresh mint. No one can doubt that this is going to run and run but it will take its time to come around. Low yields of 24hl/ha after one of the most careful sorting processes ever to ensure no berries were affected by mildew. The harvest took place between 17 September and 11 October. 37% of overall production went into the grand vin. 3.7pH. 81IPT.
The 2018 Latour is fabulous. Rich, dense and unctuous on the palate, the 2018 possesses tremendous textural resonance. Huge tannins give the wine energy and drive, but there is more than enough fruit to balance things out. My impression is that the 2018 is holding a lot back. Then again, it is Latour. The interplay of aromatic intensity, fruit richness and structure is compelling. Even with all of density, the 2018 possesses terrific energy and drive.