Chateau Latour 2010
One of the perfect wines of the vintage, Frederic Engerer challenged me when I tasted the 2010 Latour at the estate, asking, “If you rate the 2009 one hundred, then how can this not be higher?” Well, the scoring system stops at 100, (and has for 34 years,) and will continue for as long as I continue to write about wine. Nevertheless, this blend of 90.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.5% Merlot, and .5% Petit Verdot hit 14.4% natural alcohol and represents a tiny 36% of their entire production. The pH is about 3.6, which is normal compared to the 3.8 pH of the 2009, that wine being slightly lower in alcohol, hence the combination that makes it more flamboyant and accessible. The 2010 is a liquid skyscraper in the mouth, building layers upon layers of extravagant, if not over-the-top richness with its hints of subtle charcoal, truffle, blackberry, cassis, espresso and notes of toast and graphite. Full-bodied, with wonderfully sweet tannin, it is a mind-boggling, prodigious achievement that should hit its prime in about 15 years, and last for 50 to 100.
The aromas of flowers such as roses, violets and lilacs jump from the glass then turn to dark berries such as blueberries and blackberries. It's full-bodied, with velvety tannins and dense and intense with a chocolate, berry and currant character. This is juicy and rich with wood still showing a bit, but it's all coming together wonderfully. Muscular yet toned. Another perfect wine like the 2010. Try in 2022.
Stern, almost severe initially, this great wine takes time to show its immense fruit power. Black currant and blackberry notes are packed into the wine, along with an impressive array of spices from new wood that gives a more exotic element. At the end, though, it has a fine, structured sense of proportion. Obviously for aging over decades, so don't drink before 2022. Cellar Selection.
Unbelievably pure, with distilled cassis and plum fruit that cuts a very precise path, while embers of anise, violet and black cherry confiture form a gorgeous backdrop. A bedrock of graphite structure should help this outlive other 2010s. Powerful, sleek and incredibly long. Not perfect, but very close. Best from 2020 through 2050.
Dark ruby-red. Brooding nose hints at plum, cassis, brown spices and cedary oak. Sweet, fresh and highly concentrated, with brisk, intense cabernet sauvignon-dominated flavors of blackcurrant, blackberry, cedar and cocoa powder. Vibrant acidity gives this wine terrific lift and energy, but it's currently hard as nails. Finishes impressively long, with noble tannins and palate-staining concentration; nutmeg and licorice nuances emerge slowly with aeration. A knockout, but forget about it in your cellar for another 15 years. While I think the 2009 Latour has a magic spicy charm, the 2010 is more in keeping with this great estate's DNA. (ID) 96(+?) points