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Louis Latour – 2013

DSC05716Tasted in Beaune with Bruno Pepin and Boris Champy, 16th Dec, 2014.

Maison Louis Latour
18 Rue des Tonneliers
21200 Beaune
Tel: +33 3 80 24 81 00
www.louislatour.com

The vintage…
Some small-volume wines were already bottled, but most wines are still in tank at the moment – just one white is bottled. For the rest it could be done from Feb-April 2015. Boris notes “It’s the end of malolactic to bottling time that’s important, and of-course we had a lot of late malos, plus a late harvest so we are another month behind versus normal, even before we consider those late malos.”

2013: ‘A slightly better yield than 2012.’

The wines…

To be honest the reds are really very good, some are excellent, yet, despite a few poorer performances, here are some frankly brilliant whites – with the best 2013 I tasted. Of-course it had to be the expensive one…

2013 Domaine Beaune 1er Les Perrières
Hardly any hail here.
Deep colour. High-toned but with a mineral, graphitic depth. Large in the mouth – very concentrated and with super intensity – you almost forget that the texture is so silky, such is your focus on the intensity. A mouth-watering, linear finish. An excellent start!

2013 Domaine Beaune 1er Vignes Franches
Not so bad in 2013, but only 4hl/ha and not classed as 1er Cru in 2014!
Higher-toned, floral, less depth, with faint but fine red fruit – lovely. Similar shape to the Perrières, round and mouth-filling but with less attack. Still very good intensity and just a little more tannic texture. Very different, indeed prettier than Perrières, but I have a preference for that wine today.

2013 Domaine Aloxe-Corton 1er Les Chaillots
A beautiful nose of some weight and florality and fainter herbs – fine. Here is more structure, more dryness to the tannin (no whole cluster though) but fine intensity and a clear extra length and complexity. A little more austere than the last wines but it will be very fine!

2013 Volnay 1er Le Chevret
Very fine clarity of dark red berries – this is lovely. Fills the mouth with ‘shape’ but not weight or texture – here is a fine and high-toned fruit with lovely acidity. There is some faint grain to the tannin but it’s ripe enough. A width of high-toned long-finishing flavour. Lovely wine…

2013 Pommard 1er Les Epenots
11hl/ha – 60% hail losses.
A little less colour. A beckoning, deeper aromatic – lovely again. Bigger, more intense and with lots of energy – really. There’s tannin, but more of a textural drag than a grain. Fine high-toned, floral, fruit in the finish with a little dryness. Fine.

2013 Corton, Clos de la Vigne au Saint
2.4 hectares in 2 blocks – 1.2 replanted in 1999. Here with massale, pinot fin and tres fin selections of pinot.
Deeper colour again. A wide high-toned aroma that hints to a little CO2 augmentation. In the mouth not especially though. Really very intense flavour, underpinned with plenty of acidity and tannin – a faint dryness but just an anecdote really. Yum!

2013 Corton Clos du Roi
A deeper nose with a little herb, perhaps some licorice too. Again, big in the mouth, perhaps with more weight this time. The flavour starts with herbs and slowly becomes more mouth-watering with a fine flavour. Longer, more direct and more complex – and of-course yum again!

2013 Corton Perrières
Quite a large aromatic that mainly delivers herbs to start, slowly evolving dark berries with time. Some gas here, and really impressive intensity too. The flavour profile is direct, intense and mouth-watering with a little dryness of tannin in the finish. Perhaps more power here than the Clos du Roi!

“With some of the 2009s we were a little disappointed, but with time in bottle we see more and more interest…”

2013 Corton-Grancey
Always a barrel selection – closer to 1,100 cases in 2013 (102 hl), but can be as high as 4,000.
Deep colour. Big, open, wide with floral top notes, faint tobacco(?) lots of interest here – lovely. Big, round, but more muscular than textural – only slowly developing a textural base of velvet tannin. A peak of fresh flavour in the finish. Excellent

2013 Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Damodes
Medium-plus colour. High-toned pretty aromatics with flowers and a slowly growing depth of fine aroma. Round but less ‘big’ – seemingly lots of weight here and a growing intensity of fine, slightly spiced fruit. Without denigrating, this is a more elegant wine to drink today versus the power of the Cortons!

2013 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Chatelots
Hardly any hail here.
Amiot – retired in 2000 but leased since then by Latour.
Very deep colour. A discreet but elegantly modest nose. Ouf! This is super silkily-textured – wide, lots of intensity into the finish and mid-palate. No lack of tannin texture but really super!
2013 Romanée Saint-Vivant
Mainly replanted in 1992, half massale and half clonal – adapting pruning to the two – more severe and still green harvesting in the clones. ‘Unfortunately these clones are on full view next to the road!” says Boris.
Deep colour again. Again a mix of floral and deeper notes, but this time with more aromatic weight and some saltiness. Really still a step-up in concentration, weight and texture. There’s a fine high-toned flavour component too. The finish is fine but more discrete. Very fine wine indeed! We can always quibble about value but bravo!

Les Blancs…
A little more variable in terms of presentation today, but still some really exceptional wines. Served a little colder than perfect.

2013 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er En Caradeux
Just behind Le Charlemagne restaurant – late ripening here.
High tones, something floral – but a discrete nose. Intense, quite some weight too eventually more round. There’s plenty of acidity. But actually, I’d like a little more energy – this wine seems a little too self-absorbed today – that said the finish is lovely and lingering…

2013 Meursault 1er Poruzots
A fine nose here – of energy and Meursault-ness. Weight of Meursault flavour here and lots of flavour dimension. Seemingly good acidity but with a little mid-palate flatness like the PV – again a super finish though.

2013 Meursault 1er Les Charmes
A much earlier ripening area so needs care. The only vineyard that was really devastated here, in 14.
Ripe, fresh a hint soapy, some flowers and lemon skin – very lovely. Line, length, lithe slowly growing energy in the middle – this needs a few seconds to get into gear, but when it does, watch out. Very super wine with a faint mineral dimension and lots of fine energy and complexity – yum!
2013 Meursault 1er Les Perrières
More modest aromas but with rather good width. Lithe, silky, growing, bubbling, intensity – here is a very fine mid-palate concentration. Super flavour intensity in the mid-palate. Here is another excellent wine with superb length.

2013 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Grand Montagne
A very-much more mineral nose with high-toned aromatics and a more modest baseline of deep perfume. Big, fresh, rather savoury flavour. In shape, scale, complexity and freshness this would normally be a winner for me, but the dark, rather mineral almost savoury flavour is difficult for me.

2013 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er les Caillerets
Slightly more floral nose – high-toned and very pretty. Volume with energy and complexity – candied fruit and good acidity. I only find real minerality in the finish, but this is a fine and complex wine- I like it very much.

2013 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Sous la Puits
Airy, high-toned, with white blossom and a slowly evolving citrus below. Gas, but lots of depth and width – really the finest mid-palate flavour yet – lots of complexity and width. Excellent wine, really excellent…
2013 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Referts
A bigger nose with a hint more ripe fruit and a wider panorama too. Very fine in the mouth – it rolls effortlessly over the tongue with fine texture and a fine reboot of flavour after the mid-palate. Even more excellent!
2013 Bâtard-Montrachet
Latour have signed a lease on a 0.5 ha parcel (whose grapes they have purchased for a while) in the centre of Bâtard where the owner is allowed to call it Clos de Poirier as in the 1800’s cadastres – Pierre Morey has the other half of this lease – starting next year they could use this label. Let’s see…
Deep and a little toasty. A little too much gas today too but this wine is a tight ball of intensity that explodes with interest and energy – but only after you swallow – it’s very impressive but with a little toast flavour too. Most impressive is the reprise of flavour – this is brilliantly long and will be great.

2013 Chevalier-Montrachet
Big aromatics that are high-toned and fresh – almost gaudy for Chevalier. Some gas again, but here is a very big wine in the mouth, almost with a ripe pear/oxidised note – Bruno says there’s some fermentation flavour. Again with great length. A wine out of sorts today…

2013 Montrachet
Here is a beautiful nose – depth, height, complexity and freshness – perfect. Big in the mouth, and silky too – It’s a very big wine but with perfect deportment. Just so wide in the mid-palate and into the finish. I seem to have written the word ‘perfect’ twice – I’ll stay with that then. Every day is different, but I don’t remember a better white in 2013, anywhere…
2013 Corton-Charlemagne
It’s the vintage, but it’s not as ripe as we would have hoped, yet there’s intensity and balance.
Here the nose is fresher, more precise and more mineral – not better, but very different. Big in the mouth, despite some silkiness there is a little more muscle on display and more minerality too. Again a very brilliant length with a faint tannin. This will be brilliant but I don’t know if this will ever taste as pretty as the Montrachet!

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

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