Tasted in Beaune with Bruno Pepin and Boris Champy, 16th Dec, 2014.
Maison Louis Latour
18 Rue des Tonneliers
Tel: +33 3 80 24 81 00
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.’
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…
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…”
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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…
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!
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.
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…
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…
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!