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Louis Latour – 2014

DSC08873Tasted in Beaune with Bruno Pepin and Boris Champy, 02 December 2015.

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

The 2015 vintage…
“The whole estate was picked in 7 days. Very easy, not so many leaves due to dry conditions in July – it was so easy to find the grapes! Volume, small for the reds but not very small. Whites are almost normal volumes. It was important to prune short as those with longer pruning suffered a lot and had fewer grapes despite more buds.”

The 2014 vintage…
“Very different to 2013. Very dry in the spring, very wet in the summer – the key for success was to keep up with the work in the vines. Beaune Vignes-Franches was only 4 hl/ha – an example of the worst hailed yields. Much better yields in the Côte de Nuits than in the Côte de Beaune.

“I put quality above 2011 and 2013, I’m not sure about 2012 – I wouldn’t have bet on this quality of fruit and tannins when we picked. A vintage that was made during the Spring.”

The wines…

Only two reds are bottled, all the rest in barrel and tank to be bottled in Feb-March. Epenots and Chevrets are the two that are bottled. A nice range of wines here, though proportionally, the whites are the stars!

2014 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Ile des Vergelesses
Planted in 1947.
Deep, reasonably wide, dark-skinned fruit. Round in the mouth, beautifully textured and complex. There is a growing intensity here, dark-skinned again, a line of fine flavour. Complex and very good – indeed a great start.

2014 Domaine Aloxe-Corton 1er Les Chaillots
Just underneath the Château Corton Grancey, a large plot of about 4 hectares. Only domaine Roux in St.Aubin the other producer.
A rather tighter nose, more red-fruited. More energy, more focus, again red fruited with an insinuating complexity. More tannin impression but some silkiness – a smooth coating on the teeth. A big flavoured wine and lots of fun.

2014 Pommard 1er Les Epenots
Deep, inviting, gorgeous rather dark red fruit. Very silky, with a wide panorama of flavour. Growing complexity, a burst of seriously impressive flavour complexity that includes floral notes, long finishing too. Excellent!

2014 Volnay 1er Le Chevret
There is a little dark mineral at the base, but here the nose is narrower and more high-toned. A suggestion of gas, more energy here a little less direct focus, but super complexity and life. The tannin has a suggestion of dryness at the edges yet remains very finely textured. Very, very impressive length.

2014 Vosne-Romanée 1er Beaumonts
A little like the Volnay, this has deep bass but is a little tighter in the high-tones, but very slowly there are red fruit tones, and yes, perhaps a little spice too. The nose grows and grows, eventually this is classic Vosne. Lovely mouth perfume here, a width of flavour, and ever-growing complexity. A little fine velvet finishing. Super length – very fine this. Yum!

2014 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
Vines next to Leroy.
Deeply coloured. Not super overt, but really super beguiling. Really a subtly but beautifully complex nose. A wine without weight but super complexity and fine texture. Super airien – as the french might say – I say ethereal and beautiful – exceptionally fine finishing too. I love.

2014 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. Just des Croix, Méo and here for this label.
A depth of aroma, faintly sweet fruit notes above, blended with some herb. Lithe, wide, fresh cool fruit. A slowly growing tannin but never more than an accent. Lovely high-toned flavour here, indeed an elegance here. This is very pretty wine indeed.

2014 Corton Clos du Roi
Wide, airy, complex, a more mineral depth. Bigger and rounder in the mouth, more overt complexity in the mid-palate – overall a bigger more forceful wine, without ever shouting. A burst of flavour then a wide semi-mineral, semi-fruit flavour to finish. Excellent.

2014 Corton Perrières
More than 4 ha of Perrières are owned here.
More high tones, no less weight of aroma, indeed a hint of floral activity too. Direct, fresh fruit flavour, full of energy – large-scaled, exciting Corton. Will be really super, I’d even drink this today!
2014 Echézeaux
A hint of oak, but more than a hint of spice and flowers. I find really super and inviting depth here. After the Cortons the tannin and structure is on a lower level, this is simply more supple. A fresh floral top note to the fruit flavour. A growing complexity that blossoms in the finish. Bravo! A super wine. Actually 100% new oak…

2014 Clos de Vougeot
This starts very tight, just a few modest high-tones escape the glass. Width, rather elegantly shaped with modest tannin, mainly because it’s so silky. But very much a fine complexity – indeed a super complexity, which I’ll take over power any day. The finish is very lovely and very complex. A subtly brilliant CV!

2014 Chambertin
Deep, round, rather complex aromatics. Interesting, this is round and full but not massive. Its complex indeed a little beguiling but not powerful. I wouldn’t note the 100% new oak. Super, but super enough? I’m not sure.

2014 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.
Also a very subtle aromatic start. Here is width, layers, a good faintly grained texture, waves of slowly rolling flavours. A little diffuse that whole performance today, but there is weight, concentration, complexity and interest. I think it will be excellent. The last drops in the glass have more overt weight and interest – surely will be a super wine.

Les Blancs…
Really a mix here – some wines that seem a little over-rich, others that are simply as good as you will find in this already great vintage!

2014 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er En Caradeux
Just behind Le Charlemagne restaurant – late ripening here.
A big, bright fresh and open nose. – a very heavily perfumed wine. Lithe and fresh in the mouth with good mid-palate density. Round, Again a very perfumed fruit. If I’m honest rather too perfumed for my taste, but the balance and intensity are good. Super length though.

2014 Meursault 1er Château Blagny
A good deep Meursault nose with just a little added oak notes at the base. A faint prickle of gas but anyway a waxy soft texture and density, perhaps it could do with a little more energy. But here is a really concentrated wine with waves of flavour and a very slowly mouth-watering finish. Just an impression of tannin too… A rich wine.

2014 Meursault 1er Goutte d’Or
Powerful but super interesting and textbook meursault nose – its very lovely. Here is joyous balance; of silky texture, and growing intensity of flavour complexity. There’s a suggestion of oak, but quite simply this is a beauty.

2014 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Sous la Puits
A fresh, indeed deep pretty yellow citrus nose. Wide, fresh, hyper-complex panorama of flavour. It’s all soft-edged (not soft focus) but fine flavoured. The finish is particularly good and tasty…

2014 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Referts
Deep with a little toasty reduction. The shape and balance of this wine is lovely – the flavour of that oaky reduction slowly changes just to oaky coconut. But this a slightly richer, very complex wine after the last two. A wine really to wait for so the oak influence is less, but the potential is there to see…. Particularly the gorgeously detailed finish.

2014 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Maltroie
An overt and pretty Chassagne nose of herbs, some mineral and freshness. Muscled, but lithe and supple. Some richness to the texture and flavour, but the balance keeps up. Fine and detailed complexity in the finish. Lovely…

2014 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Grand Montagne
A wide, open, perhaps slightly more diffuse nose than the Maltroie, yet there are fine individual points of focus. Lovely – the flavour is bright but not sharp, it’s complex and wide, very citrus inflected, the texture is lovely and the mid-palate and finish are beautifully packed with complex mouth-watering citrus anecdotes. A beauty – really hyper complex finishing.
2014 Criots Bâtard-Montrachet
Deeply layered and complex nose – I don’t need to drink this, sniffing is just fine. Large in the mouth with a very faint gas but get past that and there is weight that is alloyed to fresh, almost infinite complexity. Simply a great wine – beautifully finishing
2014 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 with 2014 they could use this label. Let’s see…
Also very deep and very fine nose – less layered than the Criots, but a hint more floral. Here is a slightly more mineral wine, perfectly textured, the complexity is modest to start but open-ended as it becomes ever wider. A little more mineral in aspect. A little explosion of extra flavour in the finish. As good as, and certainly different to the Criots, but today, maybe not better.
2014 Montrachet
This nose starts tight but opens quickly with laser-precise top notes of agrume but not just the mix, the individual fruits – it goes deep and high but has more limited width. Medium width on the palate but like the nose there’s a certain focus to the flavour that runs with ever-more intensity through the core of the wine. Bigger and brighter in the finish, individual fruits again and I’m not sure when the flavour will stop, but another wine is coming….
2014 Corton-Charlemagne
15 hl/ha in 2013, about 35 hl/ha in 2014 despite the hail, otherwise it would have been closer to 40!
A round, bright nose that fills the glass but has fine and precise citrus complexity. There is here just about everything to match the Montrachet thought the flavours are less perfectly precise – possibly because there is oak showing here and the not on the Montrachet. The finish is a wide and beautiful thing. This will be superb.

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