Louis Latour – 2020


Bruno Pepin & Christophe Deola 2021 Louis LatourTasted in Beaune with Bruno Pepin & Christophe Deola, 09 December 2021.

Maison Louis Latour
18 Rue des Tonneliers
21200 Beaune
Tel: +33 3 80 24 81 00
More reports with Maison Louis Latour

On 2021:
People are talking about concentration because of the low yields in 2021 but the vintage won’t be about concentration – one vine with 6 clusters and the next 3 with none is a deception – not concentration. We have 10.5 ha of Corton-Charlemagne – but with only 2-3 barrels per ha because of the frost.

On 2020:
The 2020 whites were quite good for volume – around the average – but for the reds, there was quite a deficit, we averaged about 20 hl/ha, which is a half harvest and that’s less than we made in 2019. We’ve lost more than 1 harvest in the last 3 years – nearly 1.5 harvests!

The wines…

The reds of LL always show quite well at this stage but have a habit of tightening after bottling – because of that I usually recommend waiting to open them. The whites are a super range – starting well and reaching a great level – though, admittedly, for wines that are hard to obtain – maybe easier for their large volume Charlemagne though…

4 Côte de Nuits wines have been bottled – last week – and the rest are still in tank:

2020 Beaune 1er Vignes Fanches
Plenty of colour – here is depth and a nice delicacy of aroma at the top. Super mouth-feel – that’s round, hyper attractive and beautifully clean. Plush, round and gorgeous – bravo!

2020 Aloxe-Corton 1er Les Chaillots
Wider aromas though with less depth – attractive fruit, growing higher tones – lovely. More direct and fresh, a fine grain of tannin, a hint of dryness – but the energy and shape of this are very fine. Long and direct in the finish too – Harmonious!

2020 Pommard 1er Epenots
A small part of the fruit is domaine, the rest grape contracts.
A vertical nose – high and (very) low notes – this is very attractive. Direct, fresh, driving, more bitters, some tannin at the base but almost grainless. The acidity is more visible here but so is the finishing complexity – this for the more patient customer – as it should be. Really very good.

2020 Volnay 1er Chevrets
Starting more subdued but this nose has only initially hidden depths – wide and attractive, more floral, violet notes. A little gas. A wine with some structure but it’s also intense and showing properly pure flavour. Also needing a bit more patience/elevage but again very good and very persistent.

2020 Corton Clos Vigne au Saint
A concentrated but tighter nose today, subtle and attractive dark berries visible with a little time. Wide – really wide – fresh too. Here’s quite a flighty and energetic wine. Beautifully finishing, needing a bit more elevage at the start. Very mineral finishing but never hard…

2020 Corton Perrières
Here there’s more to see, more open aromatics with slightly redder fruit if with a little less focus today. Quite gassy – hence the lack of focus. Slowly relaxing wide over the palate – ooh – that’s got a great texture and has a beautiful half-silk, half-velour texture with pure fruit. Another wine that finishes great.

2020 Château Corton-Grancey
Perrieres, Bressandes and Clos du Roi
Much more open and airy – dark fruit at the base. Direct, a slightly more serious structure, texture of velour, and then layers of flavour in the middle to the finish. Really, impressively, vibrant in the finish. That’s a super finish.

4 bottled wines now – but in bottle for less than a week:

2020 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Chatelots
A very airy nose, floral, almost but never quite, delivering some pyrazine too. Mouth-filling with freshness and complexity. Modestly structured with high-toned flavour that reflects the nose. Also here possibly a little pyrazine extra but at this level, it is only an extra note of complexity. Long finishing…

2020 Vosne-Romanée 1er Suchots
Here the nose starts with some bottling artefacts – it needs plenty of air. Still a little gassy. Overall, there’s a nicely open and mouth-filling style here, modestly layered and improving all the time as you head to the finish. That finish is a beauty but in the short time that I spend with it, the rest of the wine needs time to catch up…

2020 Echézeaux
Here a calmer width of aroma – airy, dark-fruited – still not fully open but with fine purity of fruit. Mouth-filling, the flavour framed with a faint tannin and a little creamy oak too. A seriously excellent finish here – persistent, dark-fruited and moreish. Super wine…

2020 Chambertin Cuvée Héritiers Latour
Less deep but it’s a fresher and wider aromatic – almost a little airy – it’s very attractive. Hmm, that is lovely – hyper-complex – perfumed, perhaps a touch of pyrazine again but knit beautifully in the overall complexity. Perfumed and long finishing. I think this is lovely…

2020 Romanée St.Vivant Les Quatre Journeaux
Not yet bottled
Here is more aromatic density – depth with tighter high tones. There’s a nice mineral streak – a baseline – in this wine, followed by a line of intensity that follows long into the finish. There’s more here than the Chambertin but this wine is far from as open as that one. More elevage required but this is excellent…

Les Whites…
More and more DIAM being used here, now including the Chevalier-Demoiselles but more of the ‘high-end’ still use NdTech cork from Trescasses:

2020 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er En Caradeux
Domaine vines. Not yet bottled. This normally the last harvested
A nice vibration to this aroma, not exactly reductive or indicative of PV. The flavour is deep and also with a fine energy – here I could be persuaded that we are drinking PV – and the finish is muscular but lithe – lovely wine, opening ever wider…

2020 Beaune 1er Aux Cras Blanc
Bottled. This normally the first harvested.
A very different yellow citrus nose – wide and attractive. Nice attack, slight softness but properly structured – clarity and lovely texture. Mouth-watering wine – excellent wine – finishing with a little lick of phenolic texture!

2020 Meursault 1er Blagny
Not bottled.
This has a sweeping aromatic freshness – lovely. Full in the mouth, slightly saline, then beautifully mouth-watering, melting, flavour. Always a good energy and in this case, with a great finish! This a super wine…

2020 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Referts
That’s directly a great nose – of dimension, of complexity, of attractive minerality too. Wide and mineral, so mouth-watering that it’s almost juicy. Super dimension of finishing flavour too. A little more cut/definition and I would say ‘great’ – it’s still very excellent!

2020 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er La Grand Montagne
That’s directly a great nose – of dimension, of complexity of attractive minerality too. Wide and mineral, so mouth-watering that it’s almost juicy. Super dimension of finishing flavour too. A little more cut/definition and I would say ‘great’ – it’s still very excellent!

2020 Chevalier-Montrachet Les Demoiselles
That’s directly a bigger and more impressive nose – finely-divided complexity that’s pushed forward from the concentrated base. Yes! Mouth-filling but so fluid, saline, hyper-complex – for keeping a while but this is top-level and has a finish to die for!
2020 Bâtard-Montrachet ‘Clos Poirier’
Second vintage with this label – prior it was blended with other domaine sources. Owned by Mr Poirier, the clos shared with the Morey domaine of Meursault. And Bottled.
Hmm – that’s also rather good! A similar finely divided complexity – more width less overt depth. Silken, wide, cooler fruit, many more layers of richer fruit. I’m knocked out by this – I thought maybe the placement of these last two wines was questionable – but no – there’s extra richness here but not at the expense of energy and balance. Easier to enjoy but never simple in the finish – that’s another great wine.
2020 Corton-Charlemagne
A little narrower nose but really much, much deeper – accented with some silky yellow citrus top notes. A compact start but you are quickly transported to mouth-filling wine supported by considerable minerality – slightly cushioned at the edges. Supple, beautifully textured and even modestly cushioned – just a mm-or-two. Wide, almost panoramic finishing with slightly chalky flavour/texture. Really extra long. That’s simply excellent and considering what it’s just successfully followed, probably another great wine!

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