Château Latour Grand Vin Pauillac 2012
The 2012 Latour is a blend of 90.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.6% Merlot, and 0.2% Petit Verdot. Medium to deep garnet colored, the nose slowly, measuredly emerges with notions of preserved Morello cherries, baked blackcurrants, and blackberry compote, giving way to nuances of pencil shavings, unsmoked cigars, Chinese five-spice and sandalwood plus ever so subtle hints of cardamom and eucalyptus. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers mouth-coating black and red fruit preserves with a firm, grainy-textured frame, and fantastic freshness, finishing with a veritable firework display of lingering spices and minerals. This is a more restrained, relatively elegant vintage of Latour that may not have that “iron fist in a velvet glove” power of the most outstanding vintages but struts its superior terroir and behind-the-scenes savoir-faire with impressive panache. It is drinking nicely now with suitably rounded-off, approachable tannins, and the tertiary characters are just beginning to bring some more cerebral elements into the compote of temptingly primary black fruits. But, if you’re looking to drink it in full, dazzling swing, give it another 5-10 years in bottle and drink it over the next 20-25 years+.
A grand vision, the 2012 Latour (90.2% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9.8% Merlot), probably won’t be released to the market for another 7-8 years. Representing only 36% of the crop, it has an opaque ruby/purple color, a beautiful nose of crushed rock and blueberry and blackcurrant fruit, sweet tannin, and a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel. The striking purity and intellectually satisfying texture and finish all are indicative of this great first-growth that has overcome all of the challenges of 2012 in the Médoc. It finishes long, rich, and convincing. Of course, this isn’t in league with the great vintages of 2000, 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2010, but it has nothing to be ashamed of. This wine should drink well for 25-30 years, and will probably prove to be one of the longest-lived of the 2012 Médocs. RP 94+ points April 2015
The 2012 Latour has a full bouquet of blackberry, graphite, and distinctive tertiary notes [instead of more marine scents observed four years earlier]. Initially, the palate is slightly disjointed on the entry and displays a subtle herbal quality, plus hints of pencil shavings. 2012 demands a few minutes to merge and achieve the precision and pixelation that have been the hallmark of this Grand Vin in its youth. Layers of black fruit coat the mouth, and a bitter edge lends tension, particularly toward the very persistent finish. Though its release implies, and the rhetoric from the château indicates that it is ready to drink, if you want my advice, cellar 2012 for another five or six years to witness it in full flight. It has always been a candidate for wine of the vintage... just have a bit of patience.