1990 Château Latour Grand Vin Pauillac Wine Tasting Note


1990 Château Latour Grand Vin  (Pauillac) 97

The best bottle of this I have ever tasted hit all the right notes. It is important to note that the has over the past few years come close to full-development. It is now showing a refined, soft, elegant, regal character. The fresh, blackberry, cassis, tobacco and leafy personality is right where you want it to be. It might improve a bit from here, but the wine is 30 years of age, so if you are sitting on any, it is time to enjoy it.

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Even though this was from a magnum, interestingly, it seemed softer, more approachable and even more open than some bottles I've tasted from a 750. On the way to silky in texture, the wine showed loads of ripe, round, sweet, fleshy fruits with soft tannins and freshness in the spicy, cedar and tobacco leaf filled, red berry finish. At close to 30, if you are holding this in your cellar, it is a good tie to start popping a cork.

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In magnum, there is an extra level of depth, refinement and pleasure I have not seen in regular bottles. It takes some coaxing, but all the tobacco, wet earth, cedar, dark red fruit and spice comes out. Full bodied, fresh and vibrant, at 27 years of age, this is really drinking well. But if you only have a bottle or two, and you're the patient sort, if well stored, it will be even better at 37!

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Drinking well, it takes little effort to discover the tobacco, cassis, cedar wood and earthy charms. Refined, and in between tannic austerity and elegance, the spicy, red fruits in the fresh finish pack a nice punch. This is a very good Bordeaux, but for Latour in a great vintage, it is missing that little extra something.

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A good, but not great Latour, that is better on the cigar box, tobacco, cassis, cedar, wet earth, blackberry and spicy nose, than on the palate, where it should shine. Still young, this will improve for years.

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One of the best bottles of 1990 Latour I recall having, with its showy notes of clay, black and blue fruit, smoke, earth and spice filled cassis. Powerful, soft and fresh, the wine is long, deep and complex.

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A very good, but not great Latour that is developing at a rapid pace. Rapid for Latour. The tannins are soft, the nose is complex, the fruit is ripe, but intensity and concentration found in the great years is missing.

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There is some bricking in the color, which is a surprise for a young, vintage of Latour. The nose offers cigar box, smoke, cedar wood, licorice, jammy plum and cassis aromas with hints of wild strawberry. The wine is full bodied and concentrated, but it is developing at a rapid pace and might not be a wine for long term aging. The polished, soft, potent finish is a treat.

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An interesting vintage of Chateau Latour, the wine clearly has its peaks and valleys along its evolutionary curve. Fortunately, at this tasting, it was having one of its good days with a perfume marked by a spice filled nose, coupled with wet earth, smoke, tobacco, caramel, tar, cassis, blackberry, hot bricks and cedar wood. Big, powerful full bodied and still youthful, the wine demands another decade for the ample tannins to further integrate into the rich, black and red fruit filled finish.

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With a classic cedar, cassis, gravel, tobacco, earth, herb and lead pencil profile, this big, powerful, tannic, full bodied Latour wants to strut its stuff. Decanting is needed before it begins to emerge. There is a masculine quality to the wines character. It's a bit on the firm side. There are tannins that still need to be resolved. It needs another decade before we can know for sure what type of vintage 1990 was for Latour.

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Cassis, blackberry, grilled nuts and cedar sparked the aromatics. Still tannic. Needs time. When tasting it, I commented how much it reminded me of the Las Cases. As they are neighbors, that is easy to understand. On the palate, the wine offers a lot of ripe juicy, Cabernet fruit. While stylish, it comes up short for the vintage and a First Growth. The finish and middle are shorter than I'd hoped. This will improve, but IMO, as good as it is, it's not at the top level Latour is producing today starting with the 95.

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Young and primary. This deeply colored wine had aromatics of smoke, cassis, coffee, walnuts, forest and eucalyptus. Dense, tannic and chewy, but not overly complex or deep.

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Cassis, walnut, maple, tobacco and earthy aromas are at your service. Classy, layers of ripe fruit end in a long cassis filled finsih.

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While young and primary, it had it all. It was also shut down hard, but you could catch glimpses of its future greatness. Cassis, lead pencil, blackberries and oak were part of the perfume. This wine is huge, complex and very extracted. The palate is overtaken by layers of ripe fruit that awakens your taste sensors. Very tannic. I wouldn’t be surprised if this wine took 15-20 years to fully blossom into maturity and lasted another 30 years after that.

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Latour stone sky Wine Tasting Notes, Ratings

When to Drink Chateau Latour, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau Latour is not a wine to drink on the young side. The wine is usually far too tannic, powerful and reserved during its youth. Young vintages can be decanted for an average of 3-6 hours, give or take. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.

Chateau Latour is usually better with at least 15 years of bottle age. Of course that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage character. Chateau Latour offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 18 and 60 years of age after the vintage.

Serving Chateau Latour with Wine and Food Pairings

Chateau Latour is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift.

Chateau Latour is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Latour is also good when matched with Asian dishes, rich fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta.

In 2011, Chateau Latour added to their holdings in Pauillac when they purchased the 4 hectare vineyard of Chateau La Becasse from the Fonteneau family. The vines are used for the production of Forts de Latour.

Chateau Latour became one of the first major Bordeaux chateau to embrace anti counterfeiting measures with the use of the Prooftag system which is in place on the label, bottle and capsule of all future and current releases.

In 2015, Chateau Latour completed renovations which included new offices, tasting rooms and cellars. In fact, Chateau Latour became the first estate in the Medoc to maintain a cellar solely devoted to keeping magnums and other large format bottling's dating back to 1900. The new cellars were a necessity as they allowed Latour to retain vast stocks of wines, for later releases.

The Pinault family also own other wineries through their holding company the Artemis Group. In Burgundy, they own Domaine d’Eugenie, previously known as Domaine Rene Engel. The vines are located in the Vosne Romanee appellation in the Cote de Nuits. Late 2017, marked another addition to their holdings in Burgundy when they purchased Clos de Tart for a record setting price of more than 30 Million Euros per hectare!

In the Northern Rhone Valley they own Chateau Grillet, which prior to their recent sale had been owned by the same family since 1830!

In July 2013, the family added to their list of vineyards with the purchase of Araujo Estate wines, in the Napa Valley. Araujo has since been renamed Eisele Vineyards. The following year, in 2014, The Artemis Group made their first purchase in the Right Bank, when they invested in Chateau Vray Croix de Gay, Pomerol, Chateau Siaurac, which is located in the Lalande de Pomerol appellation and Chateau Le Prieure in St. Emilion.