Grand Vin de Château Latour 1949
While visiting the cellar I stumbled across many empty bottles of old and rare wines, consumed within the last few years, that I kept for Wine Quality Control purposes.
I like to keep the labels or even the bottles with the labels of these old ladies that I eventually use or refer to when in doubt during a wine inspection.
They are like pieces of history, (even if empty), and I treat them as such. With sometimes, the taste of these old ladies still in mind, as I have been lucky enough to (at least) taste these great wines... more than once for some of them.
Château Latour 1949 is a stunning wine from a rare and historic vintage. It has been rated very highly by the critics (e.g. 100 points by Robert Parker Jr., 98 points by Neal Martin) and as per www.cellartracker.com reaches the average of 94.4 points in 41 community wine reviews.
It is so good, that Neal Martin rated it 98 points twice.
First in his journal:
"Tasted blind at the chateau, my God, this is just one ethereal Latour that has the audacity to steal the limelight from the ’61. Given its age, it still looks youthful with a thin tawny rim. The bouquet is gradually mutating into a Burgundy with just heavenly precision, a veneer of red fruit over minerals and a hint of seaweed. The palate is medium-bodied with the balance of tightrope walker halfway across the Niagara Falls. It is just so sublime, not powerful and extraordinarily intense with amazing poise on the finish. Warning: this wine can bring tears to the eyes. Tasted June 2011." (05/2012) 98 points
And the second time, more recently, for www.vinous.com
The 1949 Latour has the best aromatics compared to the 1945 and 1947: stylish, classy, beautifully defined, regal and just very Pauillac: vestiges of black fruit intermingling with graphite, cedar and subtle tertiary scents. It is the epitome of postwar Pauillac. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, wonderful acidity, shimmering black fruit laced with graphite and smoke that fan out in statesmanlike fashion towards the irresistible finish. This is one of the best bottles of the 1949 that I have tasted: cool and sophisticated as Noel Coward in a smoking jacket. Tasted at the Latour dinner in Hong Kong (NM) » (7/2018)
I had the chance to taste it a few times in the last 8 years, more especially this particular bottle on the pictures in this post, and couldn't agree more with Neal Martin. More especially, as it was a magnum, not a regular bottles, which is even better as the bigger the volume the less fast the wine aged in the bottle.
Tasted a few years ago, prior and after decanting it and prior to serving it for dinner, back in 2017 (if i remember well). From memory, my personal tasting notes were:
Chateau Latour, 1er Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France (Magnum - 1.5L)
Recommended retail price 75,000 to 90,000 HKD (or 8,260 to 9,920 Euros)
"Fairly youthful, light to medium intensity, garnet-brownish colour, with dark orange brick hue (little sediments), for 1949. Elegant, refined, subtle at first, yet quite complex and aromatic nose after a minute in the glass. Lovely bouquet where mingle secondary and hints of tertiary scents, yet, here again, rather youthful for 1949, (slower ageing in magnum format surely helped), an enticing mix of red and blackberries, figs, graphite, pencil shave, cedar and leather with a note of minerality. The palate is medium-bodied, harmonious and perfectly balanced, expanding nicely and gently from attack to finish with flavors reminiscent of those on the nose all along until the fairly long and juicy finish. What a blast, and still so youthful, it could easily go on for another 10+ years and remain as good. Such a great and memorable wine" - Dominique Noël (2017)
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