Louis Latour tasting - Printable Version

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- dananne - 03-12-2006 01:40 PM

On Saturday, Anne and I were invited to a private tasting with Jean-Phillipe Archambaud, winemaker for Louis Latour. We tasted through a flight of about a dozen whites and eight reds. All of the whites were '04s, while the reds were mostly '02 and '03, with a '99 tossed in for good measure.

My general thoughts are that the '04 is going to be a hit or miss vintage for whites, with some stemminess and thin, dilute flavors causing problems for some wines. We didn't think much of the entry Chablis or the 1er cru Vaillons. Same goes for the Beaune and Meursault. Much better was the Chassagne Montrachet, with lively acidity and good fruit and moderate use of oak. It did better than the Puligny Montrachet, which had a problem with dilute flavors and a short finish. The Meursault Goutte d'Or was also one of the better whites, far overshadowing the Puligny sous le Puits. They also had a few of the big guns open -- the Corton Charlemagne and the Batard Montrachet. Frankly, and it could have been the wines or it could have been my very limited experience with both whites in general and with top-flight whites, there was no difference between these and the Chassagne Montrachet. Certainly not enough of a difference to warrant a nearly $200 price difference on the Batard Montrachet.

On to the reds. I've not been as keen on the '03 red Burgundies that I've tried as have some people. The Santenay was stemmy and tannic, the Marsannay was thin and dilute, with a cinnamon note. Much better was the Aloxe Chaillots, with fine red fruits and good acidity, but Anne thought it finished hot (didn't note the alc). The Corton Grancey '03 was excellent, and a good balance between fruit and earth. We also had a '99 Grancey that was my favorite of the tasting (Anne, I think, liked the '03). The '03 got a 92-95 in the WS. The '02 Romanee St Vivant, which I was really looking forward to, rated just an "Eh." in my tasting notes. It runs $200. We also tried a Volnay 1er cru Chevrets '02 and a Chambertin Cuvee Heritiers Latour '02, but by this time my tasting notes look like something that a garden spider would produce.

Jean-Phillipe was gracious and eager to answer questions. Interestingly, he was not keen on the '03 vintage, and seemed to think you should drink up on them and not try to age.

- brappy - 03-12-2006 04:33 PM

Great report....Thank you!

- TheEngineer - 03-12-2006 09:04 PM

Great notes! Sorry to inquire but how do you come by this event? Would love to know as I would love to get on the inside of some of these events or are you a really large buyer? Many thanks in advance

- wondersofwine - 03-13-2006 09:21 AM

Thanks for the notes Dan. 2004 is supposed to be good for red Burgundies I think but I will be wary of the whites. I am enjoying some of the 2002 now and will pull out a '99 now and then.

- dananne - 03-13-2006 04:54 PM

Eng: Nope, not ITB -- actually, I have a small private school. We got the invite through a friend who helped bring Jean-Phillipe to Atlanta. He's not ITB, either, but was lucky enough to get some invites, and thankfully asked us along. Kinda a cross between a fluke and knowing the right guy [img][/img]

Jane: Yeah, I'd suggest sticking to the '02s. Taste the '04s before buying would be my advice.