Château La Tour de By: Tasting & Drinking

Château La Tour de By seems to have its admirers, and for some it seems to be a bit of an old favourite. The words of Bernard Ginestet, writing in Médoc (Jacques Legrand SA, 1989) are not atypical.

“As for the past, we will be happy to salute the old reputation of this place, considered for 150 years as a reference for quality. But it is in the course of the last 25 years that Château La Tour de By has hit the summit of the wines of the Médoc appellation. Not only have the domaine and its dependencies been renovated, but the wine has improved in a spectacular fashion.”

My own feelings are that the wines of this estate are less worthy of exultation. I recall finding some pleasure in a bottle of the 1995 many years ago, but it was a little dry and I hard to squint hard to see its good points. At the very least this isn’t a wine that flatters straight from the glass. Compared to some high-flying cru bourgeois estates just down the road, some vintages from this estate just do not shine. Perhaps machine-harvesting and an over-dependence on old oak barrels are relevant? Having said that, the 2005 showed more promise, as did a much more recent experience, with the 2016 vintage. Perhaps this is an estate that just needs the right conditions to offer up its best. (14/6/07, updated 19/10/17)

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