Château Latour, 2015 Releases

The wind whipped cold and cruel along the Gironde, whistling up and over the vineyards that never quite touch the water’s edge (not here in Pauillac anyway). To add insult to injury the air was laced with rain which, while light, still revealed hypodermic aspirations as it stung the face. I could have been cheeky, of course, and parked my car right next to the cellars and tasting rooms and saved myself the windy walk up the hill from the diminutive car park nestled among the vines. But my character oscillates between anarchic anti-authoritarian to fully signed-up member of the international conformists’ society, and today was clearly one of my ‘good behaviour’ days. I had parked my car where I had been told to. I screwed my eyes up against the wind and rain, as if that would help, and hurried along a little faster to the tasting room.

Château Latour

It is morning in Bordeaux, on the edge of the Gironde. It is primeurs week, and it is Tuesday, which means Pauillac. And I am in within sight of the dovecot, which means it is Château Latour. And since the château withdrew from primeurs releases in 2012 that means as well as the barrel samples from the latest vintage on show, there are also samples of wines from the mature release program to be tasted. I have already acknowledged the value of tasting the Latour barrel samples is a questionable practice when the wines are not released en primeur, but it is justified I think, and I have already addressed this in my report on the Château Latour 2013 releases. I have also previously explored the history of innovation in selling wine in Bordeaux in my report on the Château Latour 2014 releases, the decision to switch from en primeur to a mature release program being just the latest such innovation in a region with many centuries of history at the centre of the international wine trade. This year I shall just get on with the wines I think, which hail from the 2011, 2008 and 2003 vintages. I just need to get inside out of the wind and rain first.

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