Berry Bros – Ex-Château Release – 2005 Latour “Wines like this are just life affirming”
Venerable First Growth Château Latour is today releasing another library vintage direct from its cellars – the “formidable”, “standout”, indeed “mind-blowingly profound” 2005.
Since withdrawing from the Bordeaux En Primeur system in 2012, Ch. Latour have pursued a policy of periodically releasing back-vintages held at the property as well as the new wines coming to market for the first time. This tranche is the third such issue of 2005 and the first since 2017.
The wines of Ch. Latour will need very little introduction to anyone even vaguely acquainted with the region of Bordeaux. The estate covers some 78 hectares at the southern edge of Pauillac, bordering the St. Julien vineyards of Léoville Las Cases. Latour is unique in its ability to combine power, concentration, purity and a classic ‘Bordeaux austerity’ all in perfect harmony to produce a wine, when at its best, exudes a stature hard to find elsewhere.
With the benefit of 15 years hindsight, the supremacy of the 2005 vintage is now truly assured and its success cannot be overstated. Described by Vinous as “A magical vintage for Bordeaux” the warm, dry, near perfect growing season produced a ripe crop and rich, powerful wines. Jancis Robinson MW described the year as “Textbook perfection during the growing season in all respects” while Decanter Magazine summarises “This vintage met all the conditions for a great year and has gone down as a triumph for many.”.
A word on price:
We expect a premium for these Ex-Chateau releases – these cases have been stored for 16 years at the Chateau in perfect conditions after all. This 2005 Latour Ex-Chateau release is offered just as it hits its stride and is unquestionably one of the greatest wines, from one of the greatest vintages. A premium of 13-15% above current market stock is where this is pitched – it is the final release of the 2005 vintage, with only 900 x 9 litre equivalent cases available worldwide.
By any measure, 2005 Latour is an extraordinary wine which will rank alongside the very best ever produced at this estate and its peers. Just entering a five decade drinking window this is truly a wine for the ages, guaranteed to become a favourite of the most discerning claret collectors and drinkers for a generation.
2005 Ch. Latour, Pauillac, Bordeaux
£2,220 per 3 bottle case in bond
“I have been fortunate to have tasted this wine on a few occasions from release to date. The most recent was about 2 years ago and although only just coming into its drinking window, it is a force to be reckoned with and certainly one of, if not, the greatest wine from 2005. Five minutes taking the first sip of this wine you could still taste it in its entirety. Even by Latour’s lofty standards this is remarkable. Although from the off this was a huge, dense and closely knit. This wine has started to open its doors and is a wine packed full of cassis, cream and minerals of awesome intensity. As you might expect, the tannins here are phenomenally rich but have, in recent years started to mellow, giving a wonderful silky finish. There is no doubt in my mind this wine still has glorious future ahead of it, with no sharp edges and a wonderful grace and balance. This will be one of the all-time great Latours. Drink now or over the next couple of decades if you have the patience.”
Ben Upjohn, Senior Account Manager
“The 2005 Latour was mind-blowingly profound in two recent tastings for this report. Deep and sensual to the core, the 2005 is utterly captivating. All the elements are so seamlessly put together. Graphite, crème de cassis, licorice, dark spice and lavender infuse the 2005 with so much energy. More than anything else, though, the 2005 is a Latour of texture and resonance. Even after several hours, the 2005 is fresh and full of energy. Wines like this are just life affirming. That’s about all I can really say. Tasted two times. 2022 – 2055”
100/100. Antonio Galloni, Vinous, Apr. ‘21
“2005 was a very dry, warm and sunny vintage, causing vine stress in some areas of Bordeaux. Harvested from September 26 to October 6, the tannin/IPT levels were very high this year. The 2005 Latour is blended of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the rest Merlot and Petit Verdot. It is the biggest surprise of this tasting—until now, the wine was relatively closed and broody, but today the wine is just starting to reveal its personality—and what a stunner! Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it opens with provocative floral scents of roses and violets over a core of fresh blackcurrants, chocolate-covered cherries and black raspberries with hints of fertile loam, unsmoked cigars and black tea. Medium to full-bodied, firm, grainy and packed with muscular fruit, it has an epically long, savory finish sparked by floral notes. 12,000 cases were made.”
98+/100. Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Advocate, Feb. ‘19
“The 2005 Latour has long been a formidable wine. I was granted the opportunity to re-taste the 2005 at the property after their estate released library reserves in February 2017. Now at twelve years of age, it has retained that riveting bouquet of black cherries and black plum, crème de cassis and graphite, although I find less of the latter compared to previous bottles (including the one tasted blind just three weeks earlier). The palate is very well balanced with blackberry, black plum, sea salt, a hint of balsamic, quite spicy in the mouth with a hint of cloves. There is immense weight and presence in the mouth, although I wonder whether the tannins are as fine as say the 2010 or even the nascent 2016 Latour tasted alongside? Either way, it remains a fabulous First Growth destined to last many, many years. Tasted March 2017. 2020 – 2065”
98/100. Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate, May ‘17
“87% Cabernet Sauvignon, remainder Merlot and Petit Verdot. Harvest took place between 26 September and 6 October.
Along with Margaux, another standout 2005. Still closed on the nose, this is a precise, concentrated Latour which has the structure to age effortlessly for a further two (or more) decades. Intense lead-pencil character on the nose with a plush, rich, intense palate of vibrant, dark, concentrated fruit. Extremely glossy tannins and beautifully integrated oak, finishing with a fine, lingering graphite note. A thoroughbred, drinking beautifully already but will age extremely well. 2025 – 2045”
19/20. Andy Howard MW, jancisrobinson.com, Aug. ‘21
“A massive, powerful wine that tastes like the essence of the great estate, the 2005 Château Latour is based on 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Merlot and Petit Verdot brought up in new barrels. It reveals a saturated purple/plum color as well as a gorgeous bouquet of blackcurrants, graphite, gravelly earth, tobacco, lead pencil, and chocolate. Dense, full-bodied, and massively concentrated, it has the more austere, masculine style of the estate front and center, yet has gorgeously sweet tannin, a stacked mid-palate, and a great, great finish. This profound, regal 2005 can be drunk any time over the coming 40-50 years, and I suspect even longer.”
98/100. Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com, Apr. ‘20
“Very open and beautiful now with currants, light chocolate and spices. Incense as well. Full-bodied, tight and reserved with a fantastic center palate of fruit and firm tannins. Closed and hiding behind the structure and depth. Needs time to open still but already a joy to taste (drink!).”
99/100. James Suckling, jamessuckling.com, Oct. ‘19