The best showing yet for a wine from this under-rated vintage, the dark garnet-colored 1988 Latour reveals slight amber at the edge. A bouquet of melted tar, plums, black currants, cedar, and underbrush is followed by a sweet entry, with medium to full body, excellent ripeness, and mature tannin. It is a classic, elegant Latour with more meaty, vegetable-like flavors than are found in a riper year, such as 1989 and 1990. The 1988 has just begun to enter its plateau of maturity, where it should remain for 25 years. Anticipated maturity: now-2025
The 1988 Latour is a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. It has quite a deep colour considering that it is now 30 years old with little maturation on its rim. I appreciate the nose here: quite dense at first and yet well-defined, plenty of fruit extant that is now laced with sandalwood, sous-bois, sage and just a hint of liquorish. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin. This Latour is quite savory in style with touches of allspice, meat juices infusing the black fruit that dovetail into a tarry, graphite finish. It is less austere than I was expecting and the substance and freshness suggests that it will continue to drink well for a number of years. Tasted at the château. May 2018
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