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This should have been close to infanticide but the heatwave vintage 2003s are strangely approachable. After a good double decant the wine showed itself to have the classic linear Latour style, densely packed with blackberry, gravel and a touch of grilled meat. The tannins were in abundance yet ripe and seductive and the finish lasted well over a minute, revealing layers of spice and smoke.
Administrator Frederic Engerer says the 2003 is “the sexiest Latour ever made.” He also described it as “the 1990 without any brettanomyces.” I loved this wine from the barrel and was fortunate enough to be able to purchase a small quantity, enjoying every bottle I have had. A profound example of Chateau Latour, the full-bodied, opulent 2003 is already performing well at age eleven, which is somewhat atypical. The pH is a relatively high 3.8, which also indicates low acidity. The wine is very ripe, but not over-ripe, offers great freshness, and lots of creme de cassis and camphor as well as hints of blackberries and chocolate. Dense, thick and unctuously textured, this staggering Latour is undeniably the most sumptuous, opulent wine made here since the 1982 or 1961. Drink it over the next two decades.Drink: 2014 - 2034.
Robert Parker (Wine Advocate #214, Aug 2014)
100pts LPB - Feb 2019
2003 was one of the hottest, earliest Bordeaux vintages ever. Some vines suffered from lack of moisture, but old vines and clay subsoil at Enclos saw this vineyard through. The Merlot harvest occurred between September 8 and 13, and the Cabernet Sauvignon was picked between September 22 and 30. The 2003 Latour is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. Six percent of the press wine was added to the final blend. It has a medium to deep garnet-purple color, then wow—it explodes from the glass with bombastic black and blue fruits, followed up by meat, wood smoke, sandalwood and Indian spice accents with underlying floral wafts. The palate is full, rich, velvety, seductive and very long on the finish. There were only 10,800 cases made (rather than the normal 15,000-20,000).
Tasted at Bordeaux Index's "10-Year On" tasting in London. The Chateau Latour 2003 has to be one of the best wines of the vintage. There is a sense of grandeur on the nose, one of those rare Latour vintages that is so sensual and extraordinarily pure. There are subtle graphite notes, cedar and brambly black fruit that are supremely well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins, perfectly judged acidity and a beautifully composed, focused finish. It has lost its voluptuousness in recent years and is being "honed down" by the passing years into a wine that whilst not matching the 1959, is certainly inspired by it. Tasted March 2013.
– eRobertParker.com, May 2013
Intense aromas of blackberry, licorice, currant and mineral. Full-bodied, with very well-integrated tannins and a long, long finish. Very refined and beautiful. Goes on for minutes. This reminds me of the fabulous 1996. But even better. James Suckling
Red-ruby. Explosive aromas of plum liqueur, currant, minerals and lead pencil. Huge, lush, sweet and utterly seamless; this has the palate-caressing texture of liquid velvet. About as deep as this extreme vintage gets. Finishes with noble, compellingly sweet tannins and great length. This is amazing wine, and only its exotic character prevented me from giving it an even higher score. Interestingly, the IPT here is 65, compared to 67 for the 2005. But this voluminous and powerful wine will be more fun to drink than the 2005 for many years simply due to its sensual appeal, even if the 2005 should ultimately surpass it in verve, minerality and overall aromatic complexity. (Incidentally, Latour's third wine, simply called Pauillac, is extremely good in both 2005 and 2003-the former vintage showing terrific energy and loads of early personality, and the latter fat, round and exotic, with what Engerer described as a "Napa nose.")
A very flamboyant and exciting Latour. Sliced black truffles, sweet leather, spices, and dark fruits on the nose. Full and powerful, with roasted fruit and leather undertones. Big and velvety, with polished, almost dusty tannins, and a super long finish. This leans more towards sexy than intellectual. Very concentrated.
Quality 981 | Brand 998 | Economics 924 |
Quality: Predicted life of 22 years, one of the longest drinking windows in its peer group for the 2003 vintage, which averages 8 years Brand: Strong restaurant presence, featuring on 52 of the world's top wine lists, including Napa Wine Bar & Kitchen Economics: #2 most active wine at auction, its top 5 vintages having seen 4,896 75cl equivalent bottles traded in the past year Production: Lower production than its peer group average of 151,058 bottles
- www.wine-lister.com June 2017
Aromatically as you might expect, the wine displays a very ripe, roasted ostentatious nose packed with flowers, cappuccino, dark red fruits, smoke, wet forest floor and spice box notes. There is a sweetness to the fruits emanating from the incredibly hot conditions of the vintage. On the palate, the wine is pure intensity, power and richness. Grabbing you, demanding to get noticed, as if you could avoid the massive wall of fruit that's in your face. Atypical, which makes for a unique expression of Latour, it is fabulous to taste and experience. But its best days are clearly in its future. Tasted Aug 2020
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