Louis Latour   
visiting Burgundy, part 4

Website: www.louislatour.com

Louis Latour is one of the most visible of the traditional large Domaines in Burgundy. Each year they make around 150 different wines, with a production of 8.5 million bottles, of which some 1 million are Pinot Noir. There are two sides to the business, joined together. (Notably, all the wines are bottled in the same distinctive, heavy but elegant bottle, from the most basic to the most expensive.)

Domaine Louis Latour is responsible for wines from Louis Latour’s own vineyard holdings in Burgundy, which are extensive, including 17 hectares of Grand Cru Corton and almost 10 hectares of Grand Cru Corton Charlemagne. Then there’s the bigger negociant business, Maison Louis Latour, which includes in its portfolio wines from the Ardeche (they control 380 hectares there) and the Var (Provence). In addition, Louis Latour own Simmonet-Febvre in Chablis and Henry Fessy in Beaujolais.  

There’s been some ongoing controversy about Louis Latour’s red wines. These are all flash pasteurised by heating them to 70 °C for three seconds before bottling. Does this impact on quality? The problem is, they have never presented journalists with a comparison tasting of the same wine with and without the heating process. Is any gain in stability offset by a loss of quality? I think they should either end the practice, or demonstrate by means of a blind tasting that no quality is lost. The current policy leaves Louis Latour open to criticism of this sort.

We tried a selection of wines from the range at their headquarters in Beaune, with Bruno Pépin (sales director) and Jean-Charles Thomas (cellar master, pictured below). I found the best wines, both white and red, to be quite exciting, with really elegant personalities. Some of the lesser wines were attractive, but less enthralling.


Louis Latour Grand Ardèche Chardonnay 2007
Rounded, quite tight and fruity with nice acidity supporting the accessible fruit. Tasty. 85/100

Louis Latour Bourgogne Blanc Cuvée Latour 2007
Nice lemon freshness to the nose. Sophisticated, fresh fruity palate with nice acidity. A very nice fruity style that’s part Mâconnais and part Côte d’Or in origin. 87/100

Louis Latour Mâcon-Lugny Les Genevières 2007
Refined, fresh lemony nose is precise and focused. The palate shows lovely freshness and a bit of creamy richness. 88/100

Louis Latour Pouilly Vinzelles ‘En Paradis’ 2007
Intense citrus nose with some grapefruit pith notes. Intense fruity palate with good depth and freshness. 88/100

Louis Latour Chassagne Montrachet 2007
Rounded, slightly nutty nose. The palate is fresh and fruity with good acidity and some mineral notes. 87/100

Louis Latour Beaune 1er Cru ‘Aux Cras’ 2007
A monopole of 0.5 hectares. Ripe, sophisticated and forward with nice complexity. Light and gently toasty. A taut, fresh, expressive wine. 90/100

Louis Latour Meursault 1er Cru Château de Blagny 2007
Nice complexity: a bit mineral with some herby notes. Focused and fruity, this is subtle with real interest. 90/100

Louis Latour Meursault 1er Cru Les Charmes 2007
Broad, nutty, minerally nose with nice fruit and hints of nuts and vanilla. The palate is a bit pithy and citrussy with nice density. Savoury and tight. Structured, with some oak evident. 91/100

Louis Latour Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot 2007
Very appealing open lemony nose with some subtle nuttiness. Lovely savoury, nutty characters on the palate. Nicely savoury with good precision. 92/100

Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2007
100% new oak. Complex, broad, toasty, nutty nose with real intensity. The palate is bold and concentrated with spicy vibrancy and some minerality. Mouthfilling and lively with some savoury structure. Really bold and rich. 94/100

Louis Latour Bâtard Montrachet Grand Cru 2007
Toasty, creamy and intense on the nose, with some mineral notes. The palate is lively, fresh and minerally with good acid and precision. Bold and focused with complex herby notes: a lovely wine. 93/100

Louis Latour Bienvenues Bâtard Montrachet Grand Cru 2002
Deep yellow gold colour. Complex, rich and intense with lovely depth of ripe fruit. Bold, nutty, toasty and intense. 93/100

Louis Latour Pinot Noir Domaine de Valmoissine 2007 Vin de Pays des Coteaux du Verdon
From Provence, where Louis Latour have 85 hectares of vineyards planted on red clay with chalk at an altitude of 530–570 m. Sweet, berryish nose verging towards jammy. The palate is fresh, pure, fruity and berryish with some cherry notes. Delicious in a ripe style. 88/100

Louis Latour Bourgogne Rouge Cuvée Louis Latour 2007
Apparently this is the most difficult wine to produce every year. Light, fresh and cherryish. A bit herby with some savoury character. 82/100

Louis Latour Marsannay 2007
Fresh sappy, cherryish nose leads to a supple cherry fruit palate. Light, juicy and vibrant but quite grippy. 84/100

Louis Latour Beaune 1er Cru Les Perrières 2007
Sweet herbal cherry fruit nose. The palate has ripe fruit with a distinctive herbal, spicy character. A bit peppery. Nicely savoury style. 90/100

Louis Latour Aloxe Corton 1er Cru Les Chaillots 2007
Bright focused cherryish fruit on the nose. The palate is ripe and juicy with sweet cherry fruit and some spicy grip. This is a lighter style with some appeal, and a bit of structure. 88/100

Louis Latour Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot 2007
Light cherry and plum nose is quite pure. The palate is light, elegant and cherryish with good purity and some grippy tannins under the fruit. 89/100

Louis Latour Volnay 1er Cru En Chevret 2007
Beautifully aromatic nose of sweet, perfumed, pure cherry fruit. The palate is silky and elegant with ripe cherry fruit. Really expressive, and finishing nicely spicy. 93/100

Louis Latour Pommard 1er Cru Les Epenots 2007
Ripe, smooth and sweetly fruited. Nicely dense with lovely cherry and berry fruit as well as some spicy, structure. Delicious, dense and ripe yet quite elegant. 92/100

Louis Latour Nuits St George 1er Cru Les Damodes 2007
From purchased grapes, the Vosne side of Nuits. Pale cherry colour. Refined cherry and berry fruit with some nice structure on the palate. Hints of earth and cherries, finishing spicy. Bright and midweight and with some elegance. 90/100

Louis Latour Corton Clos de la Vigne Au Saint Grand Cru 2007
Very bright, perfumed and elegant with smooth, sweet red cherry fruit. The palate shows nice concentration of elegant cherry fruit with nice texture and firm but silky tannins. Gently sappy with a  lovely lightness of touch. Light extraction here; a lovely wine. 93/100

Louis Latour Echezeaux Grand Cru 2007
A hint of mint on the sweet and savoury cherry fruit nose. Nicely dense, herby, minty savoury palate with good structure and weight, as well as evident oak. Will be interesting to see how this evolves. 92/100

Louis Latour Romanée St Vivant Les Quatre Journaux Grand Cru 2007
Quite deep on the nose: herby, meaty, spicy berry fruit dominates. The palate shows silky cherry and berry fruit with nice spicy structure. Rich, sweetly fruited and nicely textured, combining elegance with power. 93/100

Louis Latour Corton Clos de la Vigne au Saint Grand Cru 2003
Beautifully dark and meaty with lovely rich berry fruits. Spicy and broad with lovely richness of fruit. Good tannins and some autumnal notes to the fruit. 92/100

Joseph Drouhin
J-P Fichet
Pierre Morey/Morey Blanc
Louis Latour
Domaine Dujac
Sylvain Cathiard
Clos du Tart

Wines tasted as indicated  
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