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1996 Latour, Pauillac

SKU #110458 99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark A spectacular Latour, the 1996 may be the modern day clone of the 1966, only riper. This vintage, which is so variable in Pomerol, St.-Emilion, and Graves, was fabulous for the late-harvested Cabernet Sauvignon of the northern Medoc because of splendid weather in late September and early October. An opaque purple color is followed by phenomenally sweet, pure aromas of cassis infused with subtle minerals. This massive offering possesses unreal levels of extract, full body, intensely ripe, but abundant tannin, and a finish that lasts for nearly a minute. (RP) Inner quote mark (6/2000)

96 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark Fabulous aromas of crushed raspberries, plums and blackberries. Mind-blowing nose. Full-bodied, with soft and silky tannins and a long caressing finish. Hard not to drink now, but leave it alone. (JS, Web Only-2007) Inner quote mark

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Outer quote mark Saturated ruby-red. Dark berries, violet, licorice and a note of torrefaction. Explosive, pure flavors are almost too big for the mouth. Finishes with big, sweet tannins and expanding, exhilarating flavors of pruneaux and crystallized dark berries. Perfectly integrated oak. A great Latour. (ST) 95+ Inner quote mark (5/1999)

94 points John Gilman

Outer quote mark The last bottle of the 1996 Latour that I tasted was part of a mini-vertical that was one of the most ingenuous and generous flights of wine I have tasted in a long time, as my friend paired the 1996 Latour up with the 1896 Latour at a double blind tasting in February of this year! Needless to say, the one hundred years’ worth of bottle age between the two vintages was sufficient to convince none of us that it was the same property, but both wines acquitted themselves beautifully. I was surprised at how well the 1996 Latour was starting to show, given that it is a classically-styled Latour from a very tannic and powerful vintage in the Medoc, but the wine is already starting to drink with some generosity. The bouquet is superb, offering up scents of black cherries, cassis, cigar ash a touch of tariness, gravelly soil tones, smoke and a whisper of balsam bough in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with firm, still plenty chewy tannins, fine focus and balance and a very long, nascently complex and quite promising finish. This is nowhere near as unapproachable as I would have supposed the combination of Latour and 1996 would be, but I would be inclined to give it another decade in the cellar and really let the fireworks get rolling properly. 94+ Inner quote mark (9/2017)

94 points Vinous

Outer quote mark As usual, the 1996 is decidedly austere at first, standoffish, looks down its nose at you. Yet it coalesces with time and develops engaging cedar-scented black fruit tinged with pencil box and a touch of iris with time. The palate (again) is a little muted at first but it soon found its voice and evolved very fine tannin allied with a crisp line of acidity. It is not quite as demonstrative as it was even just a couple of years ago, gained some detail and perhaps it will continue to meliorate. (NM) Inner quote mark (7/2018)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark Beautifully ornate nose with equal parts stalk, leaf, herb and black fruit. Freshly balanced palate with delicacy and refreshment, and surprising elegance for Pauillac from a big vintage. Wonderful complexity on the finish, earthy and open and meaty on the length. 18/20 points. (RH) Inner quote mark (5/2018)

K&L Notes

99 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown in Wine Advocate: "A hot, dry August produced very concentrated grapes in 1996. However, it turned a bit rainy in mid-September through early October, making the vintage less consistent on the Right Bank and in Graves. But as the weather turned glorious from early October on, it was an amazing year for later-harvested Cabernet in the Médoc. There was new ownership at Latour by this time, and a new vat room was completed just prior to the harvest this year. The 1996 Latour is medium to deep garnet in color with a profound earthy, meaty, gamey nose with hints of blueberry preserves, crème de cassis and pencil shavings. The palate is full-bodied, concentrated and packed with muscular fruit, with a firm, ripe, grainy backbone and epically long finish. Showing much more youthfully than the 2000 tasted on the same day and still possessing bags of youthful fruit in the mid-palate, this beauty is going to go on and on!" (02/2019)


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By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full
A classic Latour from a classic Cabernet vintage. So sweet and yet so powerful. For that special event, I recommend this one.
Drink from 2015 to 2030

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