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1961 Latour, Pauillac (low-mid-shoulder, soiled label, corroded capsule)

SKU #950126 100 points John Gilman

 I have been fortunate to drink the 1961 Latour on a handful of occasions over the years, and this has always been my favorite wine from the Left Bank in this glorious vintage. I have always found it a bit more elegant, but equally bottomless and powerful as the 1959, but the two wines are very close in quality. I have always dreamed of drinking the two side by side, just to see which I really preferred, but it has yet to happen and the years continue to roll by. The 1961 Latour is a brilliant wine that is at its absolute zenith of maturity today, soaring from the glass in a complex constellation of cassis, sweet dark berries, cigar ash, dark, gravelly soil tones, a hint of black truffle and a classic topnote of walnut. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and almost sappy at the core, with great soil signature, suave, moderate tannins and stunning focus and grip on the very, very long, very complex and vibrant finish. The balance here is simply impeccable, and though this wine is at its apogee, I can envision it cruising along out of the reach of time flown by for another century! Perfection. (Drink between 2013-2100)  (9/2017)

100 points James Suckling

 As stunning and immortal as ever. Complex aromas of mint, plum, currants and dried dark fruits that turn to raisins and chocolate. Full and juicy with a finish that lasts for minutes. Perfect wine as always.  (3/2012)

100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Port-like, with an unctuous texture, and a dark garnet color with considerable amber at the edge, the 1961 Latour possesses a viscosity and thickness. One of the three bottles served at the Chateau's tasting revealed a surprisingly aggressive, minty, herbaceous nose, but the other two bottles were liquid perfection, exhibiting fragrant, cedary, truffle, leather, mineral, and sweet, jammy aromatics, full-bodied, voluptuous textures, exquisite purity and concentration, and a layered, highly-nuanced finish that represents the essence of compellingly great wine. The 1961 has been fully mature for over 15 years, but it seems to get richer, holding onto its succulence and fat, and developing more aromatic nuances without losing any sweetness or concentration. An extraordinary wine, it is unquestionably one of the Bordeaux legends of the century! Anticipated maturity: now-2025. (RP)  (1/2000)

100 points Vinous

 The 1961 Latour poured at the vertical in Hong Kong is unquestionably one of the finest bottles that I have tasted. It has a breathtaking bouquet: fresh as morning dew and brilliantly delineated, intense black fruit whereby every atom is suffused with mineralité. It feels so youthful and vital. The nose is the apotheosis of Bordeaux being so aromatically regal and aristocratic. The palate is medium-bodied, with tannins sculpted by the finest chisel in the set: tightly wound black fruit, a perfect line of acidity and a breathtaking delineation, utterly harmonious and blessed with a persistent graphite-tinged finish that lasts over a minute. Majestic. Tasted at the Latour dinner in Hong Kong. (NM)  (7/2018)

100 points Wine Spectator

 A blockbuster. Amazingly youthful, yet complex and complete on the palate. Aromas of mint, berries,currant and minerals follow through to a thick and caressing, full-bodied palate. Superlong and superripe. Got to love this. Will it age forever? (JS)  (8/2000)

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Full red, with a hint of amber; I've had bottles of this that are still ruby. Ineffable aromas of game, smoky oak, herbs and vanilla, with a distinctly wild quality. Extremely powerful and structured, with bracing acidity giving it great grip and buns of steel. Still very tight and young, but less thick than the last bottle I tasted of this wine, which I scored 100 points. Finishes very long and firm. This is one of the Bordeaux monuments of the century, along with wines like the '61 and '47 Latour a Pomerol and the '47 and '21 Cheval Blanc. Drink now to 2030. 95+ (ST)  (8/2002)

Jancis Robinson

 Amazing deep crimson – quite staggering depth of colour. This particular bottle seemed even more youthful than either of those I have been lucky enough to taste so far this year. So thick and dense and concentrated, but unctuous too. Bone dry on the finish and more potential than actuality for the moment. I can hardly believe the drinking dates I am suggesting for this wine! 2016-2040. 19/20 points  (10/2011)

K&L Notes

99 points Neal Martin: "The 1961 Latour is a legendary wine, one that flirts with perfection and this was consistent with the bottle poured at the Latour vertical three weeks earlier. After so many years it remains deep in color with light bricking on the rim. The bouquet is utterly ethereal, so pure and refined with vestiges of black fruit, pencil lead and mint, though the latter is not as pronounced as on the 1945. The palate is intense although not as aloof as I found the 1961 a few years ago. Perhaps it is mellowing with age, yet the symmetry of this Pauillac is astonishing, the edginess and aristocratic personality almost overwhelming. It is a deeply impressive wine, not caring a jot about doling out sensory pleasure. However that is quintessential Latour. Tasted at the International Business & Wine First Growth Dinner at the Four Seasons." (Vinous, 06/2018)


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Price: $2,999.99

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

Specific Appellation:

Pauillac

- Pauillac is probably the most famous village in Bordeaux. Located between St. Julien and St. Estephe, it has more of the top ranked chateau than the other four appellations of the Haut Medoc. This area has three of the five premier cru classe wineries: Lafite Rothschild, Latour, and Mouton Rothschild. There are two of the top second-growths (Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron) as well as several outstanding fourth and fifth-growth chateaux including Lynch Bages. Because of the gravely soils and great drainage, Pauillac has the ideal conditions to grow great Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines from this village are some of the longest-lived in Bordeaux.