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Spectator Wine

Wine Club 24 September

24 September 2016

9:00 AM

24 September 2016

9:00 AM

We’ve something a bit different this week: six wines not only from the same region (Burgundy) but also the same producer (Maison Louis Latour).

The Wine Company’s Mark Cronshaw presented such a fine selection of Latour’s wines that they were impossible to resist, especially after we’d cornered him to demand some pretty punchy discounts.

Maison Louis Latour is one of the great names of Burgundy, family-owned since 1797 and currently in the hands of 11th—generation Louis-Fabrice Latour. The company boasts a vast range of wines and it wasn’t easy whittling them down to the following three Chardonnays and three Pinot Noirs. I’m confident, though, that we have a fine selection. The mixed case price is higher than we usually offer in these pages — but quality burgundies are never cheap, and do please bear in mind the substantial discounts we squeezed out of Mark Cronshaw, up to four quid a bottle in some cases.

Burgundy is on a roll and has responded to the challenge of the New World by making better wines than ever, thanks to replanting with better clones, lower yields, more conscientious wine-making and so on, and I reckon the proof is here to see.

First the 2014 Louis Latour Bourgogne Blanc ‘Cuvée Latour’ (1), made from the hand-harvested fruit of 30-year-old vines located in Meursault, Puligny and Chassagne along with a few in the Côte Chalonnaise. The wine sees no oak at all, being fermented and matured in stainless steel, and is fresh, lively and crisp with plenty of crunchy apple flavours and just a hint of honey on the finish. £13.00 down from £16.49.

The 2013 Louis Latour Pouilly Vinzelles ‘En Paradis’ (2) is a slight step up in quality and certainly in complexity. Produced from 30-year-old vines in and around the village of Vinzelles in the Mâconnais (Vinzelles, I discovered, derives from the Latin vincella, meaning small vines), the wine is machine-harvested and stainless-steel-fermented. Although, like the wine above, it sees no oak, it does undergo a full malo-lactic fermentation, leaving it creamy, nutty and aromatic. It remains marvellously fresh, though, with a touch of minerality on the finish. £15.50 down from £19.49.

The 2015 Louis Latour Montagny 1er Cru ‘Grande Roche’ (3) is my pick of the whites for sure. The fruit comes from high up on a sunny hillside of limestone bedrock and is deliciously ripe. Indeed, I could have sworn it had seen a touch of oak, so rounded, supple and expressive is it, with even a whisper of butter. I’m assured, though, that it was stainless steel all the way in order to ensure its freshness, exuberance and notes of peaches, apples and pears. £16.00 down from £19.99.

And so to the reds, with the 2014 Louis Latour Bourgogne Rouge ‘Cuvée Latour’ (4), a classic Burgundian Pinot made from fruit drawn from vineyards across the Côte de Beaune including pockets in such villages as Santenay and Auxey-Duresses. It’s nicely perfumed, light, breezy and easy on the palate with plenty of bold fruit and a savoury finish. £14.00 down from £17.49.

Givry is one of the five appellations of the Côte Chalonnaise and the 2014 Louis Latour Givry (5) is a smashing example with a enticing brambly nose and buckets of juicy ripe and sour cherries on the palate. I found it the most approachable of the reds, being light in tannin with a well-balanced acidity and a sensuous elegance. It’s scrumptious stuff. £18.00 down from £21.99.

Finally, and making a nice contrast to the Givry, the 2014 Louis Latour Marsannay (6) from the Côte de Nuits. Same producer, same grape, same climate and same soil (more or less) and yet completely different. This is much more brooding than the Givry, with spicy ripe blackberry and blackcurrant fruit and a long concentrated finish. Very grown up indeed. £17.50 down from £21.99.

The sample case has two bottles of each wine and delivery, as ever, is free.


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