Jonathan Ray

Wine Club 22 September

Wine Club 22 September
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Everyone loves the wines of Louis Latour and I’m delighted to offer such a tasty selection of them here, particularly — thanks to the good offices of Mr Wheeler — at such appetising prices.

Louis Latour was founded in 1797 and remains family-owned, with the 11th generation represented by 54-year-old general manager, Louis-Fabrice Latour, who, until his son Louis was born, was known simply as ‘Young Louis’.

Maison Louis Latour not only makes wine from its own 50-hectare domaine in the Côte d’Or but also from grapes and wines bought in from other long-standing growers. Quality is everything. I’ve always loved and trusted the company’s wines and whenever I spy a Louis Latour bottle on a wine list I know I’m in safe hands.

Of course, the 2016 Louis Latour Ardèche Chardonnay (1) isn’t from Burgundy at all but — you’re doubtless one step ahead of me here — the Ardèche in southern France. It’s really Rhône country here and Louis Latour has been involved in the region since the 1980s searching for the right spot to source Chardonnay of good-enough quality to bear its name but of a modest enough, non-Burgundian price tag too. I’d say they’ve succeeded for it’s spot on, crisp, clean, refreshing and really rather peachy. £10 down from £11.75.

The 2016 Louis Latour Mâcon-Lugny ‘Les Genièvres’ (2) is also an old favourite and will be familiar to readers I’m sure. The village of Lugny is one of the sweet spots in the Mâconnais and its limestone soil is famed for producing great quality wines at very reasonable prices. The vineyard of Les Genièvres is the sweetest spot of all and this is real charmer, full of soft white fruit, a whisper of elderflower and crisp, ripe citrus finish. £12 down from £14.

The 2017 Louis Latour Montagny 1er Cru, ‘La Grande Roche’ (3) comes from the Grande Roche vineyard high in the hills surrounding the village of Montagny in the Côte Chalonnaise, some 30km south of Louis Latour’s HQ in Beaune. The vineyard is blessed with perfect exposure to the sun and an ideal bedrock of limestone and the 35-year-old Chardonnay vines do nothing but thrive here. The wine sees no oak and is as fresh and appealing as they come with nutty, honeyed, slightly spicy fruit and a long finish. £18.50 down from £22.50.

The 2015 Louis Latour Domaine de Valmoissine Pinot Noir (4) comes from the Var in the sun-drenched deep south of France very roughly halfway between Marseille and Cannes. The vineyards are fairly high here so the heat of the day is tempered by the cool of the night leading to a delightfully accessible, deliciously fresh, raspberry-rich, tannin-light Pinot. £10.75 down from £12.75.

The 2015 Louis Latour Bourgogne Pinot Noir (5) is entry-level red burgundy at its best. Easy-going and uncomplicated, made from fruit drawn from across the region, it’s fresh ’n’ fruity and eminently gluggable with a fine savoury finish and a typical whiff of Burgundian game. I can’t imagine you’d find a better example anywhere else. £14 down from £16.50.

Finally, the 2015 Louis Latour Marsannay (6) from 30-year-old vines in the Côte de Nuits. 2015 was a stellar vintage in Burgundy and this really doesn’t disappoint. Silky smooth in the mouth, the wine is packed with rich, ripe dark fruit backed by a fine meaty finish. It’s a classy wine for sure and although ready, don’t feel you have to rush to drink it. £22.50 down from £26.

The wines are offered in unmixed boxes of six with free delivery on 12 bottles or more or by the mixed case which includes two bottles of each wine.

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Written byJonathan Ray

Jonathan Ray is the Spectator's wine editor.

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