Administrator Frederic Engerer says the 2003 is “the sexiest Latour ever made.” He also described it as “the 1990 without any brettanomyces.” I loved this wine from the barrel and was fortunate enough to be able to purchase a small quantity, enjoying every bottle I have had. A profound example of Chateau Latour, the full-bodied, opulent 2003 is already performing well at age eleven, which is somewhat atypical. The pH is a relatively high 3.8, which also indicates low acidity. The wine is very ripe, but not over-ripe, offers great freshness, and lots of creme de cassis and camphor as well as hints of blackberries and chocolate. Dense, thick and unctuously textured, this staggering Latour is undeniably the most sumptuous, opulent wine made here since the 1982 or 1961. Drink it over the next two decades.
100 points, Wine Advocate, August 2014.
"There are only 10,800 cases (rather than the normal 15,000-20,000) of the 2003 Latour, a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot (13.3% finished alcohol). A prodigious effort, it boasts a saturated purple colour as well as a gorgeous perfume of smoke, cedar, creme de cassis, flowers, crushed rocks, and blackberries. Massive and multi-layered, with huge richness and low acidity, it is about as unctuous as a young Latour can be. It could be compared to the 1982, but it may be even more pure, at least at this early stage, than that monumental wine. The level of intensity builds prodigiously in the mouth, and the finish lasts nearly a minute. Disarmingly accessible (although analytically the tannin level is high), I suspect it will ultimately shut down, but it was performing impeccably when I tasted it. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2040+.
What can one say about proprietor Francois Pinault and his manager, Frederic Engerer? A strong argument can be made that in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004, Latour produced the wine of the vintage, although it has plenty of competition in the Northern Medoc in 2003. Moreover, the bargains are the estate’s least expensive cuvee, Pauillac, followed by Les Forts de Latour, Latour’s second wine which continues to increase in quality."
100 points, Robert Parker, April 2006.
"Unusual because of its extraordinary opulence, voluptuous texture, and almost over-the-top thickness and richness, the 2003 Latour is somewhat reminiscent of the 1982. This amazingly profound wine (only 10,500 cases made of a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot) has an inky/purple colour and a wonderfully sweet, almost exotic nose of black fruits intermixed with some scorched earth, fig, plum, and blackberry liqueur. It is a massive, multi-layered wine, with enormous quantities of glycerin and richness, low acidity, elevated alcohol (13%), and a huge, unctuous texture. It is unusual to find Latour so friendly and accessible with such huge levels of soft, sweet tannin, but the fact is that most of these tannins are concealed by massive layers of fruit and extract. This is truly a compelling Latour, if somewhat atypical. I remember how the 1982 tasted early on, and this wine is built somewhat along those lines, but potentially even richer. The finish just goes on and on, and although I didn’t clock it, the aftertaste lingers well past a minute. This wine will be surprisingly accessible young, but age effortlessly for three to four decades."
98-100 points, Robert Parker, April 2005.
"One of the three greatest young Bordeaux I have ever tasted Chateau Latour’s 2003 is one of the candidates for “wine of the vintage” (Latour’s 2002 is the wine of the vintage in my opinion). This great estate has produced a freakishly rich, concentrated Pauillac revealing no evidence of over-ripeness or too much weight. A blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot, only 53% of the production made it into the 2003 Latour, which tips the scales at 13% alcohol. Manager Frederic Engerer told me that 6% press wine was added to the final blend. The Merlot harvest occurred between September 8 - 13, and the Cabernet Sauvignon between September 22 - 30. This remarkable effort boasts a black/purple colour in addition to an extraordinary bouquet of creme de cassis, blackberries, and subtle sweet oak in the background. A massive, multilayered texture inundates the palate with a seamless wealth of glycerin, extract, and richness. Tasters must search especially hard to find the structure and tannin. In that sense, the 2003 is reminiscent of how the 1982 performed at the same age. Tasted next to the undeniably great 2000 Latour, the 2003 came across as almost twice as concentrated, with a fruit presence that had to be tasted to be believed. In fact, I do not believe I have ever tasted a Latour like this. I wonder how the 1961 would have tasted at a similar period? Extraordinarily pure, with a finish that lasted over 70 seconds, this is a tour de force as well as a modern day legend in the making. Sadly, Latour’s small production means that only 10,000 cases will be produced. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2040?"
98 - 100 points, Robert Parker, April 2004.
Pauillac is Bordeaux’s most acclaimed appellation, the only one with three Premier Cru properties: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Latour. These and other Pauillac chateaux produce robust, full-flavored and long-lived red wines made from Cabernet-based blends. Though winemaking techniques and microclimates vary throughout Pauillac, producing some variations in style, classic Pauillac wines have juicy flavours of blackcurrant and cedar, often with coffee, chocolate and graphite notes. Pauillac, part of the Médoc region on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, has gravelly and well-drained soils that force vines to grow long and strong roots. Struggling a bit for water, the vines produce grapes with high tannins and concentrated juices. Nearby rivers and the Atlantic Ocean modulate temperatures, preventing the grapes from ripening too quickly. Such grapes make powerful wines that may age and improve for decades. However, in Pauillac, as in other old-world wine regions, some winemakers are working to develop softer red wines that maintain the local wines’ traditional substance and flavours, but are more approachable immediately upon release.