Without a doubt the 2006 Latour stands alongside Mouton and La Mission Haut-Brion as one of the wines of the vintage.
The 2006 Latour’s inky/ruby/purple color precedes pure aromas of red and black fruits, high tannin, medium body, impressive sweetness and purity as well as a long finish. Thirty-eight percent of the production (about 10,000 cases) made it into the final blend (86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, and 1% Cabernet Franc). A modern version of the 1986 and 1996, the slightly austere 2006 will need a decade of aging. It should keep for 40-50 years. 93-96/100 RP Jr.
Ch Latour – which now only produces around 10,000 cases of Grand Vin – has made yet another impressive wine. It is still very elemental and firm with deep brooding roasted coffee/mocha/blackcurrant aromas, lovely concentration, plenty of sweet fruit and fine slinky firm tannins. Finishes grippy and long. It is more refined than 2005 but has plenty of substance and power. 94-95/100 AC
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.