The 1999 Latour is a vintage that I have not encountered for four or five years. It has a pH of 3.80 and a yield of 38hl/ha, representing 58% of the total crop. Interestingly, this includes 14% vin de presse compared to the 9 to 10% used nowadays. It has a classic Latour bouquet of blackberry, pencil box and undergrowth aromas, quite strict and conservative in style, and fairly intense but not firing on all cylinders; orange zest aromas evolve gradually. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and nicely detailed, offering blackberry, black truffle, pencil shavings and a touch of spice toward the finish, which shows more grip and density than the 1989 Latour tasted alongside, probably because of that pressed wine. This is beginning to reach its drinking plateau, although judging by this showing it will give another two decades of drinking pleasure. Tasted from an ex-château bottle at the estate.
Anticipated maturity: 2019-2039
Robert Parker 94
The 1999 Latour doesn’t quite dominate the competition the way the 1994 does, but it, too, is a lovely wine, exhibiting notes of blackcurrants, cigar wrapper, rich soil tones and creamy new oak. Medium to full-bodied, deep and impressively concentrated, with velvety tannins, ripe acids and a long, expansive finish, it is showing beautifully today.
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2039
Medicinal and sinewy on the nose. Exciting and vibrant. Deep-flavoured. Long but the tannins are still very evident (though in this case there seems to be enough fruit to stand up to them). Ambitious – needs quite a bit of time yet.
Anticipated maturity: 2012-2028