Pauillac. Under the inspiring leadership of its new owner, Francois Pinault, Latour appears to be returning to the old style, classic, blockbuster, massive wines that were meant to last 40-50 years. As I indicated last year, the 1994 Latour is the top first growth, as well as a leading candidate for the wine of the vintage. It includes an atypically high percentage of Merlot in the blend. My enthusiasm from last year was renewed when tasting it in March, 1995. It is a superbly rich, concentrated, full-bodied Latour with remarkable intensity. The opaque purple color is followed by a flattering, open nose (Latour's black walnut/mineral-like character is well-displayed) with tons of fruit that bury any evidence of new oak. The wine exhibits fabulous intensity, excellent richness, a sweet inner-core of fruit, and a powerful, tannic but brilliantly well-defined, long finish. Although extremely unevolved and backward, it is not revealing any of the harsh astringency and tough tannin exhibited by some 1994 Medocs. This wine will shock many tasters who have not given the 1994 vintage much consideration. It is immensely superior to what Latour produced in 1989, 1986, 1985, and 1983. Look for it to be close to full maturity in a decade and last for at least 30-35 years. All of the wines in this segment were tasted between March 19 and March 28 in Bordeaux. Most of the important wines from both the 1994 and 1995 vintages were tasted three separate times during my ten-day stay in Bordeaux. Drink 1996 - 2031, Wine Advocate # 104; Apr 1996 Robert Parker (93-95) points.
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