A Superb
location

Château Latour is located in the heart of the Médoc wine region, about 50 km north-west of Bordeaux, where the legend of the vineyards of Bordeaux began. The château's prime terroir, l’Enclos, overlooks the Gironde estuary: it is the river and the ocean that, over the centuries, have given the vineyard its geological complexity and, on a daily basis, ensure a mild climate.
Château Latour’s superb location, just 300 metres from the estuary, gives it its special character and tempers any extreme weather conditions, especially spells of severe cold or frost, as for example in 1991. There are two factors that have a benign influence:
• The proximity of the Atlantic, bringing the generosity of an ocean climate;
• The immediate proximity of a large mass of water in the form of the estuary, protecting against possible cold spells early in the growth cycle and also enabling earlier ripening of the grapes, which can be an important factor as the harvests approach.

The cycle

The Médoc climate is often capricious, and this is what gives each vintage its unique personality, but the growth cycle can usually characterised as follows:

Winter

A mild, wet winter with some cold spells,

Spring

The spring usually has two phases, the first cold and damp, the second warmer but often rainy.

Summer

A hot summer, frequently rainy until mid-July and then drier. Day and night time temperatures are generally more contrasted in August, thereby accelerating the ripening of the grapes while preserving their aromatic freshness.

Automne

The beginning of the autumn is usually sunny with cooler temperatures.

A Unique
Terroir

Most of Château Latour's vines are planted on gravelly hilltops that stand 12 to 16 metres above the Gironde estuary. The fortunate combination of the Gironde, with layers of gravel on the surface and a clay subsoil, gives Château Latour's terroir advantages that few other vineyards can claim. This exceptional heritage inspires us every day with a passion and a willingness to make the best possible use of this magical complexity.

The historic terroir of the Enclos can be divided into two main types of soil:

• Clayey gravel, in the heart of the Enclos
• Gravelly sand, around the edge of the Enclos

The geological characteristics of the soil result in the vines, especially the older ones, developing particularly deep root systems (up to three metres). The presence of lower layers of marly clay that capture water in the subsoil provide the vines with a minimum of water, enabling them to remain « active » even in years of drought and severe water stress, such as 2003 or in 2010, and for longer, optimal ripening to be achieved.

Furthermore, a drainage system for the entire Enclos was created in the 19th century, enabling any water that could compromise the quality of the grapes as the harvest approaches to be quickly removed.

A garden

with more than
80,000 vines...

... and in which each vines has its own story.

Château Latour’s vineyard is a magnificent mosaic of vines, some of which are a hundred-years-old: each one contributes its share of magic to the wines every year. It is also a constantly evolving organism that requires patience, attention to detail and a great deal of care, to enable the young vines that will succeed their elders to grow.

vineyard currently consists of 92 hectares of vines, including the 47 that surround the Château, known as the « Enclos », that are potentially used in the production of the Grand Vin. The Enclos consists of a hilltop that rises 16 metres above the level of the Gironde, encircled to the north and south by two streams and to the east by the « Palus » (marshland) on the edge of the Gironde. The forty hectares outside of the Enclos consist of several very handsome plots (« Petit Batailley » and « Pinada » among others) that have been acquired over the Château's long history. These grapes are used in the Forts de Latour blend and the youngest vines for the Pauillac.

Grape varieties

The property is planted with about 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is the best grape variety for this terroir; it is perfectly at home in the very poor, gravelly soil, which requires deep roots to find vital nutrients and water in the clay subsoil. These selective supply conditions give the wine concentration, colour and tannic structure.

Merlot

Merlot plays a regulating role, tempering the strength of the largely dominant Cabernet Sauvignon. It is planted mainly on the lower parts of the gentle hills in the Enclos, where the cooler terroir is well-suited to this early ripening variety. The layers of gravel are also slightly shallower, enabling the Merlot to draw its characteristic body, roundness and power from the clay-limestone layers.

The other two varieties

Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, are used in much smaller proportions in the final blend. Over time, the second has tended to disappear from the blends, with preference being given to the first. Petit Verdot is characterized by its more exotic aromatic profile, its tannic structure and freshness. It provides a subtle but essential nuance to Château Latour’s wines.



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