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Wine of the Week • 17 September 2021

Chateau Latour 1996

The hallmark freshness of the vintage – in many cases, vivacity – is because, while ripe,  1996 was not as ripe as, say, 1990, 1982 or 1945. As such, 1996 is less fleshy as those harvests. At 25, Latour 1996 is still remarkably adolescent. In spite of having been decanted two hours, what was most evident was the frame, backbone and structure of the First Growth. The Pauillac was actually a bit closed. It was served at dinner on 31 August 2021. Many thanks Ravi for the treat. I daresay Latour 1996 went into some sort of partial hibernation. Great wines – like complex people – do that. Sandalwood/peppery/capsicum/cassis-ish fruit. Very elegant tannins. A persistent, unyielding line of freshness. Like a V12 engine on cruise control. Having tasted Latour from the 19th Century (at the chateau), this more recent 1996 has decades ahead.

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