1970 Château Latour - Pauillac 1er Grand Cru Classé

| Latour | 1970 | Mc

Bottles with missing labels make excellent material for tasting, and today we were lucky enough to try a classic : a 1970 Latour.

In the glass it had the typical maroon color of an older wine but what I noticed most was the exceptional darkness and concentration, and a high viscosity that made it cling to the glass with each trail left behind by a single drop being dark and colored. This is no Beaujolais Nouveau. A complex whirlwind of smells rose up from the glass, there was still plenty of fruit left with aromas of blueberry jam, brambles and prunes, all intermingled with your typical walk-in-the-forest-on-a-crisp-autumn- morning sort of smells : damp leaves, wet earth, lots of leather and given a while to aerate some game as well. Also noticeable though ever so lightly, some sweetness and spiciness. But if ever a wine was a rollercoaster, this certainly was a great example : it started of more than ok, great even, then quickly opening up showing its pedigree, massive and complex, but unfortunately turned around rather quickly too. It didn’t react to exposure to oxygen very well, becoming more and more tertiary every minute. The same applies for the taste : at first impeccable balance and tremendous concentration, with a great, warm and long finish with the emphasis on sweet spiciness rather than fruit. And then after about an hour in the glass sadly it started to unknit and became disjointed and eventually maderized and oxidized. What was left in my glass the next day surprised me : it still had a bit of fruit lingering though more overshadowed by the earthy smells with also lots more of the leather, game and Madeira. The taste not so good this time around : no longer balanced, very light in the middle with much more acidity and a much drier and shorter finish compared to the day before. Apparently, perfection is fleeting, even for wines of this caliber. 1970 Latour turned out to be one of those truly great classics and although perhaps it has reached its peak some years ago, if you still have some bottles left in the cellar drinking them now will probably still provide more than ample pleasure.

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