In pushing the boundaries making Yarra Yerings Dry Red No.1 it was essential that we explored great Bordeaux. Latour was regularly on the list. Now we have the chance to see just how well those bold 1982’s with there insane scores have aged and if the critics got it right!
The question? Which of the 1982 1st Growths will reign supreme? Margaux? Latour? Mouton-Rothschild?
A mild winter resulted in a relatively early budbreak, between 25 March and 1 April. A particularly sunny, dry April enabled the vines to grow quickly. Hail at the beginning of May affected some vineyards. May and June were warm and stormy, encouraging further rapid growth and a good flowering period in the early days of June. July was hot with some rain that accelerated the grapes’ development. August was quite cool with well dispersed periods of rain. September became hot and dry again, and the ripening of the grapes was prolonged to bring them to extraordinary levels of richness in sugar (over 13°C for the Merlot, 12 to 12.5°C for the Cabernets). The harvests took place from 16 to 30 September, disrupted by a few inconsequential showers after the 21st.
Always somewhat atypical, the 1982 Latour has been the most opulent, flamboyant, and precocious of the northern Medocs, especially the St.-Juliens, Pauillacs, and St.-Estephes. It hasn't changed much over the last 10-15 years, revealing sweet tannins as well as extraordinarily decadent, even extravagant levels of fruit, glycerin, and body. It is an amazing wine, and on several occasions, I have actually picked it as a right bank Pomerol because of the lushness and succulence of the cedary, blackberry, black currant fruit. This vintage has always tasted great, even in its youth, and revealed a precociousness that one does not associate with this Chateau. However, the 1982 is still evolving at a glacial pace. The concentration remains remarkable, and the wine is a full-bodied, exuberant, rich, classic Pauillac in its aromatic and flavor profiles...This remarkable effort will last as long as the 1982 Mouton, but it has always been more approachable and decadently fruity. Drink it now, in 20 years, and in 50 years! Don't miss it if you are a wine lover. Tasted 6/2009
From the moment it is first opened the 1982 Château Latour is magical. Deep and still vibrant in color, but showing the translucence of age, the 1982 opens with intense, soaring aromatics that hint at what is to come. One taste is all it takes to confirm that the first impression is spot-on. This bottle, from an original wood case purchased on release, is a poignant reminder of how importance provenance is. The 1982 is simply stunning in its beauty. Vivid, multi-faceted and totally sensual, the Latour captures all the best qualities of this famous vintage. In 1982 yields were high, there was essentially none of the sorting that has become de rigueur, and cellar practices were far less ideal on paper than they are today. And yet, the 1982 is simply stunning. What else can I ask for in a wine? Absolutely nothing. Except for a hope to run into it again. Well-stored bottles will keep for another two decades, although my impression is that the 1982 is not going to improve much from here. Actually, it can’t improve. This is as good as wine gets. Tasted 3/2016
This shows wonderful decadence with meaty, dark chocolate and ripe plums on the nose that follows through on the palate. It's full bodied, with super silky tannins that caress your palate. The fruit in the wine changes to a spicy, stony undertone. It seems to evolve all the time in the glass. This has a long life to it. But why wait? So delicious. Tasted 11/2010
Dark red, with an amber rim. Liqueur-like aromas of plum, roasted meat, mocha, tobacco, truffle and burnished oak. Fat, lush and smooth, with explosive fruit and powerful underlying backbone. Massive but not at all heavy. Wonderfully tactile wine, finishing with big, chewy-but-ripe tannins and great persistence. (My second bottle showed even more class and delineation, and rated 98.) Drink during your lifetime. 8/2002
What a treat to compare this with Lafite 1982. The Latour was stunning. Rich and dense and clearly with a glorious future. Gorgeous and with the same vitality as the Lafite 1982 in magnum but with much, much more potential. Wonderful with the main course at this Berry Bros dinner in aid of Room to Read. Long and glorious and it really opened out in the glass. A marvel. 19.5/20 Points Tasted 11/2013