Red, For laying down

2012 Ch. Latour Martillac Rouge, Pessac-Léognan

2012 Ch. Latour Martillac Rouge, Pessac-Léognan

Red | For laying down | Ch. Latour Martillac | Code:  19847 | 2012 | France > Bordeaux > Pessac-Leognan | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

DECANTER

16.75/20

JANCIS

17/20

PARKER

88-90/100

DECANTER - Fine concentration of cassis/tobacco leaf fruit, good length, structure and earthy flavours, good future.
Steven Spurrier, Decanter, April 2013

JANCIS - Very dark. Not especially intense or dramatic on the nose. But solid fragrance. Well integrated. Much more concentrated than most but without too much sweetness. Ambitious. With the appetising Graves finish. Medium weight and dry rather than sweet. Lovely tannin quality. Some refreshing suggestion of tobacco leaves. Rather distinctive. Pronounced acidity.
Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com, 19 Apr 2013

PARKER - A touch of unsmoked, high class cigar tobacco, black currants and graphite characteristics are followed by a soft, ripe, dark ruby/purple-tinged, medium-bodied, well-made wine displaying nicely integrated oak, acidity and tannin. Drink it over the next 12-15 years.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Apr 2013

The Producer

Ch. Latour Martillac

Ch. Latour Martillac

La Tour Martillac has been owned and managed by the Kressmann family since the late 19th century and now under the stewardship of Tristan and Loïc Kressmann.

The tower that gives its name to this estate is all that remains of the 12th century fortification. The reds are typically a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (59%), Merlot (35%) and Malbec (6%). The whites are produced from Semillon (60%), Sauvignon Blanc (35%) and Muscasdelle (5%)

The wines have continued to improve in quality with the aid of some top Bordeaux consultants. Famously the gold and black label dates back to 1929, designed specifically for a bottle served in 1936 for the coronation of George Vl.

The Grape

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

The Region

Pessac-Leognan

Pessac-Leognan

In 1986 a new communal district was created within Graves, in Bordeaux,  based on the districts of Pessac and Léognan, the first of which lies within the suburbs of the city. Essentially this came about through pressure from Pessac-Léognan vignerons, who wished to disassociate themselves from growers with predominately sandy soils further south in Graves.

Pessac-Léognan has the best soils of the region, very similar to those of the Médoc, although the depth of gravel is more variable, and contains all the classed growths of the region. Some of its great names, including Ch. Haut-Brion, even sit serenely and resolutely in Bordeaux's southern urban sprawl.

The climate is milder than to the north of the city and the harvest can occur up to two weeks earlier. This gives the best wines a heady, rich and almost savoury character, laced with notes of tobacco, spice and leather. Further south, the soil is sandier with more clay, and the wines are lighter, fruity and suitable for earlier drinking.

Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Haut-Brion, Ch. la Mission Haut-Brion, Ch. Pape Clément, Ch Haut-Bailly, Domaine de Chevalier, Ch. Larrivet-Haut-Brion, Ch. Carmes Haut-Brion, Ch. La Garde, Villa Bel-Air.

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