One of my favorite parts of working in the wine business is attending industry tastings. This gives me the opportunity to taste wines from all over the planet, made from just about every grape variety you could think of. This past week, I was lucky enough to taste through one producers wine, from one great vintage.
The producer was Louis Latour, from Burgundy, and the vintage was 2009. This vintage was near ideal for Burgundy and everyone has been waiting for the wines to hit the market. Louis Latour is a Negociant, meaning they buy grapes and sometimes juice and wine, in order to have enough quantity to meet demand. You see, in Burgundy the vineyard holding tend to be small, thanks to the laws of inheritance, so most cannot afford to make their own wine on such a small scale. Instead, owners of small parcels sell their harvest to Negociants, who have the means to make wine.
Louis Latour is known for clean, crisp, ageworthy wines. They have extensive holdings in the Grand Cru vineyards of Corton, for which they are well known for both their red(Pino Noir) and white(Chardonnay) versions. The reds from Louis Latour are soft, fruity, and very accesible on release. Personnally, I find the most interest in the white wines from Mersault, Batard Montrachet, and Corton Charlemagne. The Mersault is a textbook example, offering a rich mouthfeel, tropical fruits, and a toasty finish. The Batard Montrachet is the longest lived, with flavors of orange peel, minerals, hazelnuts, apple and pear fruits. The Corton Charlemagne is my favorite and is loaded with smokey, steely, almost honeyed citrus fruits.