- Thursday 9 July 2009
Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 73 19 80
Visits: By appointment only
Details: Pauillac, 1er cru classé, 78ha (47ha L'Enclos), gravel on marl & clay
Vineyards: Cabernet Sauvignon 80%, Merlot Noir 18%, Cabernet Franc & Petit Verdot 2%
The name recalls the fortified tower which stood guard over the Gironde estuary and featured prominently in the Hundred Years War. Known then as La Tor Saint-Lambert, it disappeared by the 17th century. However, the vineyard prospered: right next to the river and benefiting from drying breezes (keeping rot and frost at bay), it was in the late 1600s snapped up by wealthy Bordeaux landowning family, the Ségurs. They retained Latour for almost 300 years (the smart château was added soon after the estate's First Growth ranking), until 1963. It was then sold to Harvey's of Bristol and the Pearson Group, which partnership invested heavily, renovating the winery and enlarging the vineyard (though to this day only the original 'L'Enclos' vines go to make the top wine). In 1989, Allied Lyons was in charge, but four years later the great estate returned to French ownership when it was bought by billionaire François Pinault.