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Château Latour 2017 released for the first time

Bordeaux first growth Château Latour has launched its 2017 ‘grand vin’ on the market for the first time, after deciding to release the wine ahead of its 2016 vintage.

Château Latour 2017 was released yesterday (19 March) at around £4,800 per 12-bottle case in bond, marking its debut on the market.

UK merchants also offered Latour 2017 in various alternative formats. Farr Vintners offered a double magnum at £1,800 in bond (IB), while Bordeaux Index offered a three-bottle case at £1,215 (3x75cl IB), for example.

Decanter’s Bordeaux correspondent Georgie Hindle rated Château Latour 2017 at 98 points after tasting it in January 2024.

Estate second wine Les Forts de Latour 2018, rated 93 points by Hindle, was also released yesterday and offered by merchants at £2,000 (12x75cl IB), according to Liv-ex, a global marketplace for the trade.

Latour 2017 released ahead of 2016

Latour 2017 also becomes the first growth estate’s youngest grand vin on the market.

Latour announced in 2012 it was leaving Bordeaux’s en primeur system, preferring to age its wines for several years prior to release.

This year would ordinarily have seen the release of Latour 2016, but the estate decided to switch up the order.

A Château spokesperson recently told Decanter, ‘[The Château Latour] 2017 is at the moment much more open and accessible, and it’s clear 2016 will benefit from one extra year of ageing in our cellar.’

Pauillac de Château Latour 2019 (91pts, Decanter) was also released in January 2024, he added.

Analysis

Bordeaux 2017 has a reputation as an earlier-drinking style of vintage overall.

Hindle said in her Latour 2017 tasting note that the wine ‘will age, no doubt’, but she also praised its delightful freshness and approachability. ‘[It’s] a wine that knocks it out of the park and one so representative of Bordeaux and the Pauillac terroir.’

Latour 2017 represents a significant discount on 98-point Latour 2015, launched last year. Farr Vintners listed the 2015 vintage at £6,200 (12x75cl IB).

Farr Vintners and Bordeaux Index were offering Latour 2014 (96 points, Decanter) at a similar price to the newly released Latour 2017.

Liv-ex said Latour 2017 was released at £4,800 (12x75cl IB) versus an equivalent release price for Latour 2015 of £6,300. However, it said several other available vintages were cheaper than the new release. It highlighted 2008 and 2012 as possible alternatives for buyers.

Latour 2017 is one of several high-profile fine wine releases to emerge via La Place de Bordeaux négociants in March.

To some extent, the releases may offer more clues about buyer sentiment in 2024.

On the secondary market, several indicators suggest fine wine prices have fallen in the past year.

Liv-ex’s Fine Wine 50 index, which only tracks Bordeaux first growths, dropped by 15.6% in 12 months to 29 February. It was also down by 2% over five years, despite a period of gains between April 2020 and September 2022.


Coming soon to Decanter Premium:

Our full review of the March 2024 fine wine releases via La Place de Bordeaux


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