Good News For Bordeaux Wine Lovers! Château Latour’s Third Wine Is Now In Manila
Wine lovers rejoice as Château Latour, widely acknowledged as one of the world’s greatest wine estates, has brought its third wine to the Philippines. Premium Wine Exchange, one of the country’s top wine purveyors, was recently appointed as the exclusive importer and distributor of Le Pauillac de Latour.
Château Latour has a rich history dating back to at least 1638. It is classified as a First Growth under the 1855 Bordeaux Classification, and is owned by Groupe Artemis. Château Latour is located in the heart of the Medoc wine region, about 50 kilometers northwest of Bordeaux in France, where the legend of the vineyards of Bordeaux began.
This French wine estate produces three wines in all, starting with Le Grand Vin (first wine) which commands the highest price as it is made from the Château’s best vines from the famous Enclos section and comes with long-term cellaring potential; followed by its second wine, Les Forts de Latour; and finally, its third and most affordable wine, Le Pauillac.
To launch Le Pauillac in the Philippines, Premium Wine Exchange invited the country’s top sommeliers and wine industry professionals to an exclusive Château Latour Masterclass, which I was fortunate to attend as well. Held at The Cellar of the Grand Hyatt Manila, the class was conducted by Hong Kong-based Château Latour Brand Ambassador for Asia, Rufus Beazley.
Mr. Beazley gave a brief overview of what Château Latour is all about. He guided us through a tasting of four of its wines, starting with Le Pauillac 2013 and 2012 vintages, which are like “Baby Latours.” There was not much depth of power yet from these two Le Pauillacs compared to the older wines, but they compensated with an abundance of charming fruit. Then, we tried a sampling of its second wine, Les Forts de Latour 2012. We could already enjoy some good depth, plus beautiful intensity and a very inviting aroma. This wine, in my opinion, already gave a sneak preview of what to expect from the most premium Le Grand Vin or first wine. It was very similar yet still different, in a good way. We ended the class with a taste of the Château Latour Grand Vin 2006. A bright colored wine, it had a vibrant bouquet filled with scents of berries, cedar, and oak that gently fills the glass. This elegant, full-bodied wine had balanced tannins and beautiful texture, enhanced by fresh fruit flavors on its finish.
After the class, I got the chance to interview Rufus Beazley for a quick look at Château Latour’s third wine label and the Asian wine scene in general:
Metro.Style: Why was a third wine created?
Rufus Beazley: It was created principally as a wine for the on-trade, a wine to give more immediate pleasure.
MS: What blend of grapes do you use to produce Le Pauillac de Latour? And how different is it from the blends used to produce your first and second wines?
RB: Le Pauillac is usually around 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet, whereas Les Forts and Latour would have higher percentages of Cabernet. Latour, for example, in some recent vintages reaches over 90% Cabernet.
MS: Please describe the style of your wine in three words.
RB: Power, purity, precision.
MS: What do you think sets Le Pauillac apart from other Bordeaux third wines?
RB: Le Pauillac de Latour, just like Latour, is a unique wine. It’s a wine imbued with an unmistakable essence of Latour, and possesses some of the typical power, concentration, and finesse which is the hallmark of wines from the Pauillac region.
MS: Is Asia considered a big market for your wines? Where else in Asia is Château Latour available and what made you decide to mark your presence in the Philippines?
RB: Yes, Asia is a key market and a rapidly expanding market. Our wines are available in many Asian countries such as Japan, China, Singapore, Vietnam, etc. The Philippines is also a market with increasingly passionate wine collectors and wine lovers. There are also more and more exciting restaurants and wine bars popping up in Manila which I feel are a great home for Pauillac.
MS: How do you see the future of wine production and what are the challenges and the opportunities?
RB: I think the future is very bright. There have never been so many people interested in wine with so many new markets emerging. Wine is now a truly global phenomenon. The challenge or indeed obsession for us is to maintain a constant quest for perfection in our wines.
Premium Wine Exchange’s first Château Latour shipment is due to arrive by the end of August 2018. You can pre-order now and avail of special discounted rates valid until July 6, 2018. Visit Premium Wine Exchange at G/F Alegria Alta Building, 2294 Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati City. Call (02) 840-5319 or 812-3823 and follow @pwxchange on Instagram.
For the latest information on Château Latour and its wines, visit www.chateau-latour.com.
Photos courtesy of Cyrene de la Rosa and Premium Wine Exchange
Follow the author on Instagram and Twitter @cyrenedelarosa