The creamy-colored fortress like tower, notably depicted on the wines label, remains from about 1625. It was built as a dovecote, on the site of a 15th century fortress. This fortress was one of a chain along the shores of the Gironde, and was used by the English to fend off attacks by pirates. The fortress was destroyed by the forces of the King of France during the campaign leading to the expulsion of the English in 1452.
By 1595 Arnaud Miller had become proprietor of the Estate of Latour de St-Mambert as it was known then. His son Dennis who inherited the estate was to absorb all the micro-properties of tenants, buy more land and by the 1650’s complete the transformation from a feudal patchwork to an estate in the modem sense, run by a salaried manager. This vineyard as a result is one of the oldest in the Medoc.
As with all great wines a lot of care and careful selection is used in making the wines. On average only 60% of what is produced becomes the grand vin. And in some cases such as 1974 only 25% of the crop was bottled Latour. The remainder becoming Les Forts, Pauillac or vin ordinaire.
- Second label: Les Forts de Latour.
- Area under vines: 60ha; 47ha. Ch. Latour, 13ha Les Forts de Latour.
- Av. prod.: Tot. prod. 28.000.
- Distr. of vines.: 1 main block around the Ch., 2 smaller parcels near Ch.Haut-Batailley.
- Soil: The soil at Latour is almost pure fine gravel that affords superb drainage.
- Grape varieties: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 10% Cab. Franc.
- Punning: Guyot Double.
- Vines per ha.: 10,000.
- Average age: 35 years.
- Av. yield per ha.: 40-45hl.
- Added yeasts: occasionally.
- Length of maceration: 21 days.
- Temp. of ferm.: 30 C.
- Control of fermentation: Thermostatically controlled stainless steel tanks.
- Type of vat: Stainless steel.
- Vin de presse.: added following careful tastings.
- Age of casks: 100% new each vintage.
- Time in cask: 20-26 months.
- Fining: Fresh egg whites (6 per barrel).
- Filtration: None.
- Type of bottle: Bordelaise lourde.
- Bottled at the chateau: 100%.
- STORAGE: 10-40 Years.
- SERVICE TEMPERATURE: 17 C
- FOOD/CONSUMPTION: They are a perfect complement to lamb, veal poultry and delicate game. Particularly good with Venison.