Latour releases 2011 vintage ex-château

Pauillac first growth Château Latour has released its 2011 vintage – the last it offered en primeur before quitting the system – at over £5,000 a case.

The estate now releases two allocations of stock a year, one in the spring and one in the autumn.

Earlier this year, in March, the estate released some cellar stock of its 2008 vintage alongside the 2013 of its second label Forts de Latour.

The grand vin was released at £5,100 a case, an 11% premium on secondary market stock of the same.

Despite this the wine was largely met with enthusiasm by merchants and, in turn, their customers, helped along by the good will towards the 2008 vintage as a whole.

The 2011 released today (10 September) is being offered by the trade for £5,460 a case, a 13.7% increase on the £4,800 it was first offered at and some way above the £4,400 Market Price it commands on the Liv-ex Exchange at present.

Indeed, the last case of Latour 2011 traded on the platform this July for £4,200.

Around 2,000 cases were put out this morning and the price puts the 2011 above all the other available ‘off-vintages’ of Latour in the market (2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008).

Robert Parker wrote admiringly of the wine when he tasted it in bottle some years ago, calling it “one of the vintage’s most compelling wines”.

The 2011 vintage has been somewhat maligned and has certainly suffered in the shadow of its immediate predecessors, the 2009 and 2010 vintages.

It was also the very last vintage that Latour offered en primeur (in 2012), before withdrawing from the system and beginning its programme of ex-cellar releases.

The 2011 may indeed be a very fine wine and should be entering its drinking window but this is not a vintage which has the reputation of one such as 2008. Aside from a few collectors who may have a burning need to restock on any they’ve drunk or who missed out on buying the first time around, it’s hard to see why there would be any great rush for the 2011, especially at £1,000 over the current market price. It would appear, once again, that Latour has aimed wide of the mark.

It should also be noted that these first months of September are now also La Place de Bordeaux’s time to offer an increasingly large selection of Italian, American, South American and even South African fine wines.

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