Chateau De La Tour and Pierre Labet 2017 with Edouard
Chateau De La Tour has been going through something of a renaissance lately.
An estate that dates back to 1890, it has long since been a sleepy but stalwart producer of Clos de Vougeot (the biggest landowner at 11% of the appellation). Pierre Labet is now joined by his son Edouard and a new era has started for the estate: starting with Sylvain Pataille’s consulting work from 2009, the introduction of cuvee Hommage à Jean Morin in 2010 and successful auctions at Acker in 2017 and 2018 to interest in their ex-cellar library stock. This strategy seems to be working greatly in the domaine’s favour, renewing interest in its historical position as playing to the strength of their holdings by bottling different parcels accordingly to age and quality.
Though the quality of the wine is paramount, clearly to stand out from the competition, it is important for a historical estate to stay relevant and reinvent themselves. Likewise, as the younger generation, Edouard has made his own inputs, such as experiment with whole bunches versus completely destemming. Chateau de la Tour has been a wine that takes at least 20-30 years minimum to show their true characters, therefore it is still underappreciated to those who are new to the Burgundy game. For now, price to quality is in favour of the consumer though that is soon to change with its current buzz right now. Do pick up the odd back vintage bottle if you get a chance!
Domaine Pierre Labet Beaune Blanc Clos de Dessus Marconnets 2017: Beautiful lemon and acacia notes on the first waft. It’s incredibly juicy with its lemon and lime notes but incredible structure with its surprisingly flinty backbone.
Domaine Pierre Labet Meursault Tillets 2017: The lemon notes are noticeably much riper her, with layers of elderflower and flint. The minerality here is equally pronounced but its more nuanced and supple, creating an elegant sublime finish.
Domaine Pierre Labet Meursault Tillets 2015: Even though just 2 years older than the previous cuvee, the notes here show much more honey and toast. The ripeness of the 2015s show. The lemon and the honey combination is completely charming and beguiling, however the minerality evens out the wine. It’s still very prim and proper for a hot year.
Domaine Chateau de la Tour “Clos de Vougeot Blanc” 2017 (not commercially available): A special treat from Edouard. This is made from whtie grapes in their Clos de Vougeot parcel, however of course there is no such appellation for Clos de Vougeot blanc. The varietals are an interesting 50/50 mix of Chardonnay and Pinot Beaurot, which is actually a historical variety of Pinot Gris. The colour was a cloudy pale lemon with ripe honeysuckle nose, with a rich honey palette. The body is fuller than you expect — almost Riesling-like in its viscosity.
Domaine Pierre Labet Gevrey Chambertin 2017: Reds from Pierre Labet are nothing to scoff at, although I don’t have a ton of experience with them exactly. Ripe cooked cherry nose with a slight tint of mineral with a chewy, ripe cherry palate and tobacco finish. Good stuff for such a young wine.
Domaine Chateau de la Tour Clos de Vougeot Classique 2017: Here the cherry notes are quite sharp and tart, but it’s bright, crunchy and juicy. The juice itself is very concentrated however still elegant and easy in the mouth.
Domaine Chateau de la Tour Clos de Vougeot VV 2017: The nose here was quite closed, surprisingly. The palate however shows clear depth, with its silky tannins, great structure and long finish. Gorgeous cherry and cranberry notes here again. Full of promise.
Domaine Chateau de la Tour Clos de Vougeot Hommage à Jean Morin: The nose and mouth here compared to the others are noticeably more black fruit, with plummier and darker cherry notes. Nevertheless it is not heavy but remains remarkably pure, elegant and full of finesse. Indeed their finest expression of Clos de Vougeot.
These wines were tasted in June 2019 of this year at the estate.