TN: Louis Latour 2005 Volnay 1er Cru Chevrets

Perhaps my most surprising wine of the year so far. While I often find Latour whites decent for the money, the reds have been, in my experience, a real crapshoot at best. Things have improved here over the past few vintages. There’s a long way to go before they’re knocking at the top rank, but every now and then I seem to roll a ‘7’ at this address - usually the Beaune Vignes Franches or this wine, and in 05, they got this right.

Great balance of acidity and rich fruit. Does not come across as sweet in the middle, overtly oaky or lacking in depth. Very fresh nose. Mint, aloe and berries. Very good texture. Very youthful (obviously - it’s an 05) but not “closed” for business.

I think around $50 on release. Maybe a little less or more. I would buy again.

Thanks for the note. You think they’re improvement is more due to the '05 vintage or… ???

Are they still pasteurizing their reds?


I think the vintage is due some credit. I passed on reds from 06 and 07. Some were decent, but with the 05 pricing hangover, they were passes. Latour did the smart thing and dropped 07 prices fast, but only the whites fell in my basic interest zone.


AFAIK, yes. They are defensive about the process if you ask, and as I said, they are not top-tier reds. Whether the flash technique is a big, little or non-existent part of that is up for debate. This was surprisingly good.

Thanks for the note - the one bottle I sacrificed early (2 years ago) is but a faint memory…but I do remember thinking this would need serious time before I opened the next. I appreciate the update!

Hi Megan,

if you have more, it’s enjoyable in that intense young Burg sense. But there’s plenty ahead.

Hi there, anyone tasted the 02 of this wine? I have one bottle somewhere, but am not in a hurry to open it, since I figured it wasn’t ready yet.

Count me as a fan of Latour reds, esp. the Corton Grancey. They deliver solid value, and definitely get better as you move up the ladder in their portfolio!

Allen Meadows’ reviews have been very positive over the last few vintages, from what I’ve seen.


That was the year I bought Beaune Vignes Franches (in 05 too)! Pretty good a year ago. May pass from young to mature at about 10 years. Would imagine the 02 Volnay is about the same, maybe slightly behind based on 02 vs 05.

Latour reds always tasted muddy and diffused to me, when I bought some in the late 90’s or early 00’s. The exception was a very nice bottle of Corton Grancey 1990 which really was good, though not great for the appellation or something I felt transcended…

I like their whites fine.

However, I had an '05 Latour Marsannay (red) last year and I actually liked it quite a bit, especially for the price ($16). Good for what it is.

  • 2005 Louis Latour Marsannay - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Marsannay (8/15/2009)
    Rich, clear cherry color with slightly lightening edge. Moderate intensity, nicely complex nose with wild cherry, raspberries and lavender aromas and a noticeable earthy note. Very fresh on the palate-- sour cherry up front, finishes sweeter with blackberries and a bit of menthol and more earth. Moderate length, lightly tannic. Decently complex, nice acidity and verve, recognizably burgundian, and a mellow, pleasant summer weight red. (88 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

I enjoyed the 05 Marsannay as a great qpr - red fruited and nice acidity that gave it a refreshing quality.

Do their wines hold up to aging? I think I might have assumed (yeah, I should know better) that the pasteurization would compromise them long term.

I hear from others that some of Latour’s wines from the 70s and 80s are drinking well still. I have a bottle of '88 Corton Grancey that I will likely open in the near future. I will let you guys know if it is over the hill.

Their winemaking approach certainly results in a very clean wine, not sure if that affects ageability. The flash pasteurization should ensure there are no micro-organisms left to give it any “off” tastes/aromas (in theory). What’s even more important is their house style, which seems fairly low in tannin, and I think that would affect aging even more (but who knows for sure?). It all depends on how you like your wine, too.

I will try the 02 Volnay as well when I get a chance and let you know how it is.

Karl, I don’t think the complaint ever was that Latour’s reds weren’t ageworthy. It was that they were diffuse and lacked a focal point (perhaps brought on by flash pasteurization? who knows).

Certainly was the case with the 90 Corton Grancy I drank. Perfectly nice wine, very tasty, but lacking some delineation.

I’ve read their more recent reds are better and the one '05 Marsannay I had was good.

Thanks for the note Jim. I’ve had this about 3 times in the last couple of months, it’s been good to me every time.


Karl - I just popped an 03 Latour Corton Grancey about an hour ago! I’ll put up a tasting note sometime later.

As a disclaimer, this is around the 7th/8th bottle of Burgundy I’ve ever consumed. However, straight out of the gates I really noted the mineral components (I even found a mental comparison to Rhys/Alesia, Anthill, etc.) and nice red fruit layers. The nose has a bit of earth too it which I enjoy in much of the Bordeaux I consumed. Anyway, more to come later when I spend some time with this…

Great! Interested to hear what you think. Haven’t had that vintage before of Corton Grancey. I really enjoyed the '99.

I don’t own any except some 05–and it’ll be a decade or two before I open those. I don’t have much experience w/Latour reds; the pasteurization and a lack of real positive TNs have kept me away. Maybe that’s wrong . . .

Given the week’s events, I decide to go ‘STRONG’ this week with my wine drinking.

Monday was a nice '02 Leonetti Reserve, yesterday I went a different direction and powered down some Chimey! Tonight, I cracked an '03 Latour Corton Grancey to welcome all the Burgheads over to WB.

Notes below:
TN: 2003 Louis Latour Corton-Grancey (France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru) - WINE TALK - WineBerserkers" onclick=";return false;

Doesn’t Beaucastel use the same or similar flash technique? Those are certainly ageworthy.

Agreed on the 05 Marsannay.

Agreed that the red wines at this address can often lack focus, though less so recently. I’m always struck in tasting through the various negoce line-ups that certain wines jump out more often than others.