2019 Maison Louis Latour, Pernand Vergelesses, En Caradeux Premier Cru, White Burgundy, France.
One of the sleepers in Louis Latour’s 2019 collection is their beautiful Premier Cru En Caradeux from Pernand Vergelesses in the Cote de Beaune, of the whites in this vintage this one shows remarkable purity and has a level of complexity and concentration to rivals some of the more well known and presigious terroirs just over the hill from this site and the quality and clarity here make this a standout. The En Caradeux is rich on the palate with ripe layers of lemon, apple, pear and white peach fruit along with clove spice, wet chalky stones, a hint of hazelnut leesy notes and a touch of sweet toasty oak. This wine will impress those that normally reserve their praise for Puligny or Meursault offerings and while not cheap is still a pretty good value for what is in the glass and it will play nicely with a range of cuisine options, though I would suggest more classic pairings, like soft farm cheeses, white fish and or poultry dishes. This pale golden Chardonnay opens up quickly on the medium bodied textural palate with white blossoms and has brisk acidity and subtle mineral intensity in keeping with expectations of a well balanced white Burgundy. Louis Latour, founded in 1797, is one of there most famous family owned wineries in the world, is now on the 11th generation of Latours in charge after nearly 220 years of proudly flying the flag for the Burgundy region with holding from the Maconnaise to Chablis and the most acreage in Premier Cru and Grand Cru vineyard in the prime historic spots.
Going through almost 20 wines at Louis Latour’s pre-arrival tasting in Carmel by the Sea was good exercise in tasting terroirs, especially with their collection of white Burgundies that ranged from this lovely Pernand Vergelesses to a tiny young vine parcel at the lender Batard-Montrachet, which shows the difference of these micro Climat vineyard locations with their Chassagne and of course their signature Corton-Charlemagne putting in stellar performances on the day and look like they have solid potential, even in such a difficult year with frost and hail causing wide spread damage and reducing yields to ridiculous levels. Latour is proud of what they achieved in 2019 and after tasting through them I can see why, they may not be blockbuster wines, but the purity and charm they are showing makes them very compelling examples, with this En Caradeux Pernand Vergelesses being one of my favorites on the day. The En Caradeux was all hand tended and hand harvested from Latour’s selection of mature 30 year old vines that are set on classic stony Marl and Jurassic era limestone soils. In many ways, Pernand Vergelesses is similar to Chassagne-Montrachet and there is little to choose between Latour’s efforts in this vintage and this wine saw a comparable fermentation regime, that went through full malos, with 35% new oak from their own in house cooperage and 10 months of elevage on the lees. While one of the biggest producers and the largest land owner in Burgundy, these wines are individual and quality efforts that can often surprise, as this one did.
($63 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive