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A vertical tasting is an incredible experience, for a wine lover it is like the graal !  So, when Château La Tour Blanche, 1er Grand Cru Classé 1855 contacted me for a tasting about twenty vintages, I canceled everything to be present ! 

For this vertical tasting eighteen of the last vintages were opened : from 2018 to 2011 and two old vintages : 1976 and 1962. A crazy tasting ! 

The tasting :

Château La Tour Blanche 2018. Appellation Sauternes

Slightly hazy pale gold appearance ( which is normal for this age). First nose very expressive with hints of pineapple, fresh exotic fruits and quince. Beautiful tension of the blend revealing itself after aeration with a very light touch of white pepper.

On the palate we have a measured richness. The attack is sharp, quite light and fresh. The fruits take us into a part with a beautiful richness. Long length, there are a great quality and a great balance, according to the feeling with sugar. Some notes of honey and a lot of heat are perceptible in the finish. Nice potential.

There is a little bit more of muscadelle in this wine than other vintages ( 10%). 

95-96/100 ( 95/100 during the « en primeurs » events. Click here

Château La Tour Blanche 2017. Appellation Sauternes

First nose with a beautiful opulence and a nice deepness.

On the palate it is a real explosion! A basket of exotic fruits marked by gourmet food. Quince, pineapple, peach, apricots…the blend is lovely balanced. The finish is long, rich, but also subtle. Light honey note in the finish. The nose needed aeration, the wine needs a little time. A very beautiful potential for this wine with multiple facets. A seductive one!


Château La Tour Blanche 2016. Appellation Sauternes

A fine and subtle first nose. A subtlety that gradually rises with agitation. Ordered texture on the palate. Here again we gradually go up, « step by step »! Dominant notes of pineapple that slowly disappear. Lot of freshness, some notes of white flowers elevate the wine. The notes of botrytis are particularly distinctive on the middle of the mouth: dried apricots, quince and mushrooms. Beautiful notes of honey on the finish that keeps a lot of peps. Huge potential for this wine that is made for long aging. For the complexity lover!


Château La Tour Blanche 2015. Appellation Sauternes

Nice deepness on the nose and good tension on the finish. A very nice blend quite compact. Notes of honey, quince, pineapple, apricots. The balance of the flavors is superb. Candied notes are pleasantly melted, adding complexity. We are on a rich aromatic but measured style and it continues on a great finish. There is a lot of tension at the end of the length. The harmony of this 2015 of Château La Tour Blanche is incredible.


Château La Tour Blanche 2014. Appellation Sauternes

Quite deep on the nose. Medium to full body, notes of candies who let appear a wine still in progress. The finish is complex but needs time to be more balanced. Notes of honey, lemon, quince, pineapple. Pretty long finish, a relatively little sweetened with some salinity. A wine that should be keeping but it could be clearly very good in the years to come.


Château La Tour Blanche 2013. Appellation Sauternes

Beautiful gold. Medium intensity on the nose, surprising sometimes for its aerial part, sometimes for its deep character. Full body, a very nice tension and a great vivacity are expressed on the palate. It is complex and very well balanced: honey and quince with notes of apricots.The texture is superb, definitely a very high quality wine. The finish is long, offering a great tension with beautiful botrytised notes: candied grapes and a touch of forest floor, mushrooms. A powerful wine, rich and very complex. Shaped for long aging and for the lovers of great Sauternes!


Château La Tour Blanche 2012. Appellation Sauternes

Nose of medium intensity: notes of honey, peach and quince.  A slighty touch of white pepper is also present. Nice freshness on the palate with a lot of lightness on the beginning. It makes this wine very pleasant. The finish is a bit powerful, quite long, with a salinity touch adding some peps to fine notes of candied grapes and rhubarb. A wine enjoyable now, perfect for an aperitif during a hot summer day.


Château La Tour Blanche 2011. Appellation Sauternes

Great freshness on the nose. Slight notes of botrytis, mushrooms mixed with pineapple, quince, apricot and a slightly candy part. Full body, very nice balance of the texture which is very fluid and dynamic. Long and very complex, 2011 of Château La Tour Blanche is a wine with multiple facets: starting with a feeling of opulence, a light iodine side allows to bounce in delicacy before ending on a powerful but very fresh finish. High potential.


Château La Tour Blanche 2010. Appellation Sauternes

Intense gold appearance. Nose of medium intensity on an airy style. Very nice finesse, light and measured. A surprising feeling of lightness reigns on the palate and yet there is a lot of texture in this wine. Exceptional subtlety and balanced notes of mushrooms, honey, quince, pineapple.Very long finish, salty, with shiny notes of honey. A very complex and subtle wine with a lot of freshness. We are on a very high level. With this 2010 of Château La Tour Blanche the qualification of meditative wine makes definitely its sense !


Château La Tour Blanche 2009. Appellation Sauternes

Intense gold appearance. Magnificent first nose! Rich and subtle with notes of grapes, honey, pineapple, quince and white pepper. We are quickly plunged into an incredible complexity, such a deepness! The wine does not end to open itself, we find ourselves transported into another dimension. It’s a travel, really!  Superb texture that alone worth it. Absolutely everything is in this wine! Incredible length who alternates between wealth and subtlety. The balance is perfect, never an ounce of too much. Château La Tour Blanche 2009 is a wine of emotion, the True  emotion !


Château La Tour Blanche 2008. Appellation Sauternes

All the property was damaged by the frost on this vintage which makes 2008 a quite rare wine: 16 barrels were produced instead of 200.

Intense gold appearance, nose on dominant notes of grapes and sweet spices. On the palate the wine is ample, balanced, lively and marked by spices. Final of medium intensity and well balanced.


Château La Tour Blanche 2007. Appellation Sauternes

2007  marked the staff with 7 passes during the harvest to be able to pick up the botrytized grapes at good maturity.

Intense gold appearance. On the nose it is a mixture of fruit cake, spices and grapes (dominant flavor).The spicy note is pronounced, on grey pepper. Full body, beautiful attack on the palate with a very dynamic texture, quite lively. Beautiful balance and an intense finish marked by a spicy touch.


Château La Tour Blanche 2006. Appellation Sauternes

Gold appearance with amber highlights. Hints of dominant spices with some touch of nutmeg and saffron mixed with apricots. Nice freshness on the palate, beautiful texture, quite airy on the finish. Fresh and complex, the finish gives notes of refined spices and very fine notes of caramel are also noticeable. The incredible diversity of the aromatic palette that you can find in a Sauternes wine is revealed!


Château La Tour Blanche 2005. Appellation Sauternes

Gold appearance with amber reflects. Medium intensity on the nose, slightly roasted with fine notes of coffee and a subtle touch of spices. Honey blended with saffron! Despite a rich composition and be delectable (given especially by the notes of coffee), an airy dimension is also felt in this wine.The acidity is still very much present and the finish is really enjoyable, thanks to its balanced and fresh style. A wine with a good ageing potential and with a beautiful presence of tertiary notes.


Château La Tour Blanche 2004. Appellation Sauternes

Gold appearance with amber reflects. Nose both expressive and subtle, floral. Beautiful and very fine notes of roasted aromas, and also a part of saffron. Full body, this wine is very rich, ample, with a very beautiful concentration. Magnificent texture. Light notes of honey, quince which are beautifully melted with roasted notes. Superb! Enjoyable now. 


Château La Tour Blanche 2003. Appellation Sauternes

Gold appearance with amber reflects. Intense and complex nose, with fine pear and peach notes found on a spice dimension, especially white pepper and musk. Full body with roasted apricot and forest floor. Nice and long finish with a great complexity from saffron and a hint of honey. On spicy and also torrefied style, the composition is very well balanced. Beautiful potential and superb now. A gourmet wine.


Château La Tour Blanche 2002. Appellation Sauternes

Gold  appearance with amber reflects .Light touch of fresh pears, peaches blended with roasted and saffron notes. Full body, fluid and well balanced.  Roasted apricot and quince. Great vivacity on the palate, and very complex length, on fine and fresh notes of kirsch. The spices are the dominant part on this wine which marks by its complexity.


Château La Tour Blanche 2001. Appellation Sauternes

Gold appearance with amber reflects. Notes of apricots, pears, peaches and spices. Nice texture on the palate with rich notes of saffron and also caramel. Long finish, balanced with a hint of iodine. Very nice.


Château La Tour Blanche 1976. Appellation Sauternes

Amber appearance with gold reflects. Notes of caramel and kirsch. The roasted side is really dominant. Soft texture on the palate, some freshness appears on the length including a surprising touch of white chocolate, adding complexity and gourmet flavors. A delight! 


Château La Tour Blanche 1962. Appellation Sauternes

Amber appearance. Notes of dried herbs between spices and roasted coffee. Beautiful finish with still freshness and an interesting length. The notes of botrytis are still widely perceptible. Magnificent !


The end

This vertical was an incredible experience ! Seeing the differences years by years, the evolution of the wines, for finally ending with 1976 and 1962, wines much older than me and which still have time for them. It is definitely a great characteristic of Sauternes that makes these wines fascinating: whether the wine is one year old or more than 70 years old, we can always appreciate them at their true value and discover completely different universes. I don’t know for you but I am definitely in love with this style of wine !

Note that a special cuvée was also tasted during this vertical of Château La Tour Blanche. It will be a good reason to make another post to present this novelty. I can only tell you that it is very high level ! 


Thank you !

Many thanks to Miguel AGUIRRE and to all the team of Château La Tour Blanche for this marvelous tasting. It was more than great!

Cet article a 2 commentaires

    1. xlvins

      Thank you for your kind words 🙂

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