Domaine Louis Latour, Pernand-Vergelesses Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) En Caradeux 2014

($35, Louis Latour USA): This is what everyone is looking for in white Burgundy — an affordable overachiever.  Three elements come together in a “perfect storm” to create this overachiever.  First, there’s the village itself.  Pernand-Vergelesses lies “behind” the hill of Corton (to the west) and is often overlooked since it is hidden as you drive the main road of the Côte d’Or.  These “hidden” villages are an excellent place to find an affordable overachiever.  Secondly, the En Caradeux vineyard, a Premier Cru, is good real estate, lining across the valley and actually facing the vineyards that comprise Corton-Charlemagne.  And finally — and probably most importantly — is the producer.  As a négociant Maison Louis Latour has a “green thumb” with wines, finding sources of top quality grapes and transforming them into exciting red and white Burgundy.  Less well appreciated is that Louis Latour is also a Domaine, owning and farming 120-acres of its own vineyards.  (Indeed, they are the largest owner of Grand Cru vineyards in Burgundy.)  This wine comes from the portion of the En Caradeux vineyard they own.  Hence it carries the Domaine Louis Latour label, which is subtlely different from their Maison label. Along with a wonderful tension between perfect ripeness and enormous energy characteristic of the vintage, it delivers an alluring combination of spice and minerality. The wine is a steal — a baby Corton-Charlemagne — with the advantage of being far more approachable and enjoyable at a young age compared to that Grand Cru.  Latour’s whites evolve and develop beautifully with years of bottle age, so stock up on this one and drink it happily now and over the next five years.
94 Michael Apstein Dec 6, 2016