In a nutshell: An elegant smooth and rounded white Burgundy from Maison Louis Latour.
The lowdown: From a hillside vineyard overlooking the town of Beaune Louis Latour have produced a real classic, on-point, elegant Chardonnay from the excellent 2018 vintage that really does tick the boxes. Only a very small proportion of wine from the Beaune appellation is white with the grapes for this Beaune Blanc coming from slopes of the hill of Saint-Desiré with its limestone and chalk soils, perfect for Chardonnay. After being picked be hand the wine undergoes a traditional vinification process fermenting in oak before maturing in oak barrels made by the Louis Latour cooperage for 10 months. Classic aromas of ripe lemon and yellow stone fruits with touches of almond and smoke with creamy hints. The palate is rich and broad with those ripe citrus and stone fruits coming through combining with honeyed, creamy, brioche notes. Fresh, crisp acidity provides backbone and structure.
When to drink: Try with cheese such as epoisses or even roquefort, grilled or fried fish and crustaceans, or fish, chicken, veal in cream based sauces.
The Latour family are long established in Burgundy's wine trade and are, without doubt, one of the best known names in the region. Their reputation for producing high quality whites is second to none. They began as vine growers in the village of Aloxe-Corton as early as 1760s and went on to establish today's business, Maison Louis Latour, in 1797. Headquartered in Beaune they make wines from their own 50 hectare domaine in the Côte d'Or including a major holding on the famous Corton hill. And the négociant arm of the business is also extremely active. Since the 1980s they've also established operations outside of Burgundy in the Ardèche and Var regions further to the south where they specialise in good value Chardonnay and Pinot Noir respectively. They also produce all their own barrels at their small, traditional cooperage in Savigny-Lès-Beaune.
The company has been in family ownership for 11 generations and is now led by Louis-Fabrice Latour the seventh Louis Latour to run the business. He is ably supported by head winemaker Jean Charles Thomas and domaine director Christophe Deola.