In a nutshell: A full, rounded and elegant Grand Cru red Burgundy from Maison Louis Latour.
The lowdown: The majestic slopes of the hill of Corton where the Côte de Beaune meets the Côte de Nuits is one of the world's great vineyard sites, and has been for centuries. Over 1200 years ago it was producing wines favoured by Charlemagne and today it is the largest Grand Cru appellation in the area. The grapes for this wine are sourced from selected south-easterly facing parcels before undergoing a traditional vinification process of fermentation in open vats before maturing in oak barrels (from Latour's own cooperage) for a year before bottling. Ruby in colour the 2017 has aromas of bright, black cherry with liquorice notes leading onto a full, rounded palate with supple tannins and touches of liquorice and spice on the long finish. A true Grand Cru red Burgundy.
When to drink: This wine can be drunk now though will keep through the rest of the decade and beyond. Will work well with game - both the flying and running kind, quality beef - steak or a joint, or try with cheese such as epoisses.
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.