Wine Star: Maison Louis Latour

Remembering Louis-Fabrice Latour through two special bottles at the 2022 New York Wine Experience

Wine Star: Maison Louis Latour
Florent Latour, brother of the late Louis-Fabrice Latour, honored the forward-thinking vintner and shared stories of his efforts to protect the Burgundy region. (Rick Wenner)
Oct 27, 2022

In Burgundy, the name Louis Latour is legendary. Founded in 1797, the maison became one of the region’s most important producers, with some of the largest grand cru holdings in the Côte d’Or.

When the 2022 Wine Experience was planned, Louis-Fabrice Latour, the 11th generation to lead the family-run winery, was invited to appear as a Wine Star for his commitment to improving Latour’s wines and his vision of expanding the family’s holdings into Chablis, Beaujolais and beyond. Wine Spectator senior editor Bruce Sanderson recalled that when he asked his friend to come to New York, the response was immediate: “What wine and what vintage would you like me to pour?” Louis-Fabrice died of cancer in September, at age 58, but his family stepped in to honor him with wines of finesse, concentration and great ageability.

His brother, Florent, presented two wines during the seminars, while his wife, Patricia, and daughter Eléonore—slated to succeed her father in leading the domaine—poured the Corton Château Corton Grancey 2019 (94 points, $224) at the Grand Tastings. In a moving tribute, Florent remembered his older brother as a savvy businessman, skilled winegrower and gentle steward of the land. Fiercely committed to all of Burgundy, Louis-Fabrice took pride in protecting the cross of Charlemagne (most recently from a boneheaded influencer) and worked to establish the area as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and prevent a hotel from being built on the hill of Corton.

 An audience member snaps a photo of a bottle of 2018 Corton-Charlemagne during the Maison Louis Latour seminar at the 2022 New York Wine Experience, in the NY Marriott Marquis ballroom
During the Louis Latour seminar, guests enjoyed both Wine No. 6 of 2021 and an aged red Burgundy. (Daphne Youree)

Louis-Fabrice took the reins from his father, Louis, in 1999, so the Corton Château Corton Grancey 1999—the estate’s flagship red, a blend of several Pinot Noir grands crus—was one of the first made under his direction. Florent observed that the 1999 harvest in Beaune began on Sept. 17, the same day as the legendary 1959 harvest, which locals took to be a fortuitous sign. At 23 years old, the wine was singing. Sanderson called it “a perfect example of why you age wines” and “a fitting tribute to a wonderful man with a big heart [who] left us too soon.”

Florent also introduced the Corton-Charlemagne 2018 (95, $200), which was recognized as the No. 6 Wine of 2021 for its track record of excellence, wide availability and relative value for grand cru Burgundy. Florent favorably compared the Chardonnay, which came from a ripe year, to the 1947, 2009 and—making an optimistic prediction about the recent harvest—2022 vintages.

As Maison Louis Latour looks to the future, these wines served as beautiful reminders of its distinguished past. In Florent’s words: “We’re always building on the shoulders of our elders.”

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People ny-wine-experience-2022 top-100 WS Events Wine Experience Pinot Noir Chardonnay France Burgundy Côte de Beaune Côte de Nuits 2018 1999

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