Latour “Drops of Gold” — Jefferson’s Favorite Meursault
Simply put, the 2013 Louis Latour Meursault “Goutte d’Or” 1er Cru is liquid gold. Culled from the 13-acre les Gouttes d’Or Premier Cru site in Meursault from pristine grapes planted in the famous chalky soils flecked with ancient limestone deposits — a tightly wound and richly textured Chardonnay from the Côte d’Or. At 30% off the release price — there’s no reason to wait.
One of Louis Latour winemaker Jean-Charles Thomas’s many duties is setting the record straight about the wine. It is easy when he can lead a group of Burgundy drinkers up the steep hill just outside of the town of Meursault and into the vines of the 13-acre les Gouttes d’Or vineyard. There, he will instruct them to bend down, scoop up some soil, and take a look at what they are holding.
“Most people think ‘Goutte d’Or” takes its name from the brilliant color it becomes as it ages,” Jean-Charles says about the wine, ideally as sunlight glints in their hands. “But in reality, it’s the flint in the soil that shows both the shape and color of the ‘drops of gold.’” Thomas can then move on to a fact that rarely fails to turn heads: “Thomas Jefferson considered this the best vineyard of Meursault.”
Two centuries later, practically nothing in the world is the same as in Jefferson’s day. But the chalky, limestone-flecked soil of les Gouttes d’Or? That hasn’t changed. The way the rising sun hits the vineyard and warms the vines? The same. Jean-Charles’s statement summed up centuries of Burgundian continuity: Tweaks in vineyard management aside, the grapes that go into Louis Latour’s “Goutte d’Or” are the same grapes that went into Jefferson’s Meursault.
“The Chardonnay we make from these vines is very special — there is a unique balance, roundness, and ripeness of fruit that gives a fatness to the wine,” Jean-Charles explained. “2013 was cool, but temperatures rose slightly and steadily and our remaining clusters matured beautifully until we harvested.”
The resulting wine is both ripe and fresh. Vibrant, and with a rich hue that makes the misconception about the name perfectly understandable. This is liquid gold, from vineyard to glass.