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Château de la Tour

Benchmark Old-vine Clos de Vougeot from the Sole Cellars Within the Clos

Hype or no hype, today Château de la Tour is one of the top producers of the Côte de Nuits and arguably the benchmark domaine of the Clos de Vougeot. But it hasn’t been an overnight success story. This grower has been making outstanding red Burgundies since at least the 1950s. Yet there is no doubt that since 2010 the already high quality of this producer’s wines has risen sharply, and in the last few vintages, it has gone through the roof.

Of course, quality is a given from such a producer. The domaine is the largest holder in the Clos (with 5.5 hectares), meaning it controls a significant proportion of the finest vines—mainly on the upper slopes of the clos surrounding the Château, just below Musigny. Château de la Tour’s Vieilles Vignes are the oldest in the Clos and include one plot (approximately one hectare) of ancient vines planted in 1910. Even the so-called ‘younger vines’, mentioned in the Bettane and Desseauve quote, have an average age of over 65 years. 

The viticulture has been organic for over 20 years, so the soils around these vines could hardly be more dynamic and healthier. One of the most significant advantages working in this producer’s favour is the winery’s proximity to the vines—located in the Clos itself, this is only one of two buildings within the walls of this 50-hectare Grand Cru vineyard. These factors, combined with the immensely talented team’s precise winemaking, result in exceptional, classic wines of what the French might term great breeding. 

Since 2012 the wines have been more luscious, more layered, and with more refined tannins—without any loss of terroir expression, power or authenticity.

An intensely knowledgeable and passionate grower, François Labet has been the driving force behind the domaine since 1984. Although Château de la Tour is steeped in history, it is also renowned for its ability to adapt within the confines of its relentless pursuit of quality. Those following the wines will not have missed the evolution towards a more nuanced, approachable style being produced here. 

There are many small factors behind this positive change. The appointment of the talented Sylvain Pataille to assist in both vineyard and winemaking decisions could be considered the catalyst. Of course, the climate has also been shifting and bringing more flesh to wines across the Côte. Another more recent factor is Labet’s son Edouard, who has now entered the picture. He is revising ideas and practices and working on the biodynamic side (supporting the organic viticulture that was incepted here as far back as 1992). Further, from 2019, even the Domaine’s once traditional and exclusive use of whole bunches has been recalibrated, alongside plans to reflect on the use of new oak.

The Cuvée Classique is drawn predominantly from the domaine’s vines on the mid-slope of the Clos but also from plots on the lower and upper parts of the vineyard. There are six parcels in total, including the lieux-dits of Montiottes Basses, Quatorze-Journaux and Quartier Marei Bas. Château de La Tour’s emblematic Vieilles Vignes cuvée comes from a selection of the oldest vines in the Clos, mostly planted in 1910 and situated right in the heart of the vineyard. These ancient vines yield only two to three tiny bunches per vine in a good year. The net result is a Clos de Vougeot of unique intensity, breadth of flavour, complexity and structural power. In the most favourable years, the domaine bottles a third cuvée, the Hommage à Jean Morin. This ultra-rare wine, named after François’ grandfather, is produced exclusively from the oldest vines in the Clos, utilising only the first bunch on the first shoot of each vine.

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“This Domaine possesses by far the most important parcel of the grand cru Clos de Vougeot and has the privilege of being the sole producer that has its winery within the Clos itself. The quality of the grapes in the Vieilles Vignes is exceptional and their vinification in whole bunches, not destemmed, gives a wine of prodigious breeding, worthy of comparison with the greatest Richebourg. The standard cuvee, excellent also, is produced from the much younger vines.” Michel Bettane & Thierry Desseauve, Le Grand Guide Des Vins de France 

“Vine age and vineyard placement separates Chateau de la Tour from its peers. These are wines of power – age worthy and arguably the definitive expression of Vougeot.” Jasper Morris MW 

“Recent vintages promise to be the best yet for this property, a testament to the many improvements that the dynamic, well traveled Labet has made in the vineyards and in the cuverie—changes all aimed at bringing greater precision to the wines.” Stephen Tanzer, Vinous



Primary Region

Côte de Nuits


Winemakers: François & Edouard Labet



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