Since their departure from the en primeur campaigns in 2011, Ch Latour, the great aristocratic First Growth of Bordeaux, undertakes to release a mature vintage of both the Grand Vin and its famed second wine Les Forts de Latour. These are always vintages the château feel are entering their prime of drinking, but which also have an ability to age. This year they couldn’t have picked two more exciting vintages: the stunning 2000 Vintage for Ch Latour and 2009 Les Forts de Latour.
The wines themselves have rested in the château’s cellars since they were bottled and have a guaranteed provenance. 2000 is one of the most complete vintages to come out of Bordeaux in the last 20 years, particularly for the wines of the northern Médoc. There is no better example than Ch Latour itself. The true characteristics of the vintage are highlighted by a superb balance of fruit ripeness and structural intensity which are both supported by a crisp freshness of fruit. The result is a wine of boldness and ageability, so typical of the great wines of Pauillac.
2009 is an equally acclaimed vintage, but the greater levels of natural richness make it everything one looks for in a second wine. The beautifully generous nature of this vintage provides an accessibility and excitement. The 2009s have depth and texture, and this fine Forts de Latour shows off the vintage’s great strengths. Yes it remains young, but it has a wonderfully irresistible touch about it already.
There is, it must be said, a premium to pay for the impeccable provenance of this stock. However, with Latour stating that there will be no further releases of these particular vintages it is the final opportunity to buy these two great wines assured of their unimpeachable provenance.
2000 Ch Latour 1er Cru Pauillac
£4050.00 per 6 bottles In Bond
Deep dense opaque, relatively closed on the nose, but there is a real feeling of dark dense brooding fruits coming through. In the palate one is immediately hit by both the extraordinary structure and power of this wine and yet also a feeling of extraordinary harmony. This is balance personified, and one has a feeling of a great wine in the making, superbly integrated between the intensity of tannic structure, with a natural mass of fruit, but most importantly a glorious freshness. This has masses and masses of potential and the length just goes on forever. An exceptional wine in the making. 19.5/20 David Roberts MW, tasted en primeur April 2001
Deep, deep opaque colour. An intensity of dark black berry fruits. In the palate this wine is all about intensity and masculinity. Hints of dark black chocolate, with notes of blueberry and dark berries. This is a big brooding wine, with extraordinary weight and power, but beautifully in keeping with a feeling of richness and natural concentration. This has a feeling of true class and the life and freshness on the finish provide an additional layer of quality and complexity. A potentially great wine in the making. 19/20 David Roberts MW, tasted blind at Southwold tasting in 2004
The 2000 Latour is “packed and stacked.” The extremely rich, black/purple color to the rim is followed by a wine with some subtle smoke, loads of minerals, a hint of vanilla, and plenty of creme de cassis as well as roasted meat and a slight scorched earth character. Broad, savory, and rich, the wine seems to be about 5 years away from full maturity and should drink well for at least 40-50 more years. A great effort, probably eclipsed only by 2003 and 2009. 98 points Robert Parker, June 2010
Deep garnet in color, the 2000 Latour has aromas of kirsch, creme de cassis and dried mulberries with nuances of leather, incense, salami and fertile loam. The palate is just starting to mature into a wonderfully satiny texture, with layer upon layer of berry preserve, baking spice and earth notes resulting in a wine of incredible poise. 99 points Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Advocate, November 2012
2009 Les Forts de Latour Pauillac
£780.00 per 6 bottles In Bond
Dark liquorice colour. Lovely bright rich aromas of cassis and mulberries. There is a real brilliance of fruit in this wine, balancing its natural intensity with a weighted volume, richness and tightly knit structured tannins. Sweet, rich and with an undercurrent of the famed power of the Grand Vin. This is a fine example of the overriding quality of Les Forts de Latour. 17/20 David Roberts MW, tasted en primeur April 2010
Shining bright blackcurrant purple colour. Wonderfully distinctive aromas of violets and dark currant fruits. In the palate, this is a rich and bold style, with a feeling of weight and power, almost to an excess, but then a lovely succulence and richness come through on the back palate to provide a moreish texture and fine length on the finish. A wine of power and for ageing. 17.5/20 David Roberts MW, tasted blind at Southwold tasting 2013
Possibly the best second wine ever made at Latour (and I love how the 1982 is drinking at age 30), the 2009 Les Forts de Latour is composed of two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot blended with a tiny dollop of Petit Verdot, and finished at 13.5% alcohol. Juicy notes of creme de cassis, licorice, camphor, smoke and crushed rocks are followed by a rich, unctuously textured, thick, juicy, exceptionally pure, long wine. This beauty will be at its finest in several years and should keep for three decades. 95 points Robert Parker, February 2012
Very deep purple-black in color, this wine has aromas of creme de cassis, cinnamon toast, dark chocolate and vanilla pod. Medium to full bodied, rich and expressively fruity already, it has a medium to firm level of velvety tannins and a long finish. 94 points Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Advocate, November 2012