Since their departure from the en primeur in 2011, Château Latour, the great aristocratic First Growth of Bordeaux now release a mature vintage of both the Grand Vin and its famed second wine Les Forts de Latour each year. These are vintages the château feel are entering their prime of drinking, but which also have an ability to age. This year they have selected the monumental 2005 vintage for Château Latour and the fine, approachable 2011 Les Forts de Latour.
The wines themselves have rested in the château’s cellars since they were bottled and have a guaranteed provenance. In our opinion 2005 is one of the great Bordeaux vintages and Château Latour is unquestionably one of the greatest wines not only of the Médoc but one of the greats of its generation. A wine of depth, power and precision, it is testament to the unwavering pursuit of excellence at this wonderful domaine.
2011 is admittedly not quite as highly regarded as 2005 but nonetheless produced charming, balanced wines that will give great drinking pleasure in the short to mid-term. The generous nature of this vintage provides an accessibility and excitement and this fine Forts de Latour shows off not only the vintage’s strengths but also the deft touch of the wine making team at the château.
There is, it must be said, a premium to pay for the impeccable provenance of this stock. However, with Latour strictly controlling further releases of these particular vintages it is an opportunity to buy these two great wines assured of their unimpeachable provenance.
£3,900 per 6 bottles IB
The 2005 Latour (87% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot and Petit Verdot) is a spectacular effort from Château Latour. It has an inky plum/purple color and a gorgeous nose of graphite, crème de cassis, and floral notes with some forest floor in the background. It is full-bodied, super-concentrated, and for my taste, probably one of the two or three most intense, rich, and complex wines of the entire Médoc. The wine has great texture, purity and a finish of close to 40 or 45 seconds. The tannins are surprisingly sweet, even in this large-scaled, masculine wine. Drink 2017 – 2065. 98 points, Robert Parker, June 2015.I have been fortunate enough to taste this exceptional wine a number of times and its sheer depth, power, precision, balance and complexity always astonishes me. This is a wine that totally lives up to its reputation both as a vineyard and as the greatest modern day vintage since 1961.
£835 per 6 bottles IB
One of the finest second wines now being made, Les Forts de Latour comes from the same parcel every year. The 2011 is composed of 61.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 38.5% Merlot. Forty-three percent of the Latour production was relegated to this cuvee. Its opaque purple color is accompanied by a big, sweet nose of creme de cassis, underbrush, licorice and incense. Medium to full-bodied, deep, fleshy and already appealing, this 2011 should gain complexity over the next 5-7 years. Drink 2017 – 2037. 90-92 points, Robert Parker, April 2012.In the slightly more difficult years such as 2011, it is when the quality of breeding that really shines through and this is very much the case in this high class example of a top 2nd wine from a famous vineyard estate such as Ch Latour.