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September 28, 2017

Les Forts de Latour 2010

Forts.de.Latour.copy

This morning marks the release of Forts Latour 2010 on the Place du Bordeaux. Forts Latour is the stunning second wine of Chateau Latour and notably, the highest scoring second wine in 2010. More significantly, Forts Latour 2010 is the highest ever scoring second wine with a staggering 97 points from Robert Parker. The next highest scoring second wine is Carruades de Lafite 2010, which trades at £2,400 per case of 12, with a score of 94 points. Of Forts Latour 2010 Robert Parker states ’Bizarre as it may sound, the 2010 Les Forts de Latour is also the finest I have ever tasted from this selection, which comes from specific vineyards, not really so much a second wine as just another wine from estate holdings’ This helps explain its finery, its score is that of a First Growth in a great vintage, largely possible due the First Growth-esque selection.

Parker goes on to say it is ‘Extremely ripe and rich, it reminds me of the 1982 on steroids (and that wine is still drinking great 30 years after the vintage). Sensational notes of graphite, crushed rocks, black fruits, camphor and damp forest notes are present in this expansive, savory, full-throttle wine, which is better than many vintages of the great Latour itself from the past. (That may be a heretical statement, but it’s the truth as I see it.) This wine needs a good 5-6 years of cellaring and should age for three decades at minimum, given the fact that the 1982 is in terrific form and wasn’t this concentrated or prodigious.’ This makes this morning’s release extremely interesting as the finest second wine ever made, as does today’s price of £2,000 a case of 12, or £1,000 per case of six. This gives it the lowest Price Over Points Score of any recent vintage of Forts Latour with 118.

Forts de Latour WA Price POP
2011 91 £800 145
2010 97 £1,000 118
2009 95 £900 120
2008 91 £850 155
2007 89 £850 189
2006 92 £850 142
2005 93 £900 138
2004 90 £850 170
2003 92 £900 150
2002 92 £925 154
2001 90 £975 195
2000 92 £1,050 175

Chateau Latour broke the mould in 2012, declaring that they would no longer participate in the en primeur system, with the 2011 vintage marking their last en primeur release. Latour took the polemical decision to leave in favour of ageing their wine themselves and thereon releasing them to market when they considered that they have entered their drinking window. The appeal is obvious, allowing consumers to buy wine with perfect provenance, direct from the Chateau cellar. Forts Latour 2010 was one of the last vintages to release before this departure from tradition. Its original London release price was £2,298, with a trading high of £2,500: it was originally given a barrel score of 92-95, being marked up to 97 points from bottle. As such, today’s ex-cellar release price represents superb market timing.

The second wines of the First Growths and in particular Forts Latour, are in huge demand in Asia, while remaining loved in traditional markets. Post-brexit ex-chateau releases have generally been higher than the UK market, yet today’s release offers a superb entry point. Moreover, with the pound’s weakness against the euro, moving wine in a strong negative correlation, means extremely hard to source wines like Forts Latour 2010 are excellent purchases, with long-term demand for this truly legendary wine, likely to greatly outstrip supply. It makes a great deal of sense to own the finest second wine ever made, a stunning proposition at £160 a bottle for a 97 scoring wine, from one of the leading Estates in the world, Chateau Latour. This will sell extremely well.

Les Forts de Latour 2010, 6×75 - £1,000 IB

97 Points, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
Bizarre as it may sound, the 2010 Les Forts de Latour is also the finest I have ever tasted from this selection, which comes from specific vineyards, not really so much a second wine as just another wine from estate holdings. A blend of 72.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27.5% Merlot that represents 40% of the production, this astonishing wine hit 14.3% natural alcohol. Extremely ripe and rich, it reminds me of the 1982 on steroids (and that wine is still drinking great 30 years after the vintage). Sensational notes of graphite, crushed rocks, black fruits, camphor and damp forest notes are present in this expansive, savory, full-throttle wine, which is better than many vintages of the great Latour itself from the past. (That may be a heretical statement, but it’s the truth as I see it.) This wine needs a good 5-6 years of cellaring and should age for three decades at minimum, given the fact that the 1982 is in terrific form and wasn’t this concentrated or prodigious. 

96 Points, James Suckling
Aromas of currants, blueberries and blackberries with a dark chocolate undertone. Perfumes and beautiful. Full body, with velvety tannins that are fine-tuned and tentative. It lasts for minutes. Gorgeous fruit and richness. Perhaps the greatest Les Fort ever? Try in 2018.

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