This morning marks the release of Forts de Latour 2009 on the Place de Bordeaux. Forts de Latour 2009 is the stunning second wine of Chateau Latour and notably, their second highest scoring ever. It has been awarded 95 points by Robert Parker who says it is ‘Possibly the best second wine ever made at Latour (and I love how the 1982 is drinking at age 30). This beauty will be at its finest in several years and should keep for three decades.’ Parker gives it a drinking window of 2012 through to 2042 and the 1982 trades today at £300 a bottle, £3,600 per case of 12. James Suckling agrees calling it ‘Succulent. Full and very balanced, with super velvety tannins and a long and lovely finish. Frederic Engerer, president of Latour, uses the word “succulent” to describe it. He’s right. I like the word gorgeous as well. Try in 2018, but hard not to drink’.
As such, today’s ex-cellar release price of £1,160 per case of 6 represents superb market timing, particularly given its constant Asian demand, which has resulted in most cases finding their way to Hong Kong in the last eight years. Its original London release price was £750 in 2016, with a trading high of £1,125. We expect immediate and strong demand from Asia for the 2009, where it is one of the most in demand wines.
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 they have entered their drinking window. The appeal is obvious, allowing consumers to buy wine with perfect provenance, direct from the Chateau cellar. Forts de Latour 2009 was one of the last vintages to release before this departure from tradition.
The second wines of the First Growths and in particular Forts de Latour, are in huge demand in Asia, while remaining loved in traditional markets. With the Pound’s weakness against the Euro and wines strong negative correlation to FX, extremely hard to source wines like Forts de Latour 2009 are excellent purchases, with long-term demand for this truly legendary wine likely to greatly outstrip supply. The Estate has only released a miniscule 850 cases of the 2009 to the market, this is the last of the vintage. It makes a great deal of sense to own the finest second wine ever made, a stunning proposition at £190 a bottle for a 95 point scoring wine, from one of the leading Estates in the world, Chateau Latour. This will sell extremely well, selling out on allocation across Europe, the US and Asia.