Latour 2000 & Forts 2009 (2016 Release)
When it comes to the First Growths, all the evidence suggests that Chateau Latour is first among equals. At our ‘Bordeaux 10 Years On’ tastings, which we have run since 2009, Latour has been the outstanding wine in every vintage. At its very best – in the 2000 and 2005 tastings for example – it has proven to be truly stellar, delivering a world-class wine experience which simply serves to elucidate the reasons as to why great Bordeaux is so revered.
Since 2011 Latour have opted not to be involved with the traditional En Primeur system, preferring instead to hold back stock for release at a later date when it is closer to its natural drinking window. The really good news here is that this plan was clearly some time in the making, as the Chateau were already holding back stocks of slowly and perfectly maturing wines which would be unveiled to the market when they were considered ‘ready’. The time has come for the Chateau to release the remainder of their superb 2000 vintage, a wine already adorned with 99 points from Neal Martin, 98 points from Robert Parker and the mighty 100 from James Suckling.
It is often said of Bordeaux that June makes the quantity, August makes the style and September makes the quality. This was certainly the case in 2000 as June experienced patchy weather with a couple of significant rain storms, followed by nigh-on drought conditions in August which led to grapes with thick skins and powerful, ripe tannins; then a near-flawless September enabled the fat, rich grapes to achieve full phenolic ripeness. Thanks to the magical terroirs and hard work of Latour’s vignerons, the conditions were harnessed to a tee and the resulting wine is, in the words of Mr Suckling, “an emotional and soulful red.”
In addition to this the Chateau have released the stunning 2009 Les Forts de Latour. Far from a mere ‘second wine’, Les Forts is made from dedicated vineyard plots (generally featuring more Merlot than Latour, making it approachable earlier) and vinified to a standard that puts many Grands Vins to shame. Of course the 2009 vintage needs no introduction, having been well-publicised as Parker’s ‘greatest ever vintage’ in Bordeaux.