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.”

Les Forts de Latour 2009

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. 

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Tasting Notes and Scores

BI
97

Some distance from maturity but remarkably slightly more closed than the 2003; perhaps it has shut down and the 2003 will shortly do so? Still incredibly pure and focused with oyster shell and gravel characters alongside the prominent cassis and ripe blackcurrant flavours, it manages to be both weighty and intense and yet boasts near-perfect balance.

Wine Advocate
99

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 (In Asia #1112, Nov 2012)

The 2000 Latour (a relatively abundant 14,000 cases compared to what they produced in 2009, 2008, or 2005) 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. Drink 2010-2060.
98 points – Robert Parker (Wine Advocate #189, June 2010)

Neal Martin
99

Served blind at the chateau. There is so much brooding intensity in this wine, almost as if it is stalking the senses. Certainly there is remarkable mineralite here, sensational definition with briary and graphite developing with time. The palate is firm and masculine, tannic, powerful, such density and weight on the finish, yet showing no compassion to the tasted…yet.

James Suckling
100

Latour has made truly great wines in the past two decades—and this is one of the best. It has fabulous aromas of black truffles, currants, raspberry and dried flowers. Mind-blowing on the palate, it’s an emotional and soulful red.

Previous Recommendations

Glenfarclas 1989-2002 Trilogy Collection
Krug Grande Cuvée Edition 167
NEW RELEASE
Muga Gran Reserva Prado Enea 2011
Utter Bargain - new Prado Enea release
Niepoort Vintage Port 2017
"Possibly our finest since 1945"
Tomatin Warehouse 6 Collection: 1975
One of Scotland’s Unsung Heroes
Bollinger La Grande Annee 2008
"A regal and heroic Bollinger" - RJ
Akitu Pinot Noir 2016
Our Favourite New Kiwi Pinot
2005 Imperial Gran Reserva in Jero
95 Point Ex-Bodega Release
Dom Ruinart 2007
'A Stunning Champagne'
2015 Galia Villages
95pt Spanish Bargain
A Festive BI Single Malt Treat
Tomatin 2009 1st Fill Sherry Cask
Vina del Olivo, Contino 2016
Incredible Single Vineyard Rioja
NEW RELEASE: Clarendelle Rouge 2014
By Haut Brion
The Mascot 2013
Baby Harlan, Promontory and BOND
CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva 2011
96pt Gran Reserva Rioja to rival the 1953
Clos des Goisses 2009
NEW RELEASE
Rafael Palacios As Sortes 2016
'The finest vintage to date'
Henriot Blanc de Blancs Jeroboam
2008 base year Champagne
Vina Real Gran Reserva 2011
97pt Gran Reserva Rioja Royalty
Chateau Grand Village 2010
A Bordeaux Bargain
Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV
Baby Cristal - £280 per 12 IB
Les Fillottes 2015
Baby VCC just £220 per 6!
"Vina Ardanza" La Rioja Alta 2009
95Pts for under £16 a bottle!
Ch Arton Armagnac La Reserve
France’s Best Eaux de Vie
La Chenade 2014
Phenomenal value from Denis Durantou
Haut Bergey 2002
Silver Oak Alexandra Valley 2013
CNDP Cuvee VV La Janasse 2015
“The 2015 is a tour de force" RP
Clarendelle Rouge 2012 (Haut Brion)
Second Coming: £145 per Jero!
The Greatest Ever Muga ‘Prado Enea’
UK Exclusivity
Esprit de Pavie 2011
Baby Brother of Chateau Pavie
Clos Apalta 2014
Awarded 100 points by James Suckling
Leroy Bourgogne Blanc 2015
Your favourite House White is Back
Lopez de Heredia
The Pioneer of Rioja
Orma 2014
"Challenger to Sassicaia and Ornellaia"
Zarate Albarino Balado Vineyard 2015
Sun in a Bottle
Christian Drouin Pays d’Auge 1989
The World’s Best Calvados - Made Better
Vina Ardanza La Rioja Alta 2008
94 Points for under £15 a bottle!
Get ready to Rock out the Rose
Rock Angel Rose from Esclans
Latour 2005 Ex-Chateau
"a spectacular effort" 98pts RP
BI BARGAIN: Clos L’Eglise 2006
One of the last vintages of a fine estate
NEW RELEASE: Pol Roger 2008
"Admirably long. Really exciting." 18/20 JR
NEW: Single Cask 1979 Rum
Exclusive Bottling Only at BI
BARGAIN BURGUNDY 2015
Outstanding Bourgogne Rouge from Leroy
NEW: Imperial Gran Reserva 2010
"A very good vintage for this bottling."
Jaboulet Crozes Hermitage 2010
"the best buy in the Northern Rhone"
DON'T MISS! Jadot Clos Vougeot 2015
"a Clos Vougeot that will go the distance"
TOP TIP: Guigal La Doriane 2015
Under 1200 cases produced in 2015!
Bollinger La Grande Annee 2007
"One of the three best from this vintage"
Krug Grande Cuvee
The Latest Innovation from Krug
BARGAIN RHONE: Vieux Donjon 2015
"the top of the heap" JD
Latour 2007 Ex-Chateau
"a fine Latour" (NM)
Best Buy: Haut-Brion 1999
"style only Haut-Brion appears capable" RP
NAPA LEGEND Clos du Val 2013
"a real head turner" AG
Clarendelle Blanc 2015 (Haut-Brion)
Without doubt the bargain of the vintage!
Casa Castillo Pie Franco 2010 – 95 Pts
"world-class wines from Spain" LG
Exclusive Hine 1986 Vintage Cognac
Released for H.M. The Queen’s 90th
Drouin 2000 Early Landed Calvados
A dangerously delicious piece of history
NEW Vin de Constance 2012
The Very Pinnacle of South Africa
Latour 2000 & Forts 2009 (2016 Release)
"truly great wines" JS
Cambon La Pelouse 2000
"equivalent to many classified growths" RP