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.
- Sold Out!
Tasting Notes and Scores
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.
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)
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.
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.