Chateau Latour Les Forts de Latour Pauillac 1996

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Varietal: Bordeaux Blends Region: Bordeaux Country: France


Chateau Latour is a First Growth estate that lies at the southeastern tip of Pauillac in the Medoc region of Bordeaux bordering St Julien and covers 78 hectares. The estate site has been occupied since at least 1331, and the estate itself dates back to at least 1378. A fort was built 300 meters from the estate to guard against attack during the Hundred Years' War. The tower that was built ultimately gave rise to the estate's name. The original tower was destroyed but in the 1620's a new, circular tower (La Tour de Saint-Lambert) was built on the estate and is said to have been constructed using components from the original.

Chateau Latour produces three red wines: its Grand vin, a second wine, Les Forts de Latour has been produced since 1966, and a third wine, called Pauillac, had its first release in 1990. The estate has been home to grape vines since the 14th century. On average, approximately 16-20,000 cases of Latour are made each year, 10-12,000 cases of Les Forts de Latour, and production varies for the generic Pauillac year-to-year. The vineyard is comprised of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc/Petit Verdot. The Latour gets 100% new oak barrels for aging, and the Les Forts de Latour is aged in 50% new oak and 50% one-year-old oak barrels.


Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - 100 points

"Always somewhat atypical (which I suspect will be the case with the more modern day 2003), the 1982 Latour has been the most opulent, flamboyant, and precocious of the northern Medocs, especially the St.-Juliens, Pauillacs, and St.-Estephes. It hasn’t changed much over the last 10-15 years, revealing sweet tannins as well as extraordinarily decadent, even extravagant levels of fruit, glycerin, and body. It is an amazing wine, and on several occasions, I have actually picked it as a right bank Pomerol because of the lushness and succulence of the cedary, blackberry, black currant fruit. This vintage has always tasted great, even in its youth, and revealed a precociousness that one does not associate with this Chateau. However, the 1982 is still evolving at a glacial pace. The concentration remains remarkable, and the wine is a full-bodied, exuberant, rich, classic Pauillac in its aromatic and flavor profiles. It’s just juiced up (similar to an athlete on steroids) and is all the better for it. This remarkable effort will last as long as the 1982 Mouton, but it has always been more approachable and decadently fruity. Drink it now, in 20 years, and in 50 years! Don’t miss it if you are a wine lover." (June 2009)

Wine Spectator - 98 points

"Big and chewy. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a long, long currant, berry and cherry character. Underrated. Still more to come in this wine." (June 2001)

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