2008 Les Forts de Latour, Pauillac

2008 Les Forts de Latour, Pauillac

Product: 20088012414
Prices start from £1,800.00 per case Buying options
2008 Les Forts de Latour, Pauillac

Description

Whilst Latour’s decision to move away from the En Primeur system has definite ramifications for Bordeaux’s La Place, it makes tasting their latest releases very pleasurable indeed given they’ve had time to mature in bottle. The 2008 Forts de Latour has a very elegant nose with notes of violets, red berry fruit, freshly turned earth, black pepper and sweet vanilla pod.

The palate is energetic and vivacious with good acidity and weight of fruit – sprightly even. The finish is long and integrated with mouth-coating tannins and a savoury meatiness which denotes its class. This is drinking nicely now, however another few years of bottle-age will see the fruit move further to the fore, the tannins soften even more and the overall elegance enhance.
Nick Stewart, Private Account Manager


With gorgeous, concentrated dark fruit, intriguing spice and fine, silky tannins the Forts de Latour is a force to be reckoned with in 2008. The Grand Vin was our favourite wine of the vintage and to be honest their Second Wine isnt far behind. The tannins are luxuriously coated in rich, ripe blackcurrant fruit which makes them roll across the palate so incredibly smoothly but a crunchy minerality adds the classic, linear backbone of Pauillac. This reminded us of the 2004 but has a freshness that bodes well for long ageing potential. Remarkable.
Simon Staples, Wine Director Asia

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About this WINE

Chateau Latour

Chateau Latour

The history of Ch. Latour dates back at least to the 14th century, even though the vineyards for which it is now world-renowned were not fully established until the 17th century.  

The estate is located at the southern edge of Pauillac, bordering the St. Julien vineyards of Ch. Léoville Las Cases, and covers 78 hectares. After a period when it was under English ownership, in the form of the Pearson Group, owners of the Financial Times, and Harvey’s of Bristol, the property passed to Allied Lyons in 1989 and was then bought in 1993 by the French billionaire industrialist François Pinault, whose empire was to grow to include Yves St. Laurent, Gucci and Christie’s Auction House.

Pinault has delegated day-to-day control of the estate and its wines to his dynamic Président, Frédéric Engerer, under whose stewardship a major programme of investment has taken place which has seen Latour rise to an undisputed pre-eminent position in the Bordeaux wine hierarchy.

Engerer produces 3 wines: the Grand Vin, which always comes from the vines immediately surrounding the château, known as L’Enclos; Les Forts de Latour, the second wine, created in 1966, and now regarded as a great wine in its own right, certainly worthy of Classified Growth status; and finally a third wine, simply called Pauillac de Latour, usually the product of young vines. The second wine, Les Forts de Latour, always comes from a distinct location, rather than simply being the vats rejected as not quite worthy of inclusion in Latour itself, so it has its own distinct identity.

In terms of volumes, on average there are about 16-20,000 cases of Latour made each year, 10-12,000 cases of Les Forts de Latour, and a variable quantity of the generic Pauillac. As one would expect in Pauillac the Cabernet Sauvignon dominates, accounting for 80% of the vineyard, with Merlot (18%) and Cabernet Franc/Petit Verdot comprising the remaining 2%.

Vinification is rigorously controlled, with severe selection of only the healthiest fruit, total de-stemming, and separate tanks for each parcel of vines. A three-week long maceration is followed by malolactic fermentation in vats before the wine chosen to become Ch. Latour is run off into barrels, 100% new, for ageing. The wine destined to become Les Forts de Latour is aged in 50% new oak and 50% one-year-old barrels.

In style the wine is powerful, structured and compelling, and has been for many the most consistent performer amongst the First Growth Wines over the past century, acquiring an enviable reputation for producing very good wine in the more challenging vintages. It has great potential to age, with the best vintages lasting a century or more.

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Pauillac

Pauillac

Pauillac is the aristocrat of the Médoc boasting boasting 75 percent of the region’s First Growths and with Grand Cru Classés representing 84 percent of Pauillac's production.

For a small town, surrounded by so many familiar and regal names, Pauillac imparts a slightly seedy impression. There are no grand hotels or restaurants – with the honourable exception of the establishments owned by Jean-Michel Cazes – rather a small port and yacht harbour, and a dominant petrochemical plant.

Yet outside the town, , there is arguably the greatest concentration of fabulous vineyards throughout all Bordeaux, including three of the five First Growths. Bordering St Estèphe to the north and St Julien to the south, Pauillac has fine, deep gravel soils with important iron and marl deposits, and a subtle, softly-rolling landscape, cut by a series of small streams running into the Gironde. The vineyards are located on two gravel-rich plateaux, one to the northwest of the town of Pauillac and the other to the south, with the vines reaching a greater depth than anywhere else in the Médoc.

Pauillac's first growths each have their own unique characteristics; Lafite Rothschild, tucked in the northern part of Pauillac on the St Estèphe border, produces Pauillac's most aromatically complex and subtly-flavoured wine. Mouton Rothschild's vineyards lie on a well-drained gravel ridge and - with its high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon - can produce (in its best years) Pauillac's most decadently rich, fleshy and exotic wine.

Latour, arguably Bordeaux's most consistent First Growth, is located in southern Pauillac next to St Julien. Its soil is gravel-rich with superb drainage, and Latour's vines penetrate as far as five metres into the soil. It produces perhaps the most long-lived wines of the Médoc.

Recommended Châteaux
Ch. Lafite-Rothschild, Ch. Latour, Ch. Mouton-Rothschild, Ch. Pichon-Longueville Baron, Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Ch. Lynch-Bages, Ch. Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Ch, Pontet-Canet, Les Forts de Latour, Ch. Haut-Batailley, Ch. Batailley, Ch. Haut-Bages Libéral.

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Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

The Wine Advocate91/100
Jancis17/20
Wine Spectator 88-91/100
Parker91/100
Decanter17/100

Critic reviews

The Wine Advocate91/100
Tasted at the chteau, the Les Forts de Latour 2008, a late cellar release from the estate, has a very delineated bouquet with blackberry, black truffle and cedar aromas the gently unfold in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a feisty entry, touches of white pepper, graphite and bell pepper on the entry that neatly complement the black fruit, which dovetails into a poised, minty finish. This is an excellent Les Forts de Latour that should age easily over the next 10-15 years. Tasted June 2015.
Neal Martin - 29/07/2016 Read more
Jancis17/20
Second wine. Deep crimson – less blue than the Pauillac. Not much nose. Very cool and tight. Restricted and taut. Very firm. Dry and strict. Wait a long time –pretty solid. Not a charmer. Clean and brisk. Very energetic. A little low key today.
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Wine Spectator 88-91/100
Subtle aromas of currant and raspberry, with a minerally undertone. Medium-bodied, with fine tannins and a medium finish. A little one-dimensional on the palate, but very good
James Suckling - Wine Spectator - Apr-2009 Read more
Parker91/100
A strong effort, this 2008 exhibits a dark ruby/purple color, more minerality than the 2010 and hints of cedarwood, black currants, underbrush and forest floor. This round, generous blend of 66.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33.5% Merlot should easily last for two decades or more.
Robert Parker- Wine Advocate- May 2011

The second wine seems to have picked up most of the Merlot from the Latour vineyards (31.5% Merlot and 66.5% Cabernet Sauvignon dominate the blend). The 2008 Les Forts de Latour is a forward, pure wine displaying remarkably sweet tannins along with aromas of black currants, forest floor, and a hint of underbrush. Opulent, round, and generous, it should drink well for 15-20 years, possibly longer given the fact that the 1982 Les Forts de Latour is still a beautiful wine, and it’s “only” 27 years of age!
Robert Parker- Wine Advocate- April 2009
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Decanter17/100
Purple-red, smoky, almost seductive Pauillac fruit, yet has the firmness, grip and structure of a serious wine, not a blockbuster, fine purity and length.
Decanter - Apr-2009 Read more