Possibly the best second wine ever made at Latour (and I love how the 1982 is drinking at age 30), the 2009 Les Forts de Latour is composed of two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot blended with a tiny dollop of Petit Verdot, and finished at 13.5% alcohol. Juicy notes of creme de cassis, licorice, camphor, smoke and crushed rocks are followed by a rich, unctuously textured, thick, juicy, exceptionally pure, long wine. This beauty will be at its finest in several years and should keep for three decades.
Proprietor Francois Pinault and his director, Frederic Engerer, have pulled out all the stops to produce one of the most monumental Latour's ever made.
|Score: 95||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, March 2012|
Perhaps the finest example ever made (including the extraordinary 1982) of Les Forts de Latour, the 2009 (61.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32.3% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot) is nearly as potent as the Pauillac at 13.5% alcohol. An opaque purple color is followed by notes of black fruits, crushed rocks, spring flowers, and hints of blackberries and smoke. Prodigiously rich and thick with an amazingly long finish of 50 seconds, this astonishing second wine will undoubtedly put on weight before bottling, and should last for 25-30 years. (Tasted once.)
There is no doubting that Director Frederic Engerer and owner Francois Pinault are thrilled with what they have accomplished at Latour. These three wines are hugely different in price, but all are extraordinary. Drink 2010-2040.
Robert Parker added an asterisk to this wine score to signify that it is a wine he considers has the finest potential of all the offerings he has ever tasted from this estate in nearly 32 years of barrel tasting samples in Bordeaux.
|Score: 93/95||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (188), April 2010|
The 2009 Les Forts de Latour is engaging and quite complex on the nose with blackberry, bilberry, hints of brine and freshly rolled tobacco, all very well delineated and gaining vigor with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with fine but firm tannin that frame layers of black fruit laced with pencil lead and tobacco, very convincing on the finish that has one of the longest lengths of any Pauillac in this flight. Excellent. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting. 2022 - 2045
|Score: 96||Neal Martin, vinous.com, March 2019|
Tasted at the château. The Les Forts de Latour has a very pure, almost Burgundian nose with raspberry, Morello cherry and a touch of dark chocolate. The palate is symmetrical, supremely well focused with hints of liquorice and mulberry. Very pure, the mineralité cloaked by the primacy of the fruit with graphite on the aftertaste. Tasted November 2011.
|Score: 93||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, November 2011|
Tasted at the château, a blend of 65.1% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32.3% Merlot, 0.6% Cabernet Franc and 1.9% Petit Vedot, this Les Forts de Latour sports a deep garnet core. The nose is very well defined, very graceful, very well defined, not as opulent as previous vintage, but imbued with a sense of natural clarity and pellucidity. The palate is medium-bodied with real intensity and focus of fruit, much more minerality coming through than in previous vintages. Lovely, cedar infused finish with just a hint of tobacco. A much more graceful Les Fort de Latour. Very alluring. Tasted March 2010.
|Score: 91/93||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2010|
The deep garnet colored 2009 Les Forts de Latour springs forth with minted chocolate, blackberry pie, sweaty leather and cast iron pan notes with hints of bay leaves and unsmoked cigars. Medium to full-bodied and laden with muscular black fruit preserves and savory layers, it has a firm, grainy frame and lovely freshness, finishing with a minty kick. 2019 - 2040
|Score: 95||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, March 2019|
Very deep purple-black in color, this wine has aromas of crème de cassis, cinnamon toast, dark chocolate and vanilla pod. Medium to full bodied, rich and expressively fruity already, it has a medium to firm level of velvety tannins and a long finish.
|Score: 94||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, RobertParker.com, May 2012|
The aromas are so floral, with currants and blueberries as well. Succulent. Full and very balanced, with super velvety tannins and a long and lovely finish. Frederic Engerer, president of Latour, uses the word "succulent" to describe it. He's right. I like the word gorgeous as well. Try in 2018, but hard not to drink.
|Score: 95||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2012|
Violet and mineral, with hints of blackberry and blueberry on the nose. Full-bodied, with superreserved and refined tannins, yet dense and very impressive. Long and racy. Lasts for minutes. Second wine of Latour
|Score: 92/95||James Suckling, Wine Spectator, March 2010|
Toasty and rich nose. Very plush and velvety - much more so than usual. Rich and velvety - such an amazing texture yet with Les Fort's solidity. Very firm backbone. Explosive. But it will need quite a time to come round. Very fine and deep. Hint of oyster shells. Lifted. Wonderful texture. Very tight and tense. Dry finish. Date tasted 31st March 2010. Drink 2020-2035.
|Score: 18||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2010|
First produced in 1966, this is not really a second wine as it is produced from separate parts of the vineyard which contain many old vines, as well as from some vats that are not quite up to the standards of the Grand Vin de Château Latour. Grapes from the vineyard's young vines do not go into Les Forts de Latour but are used for a generic Pauillac third label. Clearly the equivalent of a top classed growth. Under Frédéric Engerer's management, Les Forts de Latour has continued to improve in quality and recent vintages have been at "super-second growth" levels. In 2009 Les Forts represents 46% of Latour's production with a further 16% going ino the 3rd wine. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot with a little Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Blackberries and cream on the nose with some toasty new oak. A very deep colour with masses of damson fruit, classically structured but with some cream and polish. Lots of cassis, a great Pauillac in its own right. Real harmony, top class.
|Score: 17+||Farr Vintners, April 2010|
The nose has lots of perfume and seems quite light but on palate the concentration shows the seriousness of the wine. Blackcurrant is very much in evidence backed by black cherry and sloe, this rich mix lightened a bit by the underlying acidity. The finish is action packed with fruit. Drink 2020-2045.
|Score: 93/97||Derek Smedley MW, April 2010|
If this is the quality of what they excluded from the grand vin at Latour in 2009, you can see why the top wine is so stunning. Cherry, blackberry and cedar wood on the nose lead in to a muscular, yet somehow sinewy palate with lots of tannin supported by coffee bean oak and layer upon layer of fruit concentration. A brilliant second wine. 20+ years.
|Score: 94||Tim Atkin MW, April 2010|
Black red, great fragrance and precision on the nose, great depth of fruit and superb vineyard expression, ripeness, energy and grip over perfect tannins, very good indeed. Drink 2015-25.
|Score: 18||Steven Spurrier, Decanter.com, April 2010|
Deep and dark with a ton of smoke and earth, the cassis fruit very much in the background, this is a concentrated and complex wine. Powerful yet racy palate with an elegant mineral finish. Drink or hold. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019)
|Score: 96||Stuart Pigott, JamesSuckling.com, March 2019|