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Les Forts de Latour 2018

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pauillac
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon

First produced in 1966, this is not really a second wine as it is produced from separate parts of the vineyard near to Pichon Lalande which contain many old vines, as well as from some vats sourced from the enclos 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 the very good "Pauillac de Latour" and a further amount for the 4th wine, that is Chateau bottled but not released under the Chateau label. Les Forts de Latour is clearly the equivalent of a top classed growth and consistently matches the likes of the Pichons and Lynch Bages in blind tastings. It is not sold en primeur and the latest vintage to be released was the 2013 in March 2019. the 2018 blend is 65.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and 0.4% Petit Verdot. 42% of the total production.

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Tasting Notes

Tasted blind at Southwold 2018. Very deep purple colour. Cassis, dark cherries and cedar to the nose here, with a hint of charred wood. The palate is deep and full of spice, though the cassis at the core remains prominent. Chewy, muscular tannins bring a broad-shouldered frame. The fruit sits with intensity and focus in the middle. This is an outstanding Pauillac with a real sense of place, both moreish and profound. More like a second growth than a second wine!

Thomas Parker MW, Farr Vintners, February 2022

A solid and steely red with lots of blackcurrant and blueberry character. Medium-to full-bodied and polished, fine tannins. Flavorful finish.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019

A blend of 65.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, and 0.4% Petit Verdot, Les Forts de Latour 2018 has a deep garnet-purple color. It storms out of the glass with powerful scents of blackberry pie, boysenberry preserves, and crème de cassis, melding into a background of sandalwood, Indian spices, dusty soil, and licorice, with a hint of dried flowers. The medium to full-bodied palate is powerful and seductive, delivering firm, grainy tannins and seamless freshness to frame the generous flavors of black fruit preserves, finishing long and opulent.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, March 2024

Tasted blind. Scented, neat and confident on the nose. Neat and focused. Not dramatic but everything is in balance. Long and classic. Just right!
Drink 2027 – 2050

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2022

65.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 0.4% Petit Verdot. 2.4% press wine. 42% of production. Barrel sample.
Black core, purple rim. Intense pure blackcurrant. Dark and scented. Lively, juicy and fresh. More supple than the Pauillac with greater tannic finesse. Lightly charry, savoury and refined and the texture is really elegant even though there's a big tannic charge. Dark, savoury harmony. Direct and long and more aromatic and floral with air. (JH)
Drink 2025-2035

Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019

Very deep purple in the glass, with a concentrated, focused nose of cassis and toasted spices. The palate is dense and brooding, with rich black fruits paired to the equally full tannic structure that is mouthcoating but ripe. This bold and expansive wine will need a decade in bottle before reaching maturity, but the power of fruit and spice is extremely impressive. The spicy, toasted flavours that linger on the long finish support rather than dominate the powerful fruit at th core. Once again, Forts de Latour is taut, rich and hugely impressive, and very unlike a second wine.

Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019

Stepping up on the serious scale, the 2018 Les Forts De Latour checks in as a mix of 65.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, and just a splash of Petit Verdot. It boasts a deeper purple color as well as powerful notes of high-class smoke tobacco, graphite, crushed rocks, and ample black and blue fruits. Rich, full-bodied, concentrated, and yet still perfectly balanced, it's another brilliant second wine from Latour that competes with most estates’ top wines.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019

(65.6 Cabernet Sauvignon, 34 Merlot, 0.4 Petit Verdot) | 14.2% alc | IPT 77 | 42% of production went into this wine With a very noble perfume and a strict, firm finish which shows proud, dry tannins, this is a Forts which harks back to a bygone era while packing in massive fruit and also modern gloss. The Cabernet holds this wine together and it seems to shrug off Merlot’s attempts at being noticed, but I imagine that the Merlot will add stability to the Cabernet in the future allowing it to soften a touch in time.

Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019
Read more tasting notes...

The 2018 Les Forts de Latour is made up of 65.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and 0.4% Petit Verdot, with 14.2% alcohol and an IPT (total polyphenol index) of 77. It was aged in 60% new oak. Deep garnet-purple in color, it needs a fair bit of swirling to reveal notions of baked black cherries, cassis and blackberry pie with hints of pencil lead, clove oil, cardamom and allspice with a waft of violets. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers impressive density with velvety tannins and a lively backbone supporting the generous black fruits, finishing long with all the earthy nuances coming through at the very end. 2025 - 2045

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (End of Mar), March 2021

The 2018 Les Forts de Latour is made up of 65.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and 0.4% Petit Verdot, with 14.2% alcohol and an IPT (total polyphenol index) of 77. Deep purple-black in color, it needs a fair bit of coaxing to reveal slowly emerging notes of wild blueberries, crème de cassis, candied violets, cinnamon stick and fragrant soil with nuances of black tea, yeast extract and pencil shavings. Full-bodied, rich and densely packed with layer upon layer of earth and floral accents, it is framed by very firm, very ripe, fine-grained tannins, finishing with a very long, very purely fruited finish.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.