|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pauillac|
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.
The 2016 Les Forts de Latour has a gorgeous bouquet, extremely pure and floral, veins of blue fruit, cassis permeating the blackberry fruit. The palate is beautifully balanced, again, very saline and a little spicier than I expected. There is a veneer of black fruit that makes it seem quite approachable, yet the tannins and backbone are there behind it. This is a superb Les Forts de Latour. Frédéric Engerer opined that it will drink in two or three years, though its substance and complexity suggests that those with the wherewithal to cellar this Les Fort will be amply rewarded. 2028 - 2050
The 2016 Les Forts de Latour is superb, unwinding in the glass with notions of blackcurrants, wild berries, sweet loamy soil, cigar wrapper and English walnuts. Medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, it’s concentrated and tightly wound, with superb depth at the core, lively acids and ripe, powdery tannins. This is an impeccably balanced, utterly classical Forts de Latour worth a special effort to seek out. 2030 - 2060
Deep, saturated ruby purple in the glass. The nose is pure cassis, briary fruit and incense, the underlying weight of savoury fruit is very impressive. This intensity follows on the palate, which is tightly wound and framed by persistent, ripe and chewy tannins. This is a wine of precision and power, more akin to second growths than a second wine. Piercing black fruit leads with subtle spices in the background, lingering on a very precise and powerful finish. Give this a good decant if approaching now, or wait until a decade old. It will doubtless cellar for two decades. Excellent.
Lots of blueberries, ripe blackberries, violets, peppercorns, olives and cloves on the nose. It’s medium-to full-bodied with firm, fleshy tannins. Beautiful blue fruit and flowers. Layered and long. Drink after 2023.
A blend of 64.3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35.3% Merlot, and 0.4% Cabernet Franc, the 2016 Les Forts de Latour is deep garnet-purple in color. It is just a touch closed to begin, soon unfurling to deliver wonderfully pure, ripe blackcurrants and juicy plums scents, followed by suggestions of candied violets and cardamom with a waft of crushed rocks. The medium-bodied palate has a rock-solid frame of grainy tannins with fantastic tension and a core of tightly wound black fruits, finishing long and earthy.
Tasted blind. Dark and lustrous. High toned and interesting. Rich and layered. Lots of detail. Complete. Very Pauillac. Not heavy. Pretty dry end.
Drink 2026 – 2046
This is the kind of vintage where you just know Forts de Latour is going to hit it out of the park, and I would be happy to recommend choosing this 2nd wine over many main estate wines in less impressive vintages. It's restrained, nuanced, keeping plenty in reserve, but the texture is rippled, by turns slate then velvet, slowing everything down through the palate. This was the first year of 100% conversion into organic viticulture, not just within the walled L'Enclos but across the entire estate, with official certification in 2018. Where the 2017 Pauillac de Latour (also released now) is all nuance and delicacy, the 2016 Forts is built, muscular, but full of precision, with deft strokes to define the tannins. A wine you will be thrilled to share - and one that has really grown into itself since being tasted En Primeur, underlining perhaps the benefit of a late release. 50% new oak. 37.5% of overall production.
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. This wine will not be sold En Primeur but kept at the Chateau until it is mature. A blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and a dash of Cabernet Franc, this year it will represent 37.5% of the total production. Deep colour with a powerful blackcurrant and wood smoke nose. The palate is dense with concentrated blackberry and cassis supported by plentiful ripe and chewy tannins. Texture and smokiness builds through the mid-palate to match the great intensity of fruit. Fine, long and classic Pauillac, this is incredibly powerful and long for a "second" wine.
Brooding richness the nose has smoky black fruits the palate dark chocolate and cocoa beans. The tannins are firm but ripe the fleshy fruit fills out the mid palate depth richness power all this balanced by underling bramble freshness an attractive purity of fruit. 2026-40
A stunning second wine from Château Latour, as you’d expect in a top vintage like 2016, this is remarkably perfumed for such a young red, with notes of violets and dark berry fruit, liquorice and cinnamon. Poised, balanced and structured, with real class. 2026-34
"Very iron fist in a velvet glove,” commented winemaker Hélène Genin of the 2016 Les Forts de Latour. “It has a lot of power but also beauty and precision.” She’s not wrong. Deep garnet-purple in color, exuberant scents of kirsch, blueberry preserves, black currant pastilles, and star anise come bounding out of the glass, followed by aromatic nuances of cumin seed, candied violets, fragrant earth, and dark chocolate. The medium-bodied palate delivers irresistible grace and tension, with a solid backbone of super-ripe, velvety tannins lending a taut structure to the mighty black fruit layers, finishing very long and mineral-tinged. With a vigorous decant, it makes for an impactful experience right now. However, just another 3-4 more years in the cellar will yield impressive dividends on your investment, given that it is still holding back slightly. Expect to cellar this for a good 20-25 years+. The blend is 64.3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35.3% Merlot, and 0.4% Cabernet Franc, sporting alcohol of 13.5%. 2025-2048
The 2016 Les Forts de Latour is a blend of 64.3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35.3% Merlot and 0.4% Cabernet Franc, and it represents 37.5% of production this year. It has a surprisingly opulent bouquet, almost a lushness to it thanks to the power of the Merlot, lending it an almost Right Bank allure (possibly due to one parcel in Artigues being declassified from the Grand Vin into the Les Forts de Latour). The palate is very well balanced with supple tannin. Occasionally this Deuxième Vin can be austere like the Château Latour, but this year I find this to be lithe in the mouth, quite sensual with the structure surfacing towards the graphite tinged finish. The length is very impressive here. It will be interested to see when the estate eventually release this wine. This is a plump 'n lovely Les Forts de Latour! Drink 2023 - 2045.
The fresh currant and violet aromas are so complex and beautiful on the nose. Full body, ultra-refined tannins and lovely tannin tension. Shows focus and such finesse. Beautiful finish. Try after 2024.
This builds slowly on the palate, but it’s worth it. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and lots of currants, berries and minerals on the finish. On and on. Better than the 2015?
Very deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Les Forts de Latour opens with cinnamon stick, cloves and star anise scents with hints of crème de cassis, kirsch, wild blueberries and hints of black tea and violets. Medium to full-bodied, it has very firm, grainy tannins and is wonderfully intense with layers of bright fruit and loads of red berry sparks, finishing long and minerally. This is a superb showing for Les Forts and I would not be at all surprised if it far exceeds my conservative drinking window estimation!
This is an exceptionally good Forts de Latour, representing 37.5% of production. It is full of graphite and black cassis, closed but not austere. There is flesh on these bones and the texture is already remarkably finessed. This is grippy, showing finesse and energy, aged entirely in new oak although you can't tell. The sense of energy is remarkable even in this second wine. 64.3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35.3% Merlot and 0.4% Cabernet Franc.
Very supple tannins and absolutely pure drive. Sleek and pure. Rather floral and great evolution of tannins. Super-expressive. (He used very little sulphur on the fruit, which may have had an influence…) Great purity. Dances. Much more refreshing than this wine used to be. 13.5%