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Flat front label of wine

Les Forts de Latour 1982

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  • WS93
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Here is an example of why a second wine is well worth buying in a great vintage. Unfortunately, I do not have any of the 1990, and I couldn’t find any to purchase, but I bought plenty of the 1982, although I never dreamed it would be drinking so great at age 27. Much lighter around the edge than its bigger sibling, it exhibits an explosive nose of charcoal, black fruits, herbs, and soil undertones. Full-bodied and fleshy with no hard edges (which is exactly the way it performed over the last 10-15 years), it probably should be consumed over the next 4-5 years. However, given the fact that it has aged so beautifully for so long, it may last even longer.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
What a wine. Dark ruby color, with a hint of garnet. Ripe berry, with a hint of raisin, licorice and spice. Full-bodied and very concentrated, with velvety tannins and a long, ripe fruit finish.
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Les Forts de Latour

Les Forts de Latour

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Les Forts de Latour, France
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The vineyards of the Chateau Latour have been producing wines since the 16th century. Today, the vineyards in production cover 80 hectares, including 48 around the chateau, known as the "Enclos." This Enclos consists of a ridge that peaks at 16 meters above the level of the Gironde, bordered to the north and to the south by two streams and to the east by the "Palus" alluvial land along the Gironde. The grape varietals planted on the estate, typical of the Medoc, consist of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Chateau Latour produces three different wines: Grand Vin, Forts de Latour and Pauillac de Chateau Latour. All of them receive the same meticulous care and dedication. The first vintage of Forts de Latour was in 1966 and constant work in the vineyard and in the cellars has resulted in achieving the level of a top Medoc classified growth.
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The leader on the Left Bank in number of first growth classified producers within its boundaries, Pauillac has more than any of the other appellations, at three of the five. Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild border St. Estephe on its northern end and Chateau Latour is at Pauillac’s southern end, bordering St. Julien.

While the first growths are certainly some of the better producers of the Left Bank, today they often compete with some of the “lower ranked” producers (second, third, fourth, fifth growth) in quality and value. The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification that goes back to 1855. The finest chateaux in that year were judged on the basis of reputation and trading price; changes in rank since then have been miniscule at best. Today producers such as Chateau Pontet-Canet, Chateau Grand Puy-Lacoste, Chateau Lynch-Bages, among others (all fifth growth) offer some of the most outstanding wines in all of Bordeaux.

Defining characteristics of fine wines from Pauillac (i.e. Cabernet-based Bordeaux Blends) include inky and juicy blackcurrant, cedar or cigar box and plush or chalky tannins.

Layers of gravel in the Pauillac region are key to its wines’ character and quality. The layers offer excellent drainage in the relatively flat topography of the region allowing water to run off into “jalles” or streams, which subsequently flow off into the Gironde.

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

JMGFORTSDE_1982 Item# 119816

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