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Les Forts de Latour 2011

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
  • WE93
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • JS90
13.1% ABV
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13.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
This wine is characterized by both structure and rich fruitiness. A dark, smoky character brings out the solid tannins that underlie the black currant fruitiness and the balance. Although it doesn't have power, an intensity gives a flavor that lasts in the mouth. Drink this wine from 2018. Cellar Selection.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
A tightly coiled version, with a strong iron base that keeps the core of plum, black currant and bitter cherry pinned down for now. A bolt of graphite courses through the finish. This is very solid, showing some serious cut.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2011 Les Forts de Latour has a very refined bouquet, understated at first but gaining intensity in the glass with an attractive estuarine tincture developing and complementing the black fruit. Later on, there is a trademark touch of Pauillac mintiness coupled with black olives. The palate is medium-bodied with juicy ripe tannin and very good weight in the mouth, the fruit profile leaning more towards the red side of the spectrum than black. This feels lithe and supple in the mouth, fleshy and generous with a smooth finish that slips down the throat. Enjoy this now and over the next 15-20 years. Tasted March 2017.
JS 90
James Suckling
Aromas of dried berries and fresh herbs such as lemongrass. Full body with firm, chewy tannins and a chocolate, pie-crust, berry and mineral character. A little salty and mineral. Needs at least five to six years.
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Les Forts de Latour

Les Forts de Latour

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Les Forts de Latour, Pauillac, Bordeaux, 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.

Pauillac

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The leader on the Left Bank as far as 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 finest wines in all of Bordeaux.

Defining characteristics of fine wines from Pauillac 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.

Bordeaux Blends

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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/or 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.

In the Glass

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. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

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 Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

BAN129074_2011 Item# 129074