Les Forts de Latour is the “second wine” of Château Latour and takes its name from an historic plot in the “Enclos” – 120 acres of vines that surround the Château and overlook the Île de Patiras in the Gironde estuary. Les Forts was first released under that name in 1966.
The grapes for Les Forts come from the edge of the Enclos and further afield in Pauillac. More Merlot goes into Les Forts than into Latour’s “Grand Vin”.
The proportion of oak barrels used to age Les Forts is typically 50-60% of the finished wine; for the Grand Vin the entire production is put into new barrels. Les Forts is therefore lighter and ages quicker than the Grand Vin.
Two nice examples have been spotted in Mayfair recently.
The Merlot grapes for the 1995 Les Forts caught some rain when they were harvested in mid-September (after a very dry summer) but no dilution is apparent. This was the first really good Bordeaux vintage since 1990.
There was more rain in 1997 than in 1995. The Les Forts ’97 has less depth than the ’95. But, like other 1997 red Bordeaux wines that I’ve had in recent times, it has lasted better and longer than might have been expected.
My quizzical expression is because the photographer asked if we were drinking Les Forts de Latour for lunch.
I’m sure you know what the response was… 👎