2015 Les Forts De Latour Pauillac

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2015 Les Forts De Latour

James Suckling 95
WA 94
  • S$39997

Vintage: 2015 

Region: Pauillac 

Country: France

Château Latour is one of Bordeaux's – and the world's – most famous wine producers. It is situated in the southeast corner of the Pauillac commune on the border of Saint-Julien, in the Médoc region. Rated as a First Growth in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification, it has become one of the most sought-after and expensive wine producers on the planet, and produces powerfully structured Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant wines capable of lasting many decades.

Typically for the region, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in the vineyard, accounting for around 80 percent of plantings. Merlot makes up most of the remainder, and there are also small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Latour makes two other wines: Les Forts de Latour (a well-regarded second wine in its own right) and Pauillac de Latour (a third wine), both of which are made from younger vines. 

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Composed of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35.6% Merlot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc and 0.9% Petit Verdot, the 2015 Les Forts de Latour needs a fair bit of air to unlock a profound, powerhouse nose of blackcurrant cordial, boysenberries, plum preserves and dark chocolate, with suggestions of Chinese five spice, clove oil, violets and crushed rocks. The palate packs an absolute flavor wallop, bursting with rich, ripe black fruits and loads of spicy sparks, while framed by beautifully plush tannins, finishing long and minerally. Not at all heavy, on the contrary, the Les Forts is both expansive AND tantalizingly refreshing. In terms of evolution, it has barely budged since I last tasted it in 2017. Impressive. (LPB) 94+ Inner quote mark (3/2021)

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Château Latour is one of Bordeaux's – and the world's – most famous wine producers. It is situated in the southeast corner of the Pauillac commune on the border of Saint-Julien, in the Médoc region. Rated as a First Growth in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification, it has become one of the most sought-after and expensive wine producers on the planet, and produces powerfully structured Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant wines capable of lasting many decades.

The site has been occupied since 1331, with a fort and garrison to guard the estuary. Several smallholdings began to grow vines, and wine from the site gained recognition from Montaigne as early as the 16th Century. The original tower no longer exists; the famous tower featured on the label was designed as a pigeon roost and built around 1620.

Latour's development as a single property came with the beginning of a long unbroken period of connected family ownership, based around the de Ségur name, also associated with Mouton and Calon-Ségur. This began in 1670 and lasted 290 years although, after the French Revolution, Latour was divided up and not fully reunited until 1841.

The château has been owned by French billionaire François Pinault since 1993 and falls under the umbrella of his holding company, Groupe Artemis. Other notable Artemis possessions include the likes of Burgundy's Le Clos de Tart (in Morey-Saint-Denis) and Domaine d'Eugénie (in Vosne-Romanée), Château-Grillet in Condrieu, and Napa Valley's Araujo Estate.

The Latour estate courted controversy in 2012 when it announced – through long-time director Frédéric Engerer – that it would no longer take part in Bordeaux's En Primeur pre-release sales campaign (an annual installment for nearly all the major names in the region). Since 2012, the estate has shown no signs of going back on this decision.

Typically for the region, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in the vineyard, accounting for around 80 percent of plantings. Merlot makes up most of the remainder, and there are also small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

The grand vin is only made from the vineyard plots surrounding the chateau and shown on the 1759 plan of the domaine. Vine age in these sections is around 60 years old.

Latour makes two other wines: Les Forts de Latour (a well-regarded second wine in its own right) and Pauillac de Latour (a third wine), both of which are made from younger vines. 

95 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Aromas of blackcurrants, sweet tobacco, fresh herbs, licorice and cigar box follow through to a full body with tannins that are totally integrated and ultra, ultra fine, framing the wine and highlighting the subtle, pretty fruit. All about grace and beauty. Keeps getting better. Inner quote mark (4/2021)

94 points Decanter

Outer quote mark On the nose you get a full array of floral aromatics, and a gorgeous exuberance. The gourmet edge that is never far away from the surface in the 2015 vintage is very much in play, along with touches of truffle, cigar box and an earthy openness even at six years old. A smoked caramel note comes in on the end, as does a hit of mouthwatering salinity. It's not as intense as Forts in vintages like 2010 or 2016 but it has an ease to it that is hugely appealing, and can be drunk from now and for at least another 15 years. 0.5% Cabernet Franc completes the blend (the last vintage to contain even a slice of this grape, as it has now been pulled up). 40% of overall production. (JA) Inner quote mark (2/2021)

94 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark The true second wine of the estate is the 2015 Les Forts De Latour and it's slightly more Cabernet dominated with 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35.6% Merlot, and then less than one percent each of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. This ripe, sunny vintage delivered loads of terrific wines and the 2015 reveals a vivid purple/opaque color as well as fabulous cassis and jammy currant fruits intermixed with lots of cedarwood, leafy herbs, earth, and graphite. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and nicely structured, it has a wealth of fruit, building yet sweet tannins, no hard edges, and a great, great finish. Inner quote mark (3/2021)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Composed of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35.6% Merlot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc and 0.9% Petit Verdot, the 2015 Les Forts de Latour needs a fair bit of air to unlock a profound, powerhouse nose of blackcurrant cordial, boysenberries, plum preserves and dark chocolate, with suggestions of Chinese five spice, clove oil, violets and crushed rocks. The palate packs an absolute flavor wallop, bursting with rich, ripe black fruits and loads of spicy sparks, while framed by beautifully plush tannins, finishing long and minerally. Not at all heavy, on the contrary, the Les Forts is both expansive AND tantalizingly refreshing. In terms of evolution, it has barely budged since I last tasted it in 2017. Impressive. (LPB) 94+ Inner quote mark (3/2021)

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