New Releases: 2012 Château Latour & 2014 Forts de LatourWednesday, May 27
Château Latour have this morning released their 2012 vintage, alongside their 2014 Forts de Latour. This is something of an event, the first entirely 'new' vintage of Latour to go on sale since owner François Pinault and his team decided in 2012 to leave the en primeur market.
Available at a cheaper price than any other vintage on the market, this new release is ready to enjoy. Aged at the château, under optimum conditions, it has the best provenance imagineable.
With the delay to the 2019 en primeur campaign due to Covid-19, this is a timely reminder that there are other approaches to releasing the greatest wines from Bordeaux onto the market. Of course, not every estate has pockets as deep as M. Pinault's and can afford to wait for 8 years before offering the wines for sale. At £2100 per six bottles, we think this is a really good buy.
The 2012 Latour is a blend of 90.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.6% Merlot and 0.2% Petit Verdot. The critics seem to agree that this vintage is as much about finesse and complexity as power, with Tim Atkin MW describing an almost 'Pinot Noir-like' texture (97 points).
Despite being a second wine, the 2014 Les Forts de Latour (also newly released) is structured and will be long-lived. Unlike some second wines which are dominated by the earlier-drinking Merlot, 'Forts' is Cabernet-dominated, with 71.4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28.6% Merlot; very much a classic Pauillac in style. The fruit is also sourced from specific parcels of vines, within the 'Enclos' vineyard which surrounds the Château itself.
Please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to order from this superb new release.
Offered ex-Château. Landing in the UK by Spring 2021.
2012 Château Latour, Pauillac Premier Cru Classé
"Many have called this the best vineyard in the world and the dynamic Director of Chateau Latour, Frédéric Engerer, is determined to make the greatest wine possible. He has the confidence of owner, François Pinault, to do all that it takes to achieve this aim. Production levels have been slashed in recent vintages with only the best parcels of vines now producing grapes for the Grand Vin. In 2012 only 35.5% of total production will go into the Grand Vin, which is made from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot. This has a huge black colour and viscous texture. A strong cassis nose with hints of smoky bacon, spice and vanilla. On the palate this is one of the few wines of the vintage that is genuinely mouth filling. Big, fat, juicy, polished, it is both concentrated and velvety. Beautiful, classic cassis fruit. Huge but harmonious. Very long finish. 95-98 points." Derek Smedley MW, Apr 2013
"Tasted blind at the 2012 Southwold tasting, the 2012 Latour put in a deeply impressive showing. It has a precise bouquet: graphite-infused black fruit, hints of iodine and a light marine influence—shucked oyster shell and Japanese nori. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, well-judged acidity, quite sensual and harmonious with seductive purity on the finish. This possesses exquisite precision and detail that evinces a wine of genuine class. Of course, perhaps this tasting note is irrelevant for the moment, at least until the Grand Vin is released onto the market. It will be intriguing to re-taste it when it does see the light of day. Tasted January 2012. 97 points." Neal Martin, RobertParker.com (227), Oct 2016
"All of the first growths made very good wines in 2012, especially given the growing season,
but Latour was the star turn. What's so impressive about the wine is that the château has
allowed the vintage to speak, rather than imposing a style upon it. That's why the wine is so
light and poised, with a grace that is almost Pinot Noir-like. Silky, refreshing and aromatic,
with subtle notes of red fruits and pomegranate and medium-weight tannins. Very graceful.
Drink: 2018-35. 97 points." Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, Apr 2013
2014 Les Forts de Latour, Pauillac
"The 2014 Les Forts de Latour has a smudged, quite opulent bouquet with lavish red fruit, leather and undergrowth scents, more forward than I would expect from a wine this youthful. The palate is medium-bodied with soft tannin and a little chewy in the mouth. Like the nose, this Les Forts de Latour feels unusually decadent for the vintage with a sweet finish that needs to muster more reserve and breeding. It is not unlikeable, quite the opposite, but it needs to develop more Pauillac characteristics. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting. 2020 - 2040. 93 points." Vinous.com, Mar 2018.
"Deliberately made as a "vin de garde", the second wine of Latour is no pale reflection of the grand vin. Dark, compact and slightly reduced, it's a classic Pauillac with well handled oak, bright acidity, scented cassis and mulberry fruit and the lowish alcohol that is so typical of the vintage. 94 points." Tim Atkin MW, April 2015