Les Forts de Latour 1996 (Ex-chateau release)

Special Price $311.95 Average US Price $333.00
In Stock   Usually ships in 2-5 days, weather permitting
Only 5 left
SKU
2149-1996
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Other Vintages We Offer:

• Domaine: Château Latour
• Appellation: Pauillac
• Classification: Second Wine, First Growth, 1èr Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France

Château Latour is one of the four original Premier Cru (First Growth) estates according to the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, which ranks the top wineries in the region.

It has a long history dating back to the 14th century when it was originally a fortified tower that served as a garrison during the 100 Year’s War. Over time, it was converted into a wine estate and became one of the most highly regarded wineries in Bordeaux. The vineyards of Château Latour cover 78 hectares and are planted with primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot.

The Château really became known for its wine legacy when Marquis de Ségur – whom Louis XV affectionately referred to as, “the Wine Prince,”– snapped up the property as an addition to his collection of legendary châteaux.  It seemed Marquis de Ségur had the magic touch, considering he owned the second-to-none Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Mouton Rothschild and Château Calon Ségur as well.  During Marquis de Ségur’s ownership, the Château experienced a golden age and rose to prominence, earning its First Growth title during the 1855 Classification.   

The wine produced by Château Latour is highly sought after and is known for its complexity, depth, and aging potential.  They stand out in unremarkable years and in great years, are often considered legendary.  It is typically full-bodied with strong tannins and flavors of black currant, cedar, and spice. The winery produces several different wines, including a grand vin (first wine), as well as a second wine called Les Forts de Latour and a third wine called Pauillac de Château Latour.

Château Latour has been owned by the Pinault family since 1993, and they have invested heavily in the estate, including renovating the cellars and modernizing the winemaking facilities. Today, Château Latour continues to be one of the most prestigious and highly regarded wineries in the world, with its wines regularly commanding high prices at auction and in the secondary market.  In 2012, Mr. Pinault made the radical decision to stop releasing wine futures and only release the wine when it is ready to drink.   Decisions like this – and many others – put Château Latour in a league of its own.  The visionaries at this property do not rest on their laurels by any means.  Instead, they focus tirelessly on making innovative choices in their relentless pursuit of a perfect bottle, vintage after vintage.

Château Latour has often stood at the forefront of vineyard management with cutting-edge practices.  In 1965, they were one of the first châteaux to introduce stainless steel vats to the fermentation process.  In 2008, they reassessed their vineyard management processes and decided to implement horses to plough the soil.  Château Latour is one of the leading châteaux in terms of organic winemaking and obtained their organic certification from Ecocert in 2015.  For some of the choicest parcels, the château uses Biodynamic philosophies and curates each vintage based on the weather conditions and lunar calendar.   There is no end to the amount of energy, resources, and time the winemaking team at Château Latour will put into ensuring the best harvest is brought to bottle. 

Les Forts de Latour includes some plots that may eventually be used in the grand vin depending on the characteristics of each particular vintage.  The same meticulous care is poured into this wine as the grand vin and Les Forts de Latour has a higher concentration of Merlot for immediate accessibility. 

Tasting Notes

"The 1996 Les Forts de Latour has a deep garnet color with just a thin rim of bricking on the rim. The bouquet is fully mature but demonstrated good fruit concentration after 20 years, mulberry, red plum, plenty of cloves and an almost garrigue-like scent. The palate does not quite have the charm of the nose, the tannins a little brusque and perhaps compared to this deuxième vin nowadays, without the finesse and then it just tapers towards a cedar-infused finish. Drink bottles now and over the next 10 years. Tasted July 2016." - Robert Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate, Ratings: 90, Drink: 2016-2026

 

More Information
Stock Status In Stock
Appellation Pauillac
Vintage 1996
Brand Château Latour
Shipping Weight 3.000000
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Pauillac is best known as the appellation that produces 3 of the 5 First Growths estates in Bordeaux. Blessed by an exceptional terroir, Pauillac is located in the northern part of the Médoc peninsula, on the Left Bank along the Gironde estuary, an ideal placement contributing to moderating the climate and providing optimal conditions for wine cultivation. Pauillac is bordered by two other prestigious wine appellations: Saint-Estèphe to the north and Saint-Julien to the south.

Pauillac's terroir, characterized by gravelly soils, is often considered one of the finest for the production of Cabernet Sauvignon, the predominant grape in Pauillac’s blends. The gravel helps with drainage and reflects heat, encouraging ripening and concentration of flavors in Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec grapes. Such exceptional predispositions explain that Pauillac is home to some of Bordeaux's most renowned and iconic wine estates. They include First Growths estates such as Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Mouton Rothschild, and Château Latour. Other famous estates include Château Pichon-Longueville Baron, Château Pichon-Lalande, Château Duhart-Milon, Château Pontet-Canet, Château Batailley, Château Lynch Bages, Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Château Grand-Puy Ducasse, Château Haut-Batailley, Château Lynch-Moussas, Château d'Armailhac, Château Haut-Bages Liberal, Château Pedesclaux, Château Clerc Milon, Château Croizet-Bages.

Pauillac wines are known for their deep color, complex aromas, and rich, full-bodied flavors, including notes of cassis, blackcurrant, cedar, tobacco, and graphite, with a pronounced tannic structure, which require several years or even decades of bottle aging to reveal their full potential. 

Footnotes on Futures, Pre-Arrivals, and potential US Tariffs: 

1. As of June 15, 2021, the US and the EU agreed to suspend tariffs resulting from the Boeing-Airbus aircraft trade disputes. Accordingly, such import taxes are now suspended for the next five years.

2. Futures are expected to be available for delivery two years after the sales (e.g., the 2022 vintage, sold in 2023, will be delivered in 2025 mostly, or 2026 if the producer ages the wine longer).

3. Pre-Arrivals are items currently stored in our Bordeaux cellar or in transit from France to the US. It usually takes 1-6 months for Pre-Arrivals to become available for delivery, depending on the stage of the import process.

4. Regarding futures and pre-arrivals, we cannot guarantee specific delivery dates, which factors beyond our control may impact. However, we will notify you once your wine arrives in our cellar.

5. While a buyer of Bordeaux wine futures locks in an allocation of the specified items, the final delivery of the purchased items from France to the US may be impacted by intervening and unforeseeable events. Despite our due diligence, additional costs or delays may be caused by such intervening and unforeseen events and "an irresistible, superhuman cause, or by the act of public enemies of the state of California or the United States."  In such circumstances, if a buyer does not accept unforeseeable costs or delays, the sole and exclusive remedy is a cancellation of the futures order concerned and a refund of the original purchase price. We are NOT liable for any lost profits on a canceled order.

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