While Bordeaux lovers and collectors are anticipating the start of the next En Primeur campaign we are delighted to announce a release that will certainly excite their palates, Chateau Latour 2013. It is the second vintage released since this legendary First Growth removed themselves from the En Primeur system in favour of ageing their wine themselves until they have entered their drinking window. The appeal is obvious, allowing consumers to buy wine in perfect drinking condition and with perfect provenance, direct from the Chateau cellar.

2013 was a rather challenging year in Bordeaux bringing heavy rains and outbreaks of botrytis. Naturally, the production was down and Chateau Latour only released around 30% of their usual volume. However, despite these difficulties, the Chateau produced an incredibly charming wine, whilst the 2013 may be less intense and tannic than a classic Latour, it offers seductive softness, elegance and finesse instead. In a review published late last night, Lisa Perrotti-Brown of The Wine Advocate justly recognizes the success of Latour in this vintage, “a very pretty wine and it is drinking beautifully right now. It lacks the power, real depth and aging potential of a truly great year, yet it is an outstanding achievement for the vintage. An elegant, perfumed, soft-textured, well-knit wine—it is a joy to drink”, awarding it 93 Points. Additionally, earlier this week Antonio Galloni of Vinous had similar praise for Latour 2013, calling it “absolutely gorgeous. Of course, the 2013 is lighter in body than the norm here, but striking aromatics and silky tannins more than make up for that. A wine of total breed and class, the 2013 is a real pleasure to taste today. Naturally, the lighter structure of the year is impossible to escape. Even so, at eight years of age, the 2013 is just starting to show the first signs of aromatic nuance, and yet it remains a young wine.” Jane Anson of Decanter names it one of the wines of the vintage, noting that, “Smoke, floral notes and spice are the three main lines that you are going to find, and each one has its appeal. Expect raspberry, blueberries, cassis bud and cherry pit – all markers of a cooler vintage – together with a seductively intense level of retro-olfaction that brings in waves of peony, smoked tea, tomato leaf and rosemary aromatics. Neal Martin reaffirms this point, stating: “Frankly, it’s about as good as the Left Bank gets in this vintage.” Offered today at the release price of £2,100 per case of six In Bond and with no more than 5,000 cases produced, this slightly overlooked vintage will become a rare gem in the wine collections of those in the know.

Today, along with the Chateau Latour grand vin, we are delighted to release their brilliant second wine, Forts Latour. Produced with the same meticulous care, both in the vineyard and in the winery, it shows plenty of Latour character while being made in a more approachable earlier drinking style. Last night Perrotti-Brown made her own admiration clear with an upgraded score of 94+ Points, “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. While it’s drinking very well right now, it easily has a good 20 years of cellaring ahead, maybe more. Impressive.” Several major critics have granted the 2015 release 94 points, with Jane Anson admiring the complexity of the bouquet: “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”Antonio Galloni points out the lush character of this wine, as well as its ageing potential: “The 2015 is a total pleasure to taste today. All of the natural radiance of the warm year comes through in the wine’s generous, inviting personality. Drink it over the next 15 years or so.” Available today at £890 per case of six In Bond, it is the highest scoring vintage of Forts since the 2010. It is also amongst the best scoring second wines of the First Growths, while being offered at a more attractive price than some of its peers.

 
WineVintageWAJSPrice
Forts Latour201594+95£890
Petit Mouton20159396£1,140
Carruades Lafite20159194£1,375
Pavillon Rouge20159296£850
Clarence de Haut Brion201593+95£525

 

Chateau Latour has arguably the best terroir in Pauillac, its famous tower visible as you drive north into the village from St Julien. Latour is surrounded by top Second Growths, with Leoville Las Cases to the south and Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron to the west; all powerful wines with high percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon. Latour tends to be the biggest of the first growth wines, with an intense colour, powerful flavours and aromas, firm tannins and intense vitality. Latour is the epitome of left bank Bordeaux and a dream wine for any collector, no matter the vintage. As for the second wine, Forts Latour, it offers impeccable class and plenty of character in an earlier-drinking style. With a very limited number of cases available, we urge Bordeaux lovers to secure their allocations as soon as possible.