2010 Les Forts de Latour, Pauillac (3L) (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Bizarre as it may sound, the 2010 Les Forts de Latour is also the finest I have ever tasted from this selection, which comes from specific vineyards, not really so much a second wine as just another wine from estate holdings. A blend of 72.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27.5% Merlot that represents 40% of the production, this astonishing wine hit 14.3% natural alcohol. Extremely ripe and rich, it reminds me of the 1982 on steroids (and that wine is still drinking great 30 years after the vintage). Sensational notes of graphite, crushed rocks, black fruits, camphor and damp forest notes are present in this expansive, savory, full-throttle wine, which is better than many vintages of the great Latour itself from the past. (That may be a heretical statement, but it’s the truth as I see it.) This wine needs a good 5-6 years of cellaring and should age for three decades at minimum, given the fact that the 1982 is in terrific form and wasn’t this concentrated or prodigious.
Aromas of currants, blueberries and blackberries with a dark chocolate undertone. Perfumes and beautiful. Full body, with velvety tannins that are fine-tuned and tentative. It lasts for minutes. Gorgeous fruit and richness. Perhaps the greatest Les Fort ever? Try in 2018.
A solid, briary, grippy, tarry Pauillac, with a sappy edge to the kirsch, blackberry, plum skin and steeped fig notes, liberally laced with anise and tar. Shows good energy through the finish, with a cassis bush note echoing. Best from 2017 through 2035.
Powerful, yet beautiful and smoothly structured. It has ripe, rich fruits, spice and sweet acidity. As a contrast, there is a dense core of tannins where the wine shows some severity and youth.
72.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25.5% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot. 40% of production. Very, very dark purple. Scented and supple on the nose! Oddly enough this seems lighter than one might expect from this vintage and name - has it absorbed all the lighter cuvées? Really quite luscious and sweet, despite its IPT of 87! Very rich for Forts. Very flattering and winning. The open face of Latour. A bit sweeter than usual - very much the open face. Less classic Latour than usual.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(72.5% cabernet sauvignon, 25.5% merlot and 2% petit verdot; 87 IPT, 14.3% alcohol, 40% of total production) Deep, almost opaque glass-staining ruby. Clove, cedar and herb notes on the nose, with black fruit aromas lurking underneath. Clean and fresh but presently dominated by oak, with black fruit and cedar flavors currently held in check. The lingering finish shows mounting dryish tannins, which this big, structured Les Forts de Latour will need extended bottle aging to shed. Still, I wonder if the tannins aren't a little too much.
72.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27.5% Merlot.