1995 Les Forts de Latour, Pauillac

SKU #992222 90 points Wine Spectator

 Intense aromas of crushed blackberries and cassis. Full-bodied, with ripe fruit and velvety tannins. Long. Slightly one-dimensional. Needs to develop.--'95/'96 Bordeaux retrospective. (JS, Web Only-2007)

Jancis Robinson

 Dark crimson with a little age at the rim. Beefy, bloody notes on the nose. Quite open. Already quite soft and round on the front palate with fine tannins only on the very end. You could drink this now with food but there is still lots of life in it. More substantial than the 1996 Forts. Vigorous and powerful. 17.5/20 points (JR)  (3/2011)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Latour's second wine, Forts de Latour, is now one of the two or three finest second wines of Bordeaux (Bahans-Haut-Brion and the Clos du Marquis of Leoville Las-Cases are two other personal favorites). The terrific, dark ruby/purple-colored 1995 possesses a sweet, jammy black fruit-scented nose intertwined with smoky minerals, earth, and spicy oak. The wine is surprisingly thick and rich in the mouth, with its glycerin and concentration of fruit largely concealing the moderate tannin. This excellent, sweet wine is less powerful, but more accessible than the 1996. (RP)  (2/1998)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Very unforthcoming on the nose; opened to show a whiff of shoe polish. Also quite closed in on itself in the mouth; hints of black cherry and dark chocolate. Rather powerfully structured and tough to taste today, but conveys an impression of of excellent concentration. As I noted last year, the substantial tannins coat the insides of the cheeks. May ultimately merit a 90+ rating. (ST)  (6/1998)

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

Specific Appellation:

Pauillac

- Pauillac is probably the most famous village in Bordeaux. Located between St. Julien and St. Estephe, it has more of the top ranked chateau than the other four appellations of the Haut Medoc. This area has three of the five premier cru classe wineries: Lafite Rothschild, Latour, and Mouton Rothschild. There are two of the top second-growths (Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron) as well as several outstanding fourth and fifth-growth chateaux including Lynch Bages. Because of the gravely soils and great drainage, Pauillac has the ideal conditions to grow great Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines from this village are some of the longest-lived in Bordeaux.