2010 Les Forts de Latour Pauillac

Reviews

2010 was a very dry vintage of exceptional quality, producing incredibly structured and complex wines that are a little formidable when young but should age incredibly. Deep garnet-purple colored, the nose of the 2010 Les Forts de Latour is broody with subtle notes of licorice, tar, crushed black berries and plums with hints of spice cake and hoisin. Full-bodied, firm and grainy with an impenetrable core of muscular fruit, it finishes with fantastic persistence. Give it 5-7 years at least, and then it may well outlive the 1970 Les Forts that I recently tasted with Latour's CEO, Frédéric Engerer! ~97WA

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. There is no denying the outrage and recriminations over the decision by the Pinault family and their administrator, Frederic Engerer, to pull Latour off the futures market next year. However, you can still buy these 2010s, although the first two wines are not likely to be released until they have more maturity, which makes sense from my perspective.

Perhaps Latour may have offended a few loyal customers who were buying wines as futures, but they are trying to curtail all the interim speculation that occurs with great vintages of their wines (although only God knows what a great vintage of future Latour will bring at seven or eight years after the harvest). As a set of wines, the 2010s may be the Pinaults’ and Engerer’s greatest achievements to date. Of course, I suspect the other first-growth families won’t want to hear that, nor will most of the negociants in Bordeaux, but it’s just the way things are. Frederic Engerer, by no means the most modest of administrators at the first growths, thinks it would be virtually impossible to produce a wine better than this, and he may well be correct. If they gave out Academy Awards for great performances in wine, the Pinaults and Engerer would certainly fetch a few in 2010. P.S. Just so you don’t worry, Engerer offered up the 2009 next to the 2010 to see if I thought it was still a 100-point wine, and yes, ladies and gentlemen, it still is. ~97RP

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. ~96JS