This is still a work in progress as I upload tasting notes and wine labels from as far as 1999... Check back once in a while to get the updates.

October 31, 2010

Les Forts de Latour dinner

Dinner tonight was at Pierre with a range of Les Forts de Latour.  Altaya Wines organized one of only a handful of tastings of Les Forts ever held, with the help of Frédéric Engerer and Florence Rogers-Pinault who were in attendance.

Latour had always emphasized that Les Forts de Latour is not really a "second wine", since the grapes come from its own, designated vineyard and not made with grapes that didn't make it into the grand vin.  Tonight Frédéric wanted to make sure that message got across to us.  The initial goal had been to make a wine that is as good as the Second Growths, and he felt the quality of the wines is certainly at least worthy of Third Growth status.

1999 Les Forts de Latour - this was drinking beautifully, and took me by surprise.  Nose of smoke, saddle, pine needle, game meat, black pepper...and even a little bit of sweetness on the nose. 

2006 Les Forts de Latour - nose of herbal medicine, smoked duck with a hint of sharpness that reflects its youth.  Complex and exotic nose of nutmeg, coconut, mint, toffee and spices.  Almost a hint of sandalwood.  Pretty awesome and I would love to taste this wine again in 10 years.

2004 Les Forts de Latour - nose of mint and smoke, very open and fragrant.  Very round and balanced.

2003 Les Forts de Latour - what a wine!  Minty, open and fragrant, exotic with lots of spices, along with the sweetness I expect from such a ripe vintage.  Such a pleasure to drink now.

2001 Les Forts de Latour - smoky, minty with good amount of fruit, but not as sweet as other vintages.  A hint of grass.  Pretty smooth on the palate.  Lovely.

1990 Les Forts de Latour - sweet, exotic and ripe with notes of smoke, pain grillé and a bit of grilled meats.

1970 Les Forts de Latour en magnum - vegetal and green, smoky, leathery with prominent soy sauce notes.  Not much fruit left here.  Light and smooth on the palate.  Honestly a little disappointed, although it could have been the bottle variation.  I've had the '70 Latour on numerous occasions, including a magnum tasted last year at the château itself thanks to Frédéric's generosity.  There is a huge difference here between the grand vin and Les Forts. No doubt a big part of the difference comes from the age of the vines - the vines were only planted in the early '60s, and would have been less than 10 years old when this vintage was made.  In any case the wine is pretty much over the hill.

2005 Les Forts de Latour - a huge wine.  Nose was sweet and exotic with caramel, toffee and spices.  I could see that after being double-decanted for more than 3½ hours, it still wasn't completely open.  Another wine I would love to taste in another 10 years...and compare with the 2006.  Frédéric's money is on the 2006...

2000 Les Forts de Latour - minty, smoky, leather and fruity.  Actually a very well-balanced wine on the palate, with enough acidity.  Certainly drinking very well tonight.

Full post on the dinner is here.

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