Les Forts de Latour

Wine Producers » Les Forts de Latour

Region: Medoc

Appellation: Pauillac

Classification: Second Growth

Average annual production: 130,000 bottles

Grapes (Typical Blend): Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (30%).

Made by: Frederic Engerer

Owned by: François Pinault

A little history: Esteemed first growth Chateau Latour’s second wine, Les Forts de Latour, is really quite something. Named after the same pigeon roost as it’s mothership, Les Forts de Latour’s history starts a little after the aforementioned.   After the estate’s great ownership by the notorious de Segur family (who, by the early 19th Century, owned 3 of 5 first growth chateaux-to-be!) it was bought by 2 British companies.

It was at this time that Les Forts de Latour came into existence. Latour was one of the first estates to consider a 2nd wine, & , in 1966 Les Forts de Latour made its debut. Selected from wines inside the original plot, or L’enclos, the wine is made from some of the younger vines, although no younger than 12 years old. Originally its existence was a rather scarce one, with only a handful of vintages made before 1990, however it has not missed a year since!

The Enlos is 47 hectares of Latour’s original & finest vines. The differences between Latour & Les Forts de Latour ride on age of vines, how they are matured (Forts de Latour uses some new barrels) & an occasional higher proportion of Merlot in the final blend. In fact, as second wines go, it’s one of the closest to it’s star leader. This has more than something to do with the purchase of the estate by a certain Francois Pinnault in 1993. Pinnault paid significantly over the odds (131 Million) to return the Chateau to private ownership & swifly brought Frederic Engerer on board. Engerer now runs the estate & is known for his brilliant winemaking, alongside being a shrewd businessman. He continues to grow the wines from strength to strength.