Chateau Latour   Forts de Latour

1996 Forts de Latour

By Chateau Latour

1996 Forts de Latour from Chateau Latour, Pauillac, Bordeaux

The 1996 vintage in Bordeaux is often heralded for its remarkable quality and longevity, particularly in the Pauillac appellation where the wines are celebrated for their exquisite structure. Our focus is on the 1996 Forts de Latour from Chateau Latour which, even as the estate's second label, commands attention with its dignified presentation.


Vintage Virtuosity: A Testament to Time

Given its birth in an exceptional year for Bordeaux reds, the 1996 Forts de Latour stands as a testament to the adage that a great chateau's second wine often surpasses lesser vintages' grand vin. This particular iteration delivers an experience of melodic complexity, an illustrious example of Pauillac's climatic harmony that year.


An Unyielding Symphony of Sensations

The '96 vintage radiates youthful vigour amidst its maturity. Aromatically, it offers a rich tapestry of crème de cassis interwoven with hints of cedar and tobacco—a nod to its noble heritage. On the palate, this wine confidently asserts a full-bodied richness cut with adept acidity, presenting a persuasive argument for Pauillac's esteemed terroir. Its tannins have mellowed beautifully, creating a firm yet silken framework upon which dark fruits and subtle oak nuances dance. Investment-savvy connoisseurs will recognise not just a sensory delight but also an astute addition to any fine wine portfolio.


Longevity and Legacy: The Wise Investor's Choice

One could argue that the greatness of 1996 Forts de Latour is both in the bottle and beyond it. As a storied label from Chateau Latour, it holds not just sumptuous drinkability but also esteemed provenance—a sterling factor for investors and collectors alike. With years still ahead for its peak expression, this vintage continues to fascinate with its promise of progression.

In summation, the 1996 Forts de Latour from Chateau Latour proves itself as one of those compelling narratives in oenological form: poised with pedigree and depth, making it an intelligent acquisition for enthusiasts aiming to capture a slice of Bordeaux's illustrious history. Its revelatory profile not only captures the essence of a magnificent vintage but also represents a judicious asset in the milieu of discerning wine investment.

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Scores and tasting notes


The dense ruby/purple-colored 1996 Les Forts de Latour is exceedingly tannic, with cassis and mushroom-like notes in the aromatics. This full-bodied wine is impressively constituted and one of the finest Forts de Latours of the last two decades. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2018.

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #122


Tasted at an off-line lunch at The Ledbury. A completely different bottle to the one in September 2006. A very deep black/purple colour. At thirteen years of age, it is evolving a lovely cedar, tobacco bouquet with touches of cooked meat, bilberry and a slight salty tang. The palate is full-bodied but with fine tannins, firm backbone, a little furry towards the masculine finish that suggests this Les Forts needs a few more years in bottle. Impressive young sibling to the Grand Vin. Drink 2014-2025. Tasted October 2009.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal May 2010


The 1996 Les Forts de Latour has a deep garnet color with just a thin rim of bricking on the rim. The bouquet is fully mature but demonstrated good fruit concentration after 20 years, mulberry, red plum, plenty of cloves and an almost garrigue-like scent. The palate does not quite have the charm of the nose, the tannins a little brusque and perhaps compared to this deuxième vin nowadays, without the finesse and then it just tapers towards a cedar-infused finish. Drink bottles now and over the next 10 years. Tasted July 2016.

Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate, 28 October 2016

Vintage performance