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Les Forts de Latour, Cabernet & Merlot, Pauillac, Bordeaux 2010

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Les Forts de Latour takes its name from an historic plot in the « Enclos ». The wine was first labelled with this name in 1966 and constant work on developing its quality has resulted in its achieving the level of a Médoc Grand Cru Classé.

The origin of this wine is threefold:

• The edge of the Enclos.
• Some plots that could be used in the Grand Vin may finally be included in the Forts de Latour blend, depending on how their quality is judged during the blending tastings.
• Plots located outside the Enclos, in Cru Classé areas of Pauillac:

These consist on the one hand, of plots such as Piñada, Petit Batailley and St. Anne, which have belonged to the estate for more than a century and whose vines benefit from a high average age (around 40 years), synonymous with quality.

And on the other hand, of a seven hectare island of vines in the commune of Artigues on gravel terraces, which was acquired in 2005. Plus a handful of plots (about 5 hectares) acquired in 2012.

These various blocks of plots present very different terroirs, thereby offering Forts de Latour more varied characteristics and flavour profiles depending on the vintage.

Les Forts de Latour is produced with the same meticulous care as the Grand Vin, both in the vineyard and in the winery. The only notable difference, apart from the origin of the grapes, is the proportion of new barrels (50 to 60%) used in the maturing stage.

The blend for Forts de Latour can vary from one year to the next but there is always a higher proportion of Merlot (25 to 30%) compared to the Grand Vin.

The autumn of 2009 was mild and wet whereas the first months of 2010 were particularly cold and dry. We then noted a delay in the budbreak which did not properly get going until April which was almost summery. Flowering was disrupted by rain and cool temperatures during the first half of June resulting in significant flower abortion and uneven grape size. We had to wait for the last ten days of June for temperatures to return to seasonal norms. Water stress began to develop at the end of June in some plots in the Enclos and increased in July. Generally, the vines stopped growing at the end of July.

Harvesting of the Merlot began on September 20th with the young vines, and the Cabernet Sauvignon on October 4th (after stopping for a few days between grape varieties).

Country: France