Les Forts de Latour is the second wine of Château Latour, the First Growth Pauillac Bordeaux. Like Latour, Les Forts de Latour is owned by French industrialist Francois Pinault. Some 140,000 bottles of Les Forts are produced each year. It is typically 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot and about one-third of the grapes come from young vines within the l’Enclos, which is the 116 acres just around the chateau. The rest of the grapes comes from much older vines outside the l’Enclos, meaning that Les Forts de Latour is made from a significant amount of old-vine cuvee. Les Forts is often highly rated by critics, and Robert M. Parker Jr. has noted that it is “widely regarded as the finest of all the “second wines” and is, in tastings, frequently rated above more famous Pauillacs…"
Pauillac is Bordeaux’s most famous appellation, thanks to the fact that it is home to three of the region’s fabled first-growth châteaux, Lafite-Rothschild, Mouton-Rothschild and Latour. Perched on the left bank of the Gironde River north of the city of Bordeaux, Pauillac is centered around the commune of Pauillac and includes about 3,000 acres of vineyards. The Bordeaux classification of 1855 named 18 classified growths, including the three above mentioned First Growths. Cabernet Sauvignon is the principal grape grown, followed by Merlot. The soil is mostly sandy gravel mixed with marl and iron. Robert M. Parker Jr. has written that “the textbook Pauillac would tend to have a rich, full-bodied texture, a distinctive bouquet of black currants, licorice and cedary scents, and excellent aging potential.”