The North Korean government has bought the entire 2009 stock of Chateau Latour’s second wine, Les Forts de Latour.

Kim Jong-il, ruler of the world’s last hard-line communist dictatorship, personally ordered the wine after sending a team to Bordeaux this week to taste the en primeur offerings.

The government-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), made the announcement this morning, saying the president had observed the overwhelmingly positive reports about the 2009 vintage and ‘was pleased by reports of the wine’s purity of fruit, and balance’.

‘General Secretary and Dear Leader Kim Jong-il has decreed that the wine will become the official wine of state banquets in the People’s Democratic Republic of North Korea,’ the report said.

It is not known what price President Kim paid for the wine, although it is understood to be more than €100 per bottle – almost the same release price as the first growths last year.

The wine is a blend of 65.1% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32.3% Merlot, less than 0.6% Cabernet Franc, and 1.9% Petit Verdot. It represents almost half the production of the renowned First Growth.

It is well-known that Chateau Latour has been keen to break into the Asian market alongside its rival Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, whose popularity in China is such that even its second wine, Carruades de Lafite, commands prices akin to a bona-fide First Growth.

President Kim is understood to have requested a personalised label for the bottling.

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Written by decanter.com staff, and agencies