CHÂTEAU GRUAUD LAROSE
1996 2ème Cru Classé Saint Julien
|Grapes||Merlot, Cab Franc, Cab Sauv|
|Classification||2ème Cru Classé|
Dark and dense. Very Cabernet nose - almost medicinal in its herby/fresh nose, but not very expressive. The palate gives rather more, though it has the dense gravelly mouth feel typical of Gruaud, concentrated compact and firmly tannic. A serious complete wine. L&S (Mar 2005)
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First tasted blind in April 2002 when the nose soared from the glass with notes of ripe cranberry and liquorice. Quite refined and elegant, but with a chewy finish. Another bottle at the Gruaud vertical was very impressive. A deep garnet core with dark ruby rim. A dense liquoricey nose with notes of blueberry that needs aeration in the glass to show its character. The palate has a dense core of ripe Cabernet, a little tough this time with notes of burnt toast and cigar-box. Very typical of the vintage: broody and masculine. Traditional claret. Impressive. Needs another 5-8 years. (92-94) Last tasted blind and a frustratingly different bottle, much less opulent in style. A lifted smokey, tobacco nose. Leafy. Very classic with good definition. The palate has layers of sweet red fruits, strawberry and cherry. Feminine, lifted but lacking real weight. Very linear on the finish but good grip. Leave for 3-4 years. (86) although on reflection that was a bit mean! Tasted September 2006. Rating: 92-94 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (May 2016)
The 1996 is a surprisingly forward, attractive, less muscular style of Gruaud-Larose. One-third of the production was declassified for a second wine. In addition, one-third of the malo-lactic fermentation for the grand vin was done in barrel. The result is a forward, deep purple coloured wine with a sweet blueberry, kirsch, and jammy cherry-scented nose, medium body, more plushness and up-front fruit than most of the more serious wines of the vintage, and attractive fat and depth. This medium-bodied, moderately tannic wine is destined to evolve quickly, although it will last for 15 or more years. Critics of the old, muscular, super-powerful, full-bodied Gruaud Laroses that often exhibited earthy, leathery, animal notes along with their layers of concentrated fruit, may be more fond of this new style of wine. Rating: 90 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (Mar 2005)
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