2006 2ème Cru Classé Saint Julien

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Saint Julien
Classification 2ème Cru Classé
ABV 13.5%

As we heard so often, the Sarget (second wine) ended up with more Merlot, and the grand vin with a higher percentage of Cabernet, but here it is the Cabernet Franc which at 11% is at a significantly higher proportion, as they found it excellent. Serious nose, some oak, but mostly blackcurrant. Less opulently thick than some, and in some ways showing more advanced, vinous. The Sarget, which is excellent, perhaps led one to hope for even more body, but this has a good attack, balanced sweetness in the mid-palate, and it goes on and on, nicely long. An excellent Gruaud, more refined and without the rather animal side which often marks it. Rating: 92-92 L&S (Apr 2007)

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Good deep red. Musky, gamey aromas of plum, dark chocolate, cocoa powder and roasted oak. Fat, plummy and lush, but with decent spine to give the wine shape. Sweet but not overly so, offering more breadth than depth. Finishes with dusty, horizontal tannins. Rating: 89-89 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar(May 2007)

Velvety and fruity. Lots of mineral and berry character. I would like to see a little more fruit in the center palate, but it's clean and racy. And it should grow in the barrel. Better than the 2005. Close to 92-94. Rating: 89-91 James Suckling, The Wine Spectator(May 2007)

This looks cheaper by the minute as the campaign continues. Must rate as a great value buy in context.- post price-release comment(May 2007)

Tasted at the UGC where it was rather ostentatious with dark chocolate and a slight tinny note on the mid-palate that I rated 90/100. Fortunately I was able to re-taste in London in quieter surroundings mid-April. A fragrant nose that is fleshy and ripe with blackberry, cassis and wild hedgerow. It could do with perhaps a little more precision and clarity. The medium-bodied palate is much more harmonious and focused than the one shown in Bordeaux, supple in texture with rounded black fruits. Tight and linear on the finish with a touch of burnt toast, this will be a very fine Gruaud Larose, but it will need 5 or 6-years to meld together. No Malbec this year by the way. Rating: 91-93 Neal Martin, 2007)

Deep colour, quite meaty, almost sweet concentrated fruit, floral elements but still a little rough and raw. 2013-20. Rating: *** 2007)

Blackish crimson. Zesty nose with the merest hint of oak. Well put together even if embryonic - super smooth and easy and there is absolutely nothing for anyone to object to even if no-one would go to bed dreaming of this wine. I am churlish to even voice a hint of complaint. Very well done, if slightly bureaucratic. 2013-20 Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - 2007)

Château Gruaud Larose

St Julien Deuxième cru 1855 The story of Château Gruaud Larose starts with Joseph Stanislas Gruaud who developed the estate in the early 18th Century. Two of his descendents ended up with different halves of the Gruaud estate until, in 1778, Chevalier de Gruaud died and left his portion to his son-in-law Joseph Sébastien de la Rose who immediately appended his name to the estate. Gruaud-Larose was split further in 1867, with Château Gruaud-Larose-Sarget and Château Gruaud-Larose-Faure being seperate until 1935 when the Cordier family, who'd bought the Sarget half in 1919, bought Gruaud-Larose-Faure and put the old estate back together again. Ownership by the Cordiers, and the association with other similarly labelled wines in the portfolio - Talbot, Meyney - kept Château Gruaud Larose as a consistent favourite among Bordeaux lovers. Gruaud-Larose is now owned by the Taillan Group. There are 82ha of vineyard, just to the south west of Beychevelle - 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec. A second wine was introduced in 1979 - Sarget de Gruaud-Larose. Gruaud-Larose is among the fuller-bodied styles of St Julien, producing consistently good wines and, whilst the crown of "best estate in St Julien" sits with Leoville Las Cases, the wines of Gruaud-Larose are always worth following.

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