2011 2ème Cru Classé Saint Julien

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

61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. Ruby red. Quite a developed style with taut tannins and a dusty dry feel. As a friend tasting alongside me said, they have finally got rid of the animal side to this wine, which seemed to be a problem in the cellar (brettanomyces?), but what is left is somehow less engaging. Maybe it simply needs an investment splurge to bring it up to the level of the other major Saint Julien properties. Rating: 89+? L&S (Apr 2012)

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Bright crimson. Scented and savoury. Dense and rather zappy. Perhaps not enough concentration for the very long term but it is not forced at least. 2017-2030 Rating: 16 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - (May 2012)

I would have rated the 2011 Gruaud Larose slightly higher if it had not been for the abundant, dry, slightly astringent tannins in the finish. Nevertheless, there is a lot to like about this plum/purple-tinged St.-Julien. Notes of unsmoked, high quality cigar tobacco are intertwined with plum, black currant and dusty, earthy, loamy soil characteristics. The wine reveals good richness, medium body and a structured, somewhat formidable level of tannin that needs to melt away before this 2011 can be fully enjoyed. Give it 2-5 years of cellaring and drink it over the following two decades. 2014 - 2034 Rating: 89-91 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, (Apr 2012)

The 2011 Gruaud Larose is a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Franc (no Petit Verdot this year) picked from 14th September with the Merlot and finishing with the Cabernet on the 28th. It has 13.05% alcohol and an IPT of 74 and is being aged in 40% new oak. Tasted three times including at the property, it has a rounded bouquet with ripe blackcurrant aromas that is missing a little depth and has a metallic tincture. The palate is medium-bodied with a soft entry. It is a more feminine take on Gruaud, perhaps missing a little backbone and structure, but it displays fine purity and sweetness towards the finish. I am just looking for a little tension and precision. Rating: 89-91 Neal Martin, (Apr 2012)

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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