|2ème Cru Classé
Harmonious nose, ripe and dense as well as supple, fat and silky. Lovely balance of sweetness, dark black fruit and suave tannic concentration. This has quite a lot of everything, although if picky, not huge character. Tannins very present if well-lubricated. Just a slight caramel barrel note on the finish. Rating: 92-93 L&S (Apr 2016)
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Dark ruby in colour, this has really come into its own over the past 6 years, proving wrong those who underestimated it during En Primeur. Emphasis right now on creamy dark fruits that envovlop everything, with real volume through the mid palate and a slow build along with sinewy tannins that grip the front of the mouth. This has so much potential, and I suggest still giving it another three or four years. 90% new oak (a big jump up from the 2010), harvset September 29 to October 15. The improvements brought by the vineyard restructing programme, that had begun in 2008, were starting to be felt at this point. Drinking range: 2024 - 2042 Rating: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter (Nov 2021)
The 2015 Gruaud Larose has a perfumed and floral bouquet of raspberry coulis and crushed strawberry, well defined if not the most complex among its peers. It has certainly opened up in recent months. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannin, touches of espresso lacing the red berry fruit. Just a slightly lactic finish detracts from overall delineation. I suspect that there will be improvement - it just needs time to settle. Tasted blind at the Southwold 2015 Bordeaux tasting. Rating: 91 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Jul 2019)
Concentrated and elegant with a great harmony of dry tannins and ripeness (but no hint of overripeness), this has a long finish with a lot of drive and enormous freshness. You could drink this now with red meat, but it’s got decades ahead of it. Drinking range: 2018 - Rating: 95 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Feb 2018)
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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