59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc. Slipery silk feel, so easy and fine. Lovely envelope and gloss to the Cabernet-flavoured quite focused fruit. Glossy yet dryly linear, with sappy fresh length too. Well done! Drinking range: 2022 - 2029 Rating: 89-90 L&S (Apr 2017)
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The 2016 Sargent de Gruaud-Larose is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, with Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The alcohol is 12.66% and it is matured in 15% new oak. There is plenty of fruit on the nose: black cherries, red plum and a touch of violet, the modest level of new oak allowing the fruit to shine. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent ripe tannin, very pure fruit and a caressing texture. This Deuxième Vin can sometimes be a little disappointing, but not this year. It's just a delicious wine that will give a decade's worth of drinking pleasure. Drinking range: 2020 - 2030 Rating: 88-90 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Apr 2017)
A medium-bodied red with blackberry and plum character, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Second wine of Gruaud-Larose. Rating: 90-91 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Apr 2017)
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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