Wednesday 13 November 2013

Five Vintages of Gruaud Larose

Yesterday I hade the opportunity to taste five vintages of Gruaud Larose. It is always a treat to get to taste great Bordeaux, especially in this case when vintages from 4 decades was on the table.

David Launay, general manager, presented Gruaud Larose and the wines with flair, passion and humour.

janake winegroup arranged the tasting.

2005 Larose de Gruaud
The Larose de Gruaud is the second wine of Gruaud Larose. Gruaud have been making a second wine since 1865, quite a achievement!
The nose is open, upfront and lovely with juicy black currant fruit and additional notes of new leather, tobacco, coffee powder and a nice perfumed note (and that perfumed note did go through all of the wines as you can see below). Very good.
The taste is younger, fresh and with a nice backbone. Notes of sweet black currants, dark fudge, tobacco and lead pencil are noticeable. A medium long, balanced finish. This is drinking fine now but could be kept for 10 years.
90p   (tasted 2013/11)

1975 Château Gruaud Larose
This old timer was served out of a double magnum. The nose is round, mature and delightful with notes of ripe plums, old leather, cigar ashes and autumn leaves. Very good. Some fresh stables notes arises from the glass after a while.
The taste is mature, tight and a tad dry with notes of plums, black currants, cigar ashes and earth. A little hollow in the middle. This should be drunk, even from this bottle size.
86p   (tasted 2013/11)

1989 Château Gruaud Larose
1989 was a great Bordeaux vintage and Gruaud Larose delivers the goods. The nose is deep, round and semi mature with notes of dark plums, sweet black currants, graphite, expensive leather and a lovely perfumed note. Very, very good. Sweetened coffee.
The taste is semi mature with a luscious sweet fruit, integrated tannins and a good acidity. Fine notes of black currants, plums, dark chocolate and autumn leaves. A fine tight core. Very fine. Could be drunk now or cellared for 5+ years.
92p   (tasted 2013/11)

1998 Château Gruaud Larose
The 1998 was the weakest bottle in the line up. The nose is tight, hard and a bit four squared. There are some good notes of black currants, tobacco and the same perfumed note as in the others, but the structure is rigid and withdrawn.
The taste confirms the nose, with a tight, seedy fruit, high acidity and tannins that outlast the fruit. With some food this will surely behave well but on its own, and in this company, it is one dimensional. I don´t think it will get better with age.
80p   (tasted 2013/11)

2000 Château Gruaud Larose
A deep, pure, elegant nose with notes of red and black currants, plums, leather, dark chocolate and the lovely Gruaud perfume. Very, very good. A fine intensity.
The taste is still young with a fine sweet black currant fruit and notes of tobacco, sugared coffee, lead pencil and moist earth. Very intense and promising. A long, long, balanced finish. Give this 7+ years in the cellar.
91p   (tasted 2013/11)

2005 Château Gruaud Larose
The 2005 Gruaud Larose is a stunner! This youngster shows class from start to finish. The nose oozes up from the glass with lovely aromas of ripe black currants, expensive leather, pipe tobacco, fresh stables and lead pencil shavings. Velvety and every nut screwed in the right place. This has stunning potential.
The taste is concentrated, focused and tight with gorgeous fruit, a glorious structure and a ravishing purity. Buckets of sweet black currants and dark plums intermingled with pipe tobacco, new leather and graphite. Seamless. The finish goes on and on. Give this 8+ years. This will turn out exceptional. And even today it is impossible to resist. The man from Monkton dropped the ball on this one - 89p? Baaah!
95p   (tasted 2013/11)

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