Chateau Gruaud Larose St. Julien Bordeaux Wine, Complete Guide

Gruaud Larose Chateau Chateau Gruaud Larose St. Julien Bordeaux Wine, Complete Guide

Learn everything about Chateau Gruaud Larose St. Julien Second Growth, with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn the best vintages a history of the property, information on the vineyards and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

Chateau Gruaud Larose History, Overview

Chateau Gruaud Larose is an interesting producer in the Saint Julien appellation. Over the centuries, let alone recent history, like many estates, its had its ups and downs.

For some unknown reason, the wines lack consistency. 1961 Gruaud Larose is stunning! But you need to jump ahead 20 years before Gruaud Larose made another great wine.

1982 Gruaud Larose is one of the great wines from the legendary vintage! The decade of the 1980’s was good for Gruaud Larose, but after that decade, it took more than another decade before they produced another great wine, which took place in 2000.

Fans of Gruaud Larose were forced to wait again for the next great vintage. This continued lack of consistency hurts the image of Gruaud Larose in the marketplace. But for Bordeaux wine lovers who appreciate the wines of Gruaud Larose, that lack of consistency helps keep prices down.

Gruaud Larose has a long history in the Saint Julien appellation that dates back to the days when the property was first owned by a knight known as Joseph Stanislas Gruaud. Two more members of the Gruaud family were also important factors in the birth of Gruaud Larose, one was a judge, the other was a priest.

They owned numerous Bordeaux vineyards which they eventually joined together to create a 116 hectare Bordeaux wine estate called Fond Bedeau.

To keep parity between the brothers, Fond Bedeau bottled their wine as two separate Bordeaux wines, Chevalier de Gruaud, which belonged to the priest and Abbe Gruaud which was produced by the judge.

Chevalier de Gruaud was managed as a successful business from day one. They erected the tower over their Bordeaux vineyards to allow them to watch their workers in his vineyards. They began hoisting a flag over the property when the harvest was over informing potential buyers if the wine was in a style they would like.

To obtain the highest price for the wine, they came up with the novel idea of selling their wine in Bordeaux to the highest bidders at auction. If the wine did not sell, they created the interesting concept of increasing the price again and again until it was finally sold!

In 1778, the Chevalier de Gruaud passed away and management of the estate fell to his son-in-law, Joseph Sebastian de La Rose. La Rose added his name to the estate which became Gruaud Larose. He also gave his name to another massive Bordeaux estate, Chateau Larose Trintaudon.

In 1812, when the family was forced to sell Gruaud Larose to retire their debts, Pierre Balguerie, Baron Jean Auguste Sarget and David Verdonnet purchased the property together.

David Verdonnet passed away shortly after. His share of the Left Bank estate was divided by the two remaining partners. For almost half a century, Gruaud Larose was co-managed by both families.

Gruaud Larose Barrel Cellar Chateau Gruaud Larose St. Julien Bordeaux Wine, Complete Guide

Shortly after the official 1855 Classification of the Medoc, Gruaud Larose was divided again in 1867. One half remained with Baron Sarget. The wine they produced was bottled and sold as Chateau Gruaud Larose Sarget.

Baron Sarget was responsible for constructing the chateau on the property in 1875. The other half of the original vineyard remained with the Bethmann descendants. The wines were bottled and sold as both Chateau Gruaud Larose Faure and Chateau Gruaud Larose-Bethmann at different times.

By the time the 20th century rolled around, both properties remained separated. This all changed when the Cordier family purchase Chateau Gruaud Larose.

The Sarget portion of the estate was purchased by the Cordier family in 1917 at the close of WW1. The Cordier family had been negotiants since 1886.

But they became famous and wealthy during World War 1, when the French Government contracted them to provide rations of inexpensive wine to their soldiers on a daily basis. That was how the Cordier family were able to buy Gruaud Larose.

The Bethmann family sold their remaining shares to the Cordier family in 1935, which allowed the Cordier family to recreate the original estate and the wine was renamed Chateau Gruaud Larose.

Chateau Gruaud Larose the Modern Age

In 1997 Gruaud Larose was purchased by Jacques Merlaut. Jacques Merlaut owns numerous other Bordeaux vineyards under the name of the Taillan Group including; Chateau La Gurgue, Chateau Haut Bages Liberal, Chateau Citran, Chateau Ferriere and Chateau Chasse Spleen among others.

Gruaud Larose Front 228x300 Chateau Gruaud Larose St. Julien Bordeaux Wine, Complete Guide

Chateau Gruaud Larose Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking

The 82 hectare Saint Julien vineyard of Gruaud Larose is planted to 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. This shows a change in the vineyards, with more Cabernet Sauvignon and less Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

It is the goal of the estate to eventually reach 70% Cabernet Sauvignon in the vineyard. The vineyard of Gruaud Larose is unique as they have one of the largest vineyards in Bordeaux with most of their vines one single block.

Although they also have smaller parcels close to Chateau Talbot and Chateau Branaire Ducru. Located in the south of the appellation, not far from Branaire Ducru, and just past the village of Saint Julien, most of the vineyard is afforded a southeast exposure. The vineyard has not changed much since it was created in 1781.

Thus, the vineyard is exactly the same today as it was when it was classified as a Second Growth in the 1855 Classification of the Medoc. The vineyards of Gruaud Larose have the highest point of elevation on the Saint Julien plateau.

You can divide the vineyard into 110 parcels with the best terroir found in 2 sections, surrounding the chateau and next to the park.

Chateau Gruaud Larose has a terroir that is mostly gravel, with quartz, clay and sand based soil on the surface. Under the top soil you find more sand and limestone.

However, clay plays more of an important role here than at other vineyards in the region, as there is more clay in the terroir of Gruaud Larose than you can find at any other St. Julien vineyard.

The vines average 46 years of age. Although they have old Cabernet Sauvignon vines that are more than 80 years of age. The vineyard is planted to a vine density of 10,000 vines per hectare.

Most of the work in the vineyards is done with organic farming techniques. aud Larose began farming 100% of their vineyards using only biodynamic farming techniques.

Chateau Gruaud Larose is one of the few Bordeaux estates to maintain a hail reduction canon. The canon works by radar. When the radar detects hail, the canon fires, sending out shock waves which help break the oncoming hail stones into smaller pieces, protecting the vines.

Chateau Gruaud Larose Winemaking

To produce the wine of Chateau Gruaud Larose, the wine is vinified in a combination of 30 oak vats ranging in size from 55 to 115 hectoliters and 32 concrete vats that hold 50-100 hectoliters. The malolactic fermentation takes in place in cement vats and oak tanks.

The wine of Chateau Gruaud Larose starting with the 2010 vintage is then aged in an average of 85% new, French oak barrels for about 18 months. The amount of time and percentage of new oak varies on the needs of the specific Bordeaux vintage.

Gruaud Larose at night Chateau Gruaud Larose St. Julien Bordeaux Wine, Complete Guide

Chateau Gruaud Larose on average produces close to 18,000 cases of Saint Julien wine each year. There is a second wine, Sarget de Gruaud Larose. The estate introduced the second wine starting with the 1981 vintage.

The wine took its name from the Sarget family, one of the previous owners of the estate, who sold their shares to the Cordier family in 1917. The creation of the second wine led to a better quality Grand Vin.

Chateau Gruaud Larose Character, Style

As we mentioned earlier, Chateau Gruaud Larose has the ability to produce stunning Bordeaux wine! The 1961, 1982 and 1986 remain remarkable Bordeaux wines that are close to First Growth in quality. 1990 is not that far away in quality. However, after 1990, with the exception of the outstanding 2000, they have not produced wines worthy of their classification.

That seems to have changed to some extent with the 2009. Gruaud Larose is a powerful Bordeaux wine, produced in a traditional style, that in the best vintages has the special quality that allows it age, evolve and improve for decades. It is important to note that 2018 was a huge jump in quality for Gruaud Larose!

The best vintages of Chateau Gruaud Larose are: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2010, 2009, 2005, 2000, 1990, 1986, 1982, 1961, 1959 and 1945. Ancient vintages are probably well worth seeking out. If you find any, let me know, as I’d like to try them!

When to Drink Chateau Gruaud Larose, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau Gruaud Larose is not a wine to drink on the young side. The wine is usually far too tannic, and closed during its youth. Young vintages can be decanted for an average of 2-4 hours, give or take. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.

Chateau Gruaud Larose is usually better with at least 12 years of bottle age. Of course that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage character. Chateau Gruaud Larose offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 15 and 35 years of age after the vintage.

Serving Chateau Gruaud Larose with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips

Gruaud Larose is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift.

Chateau Gruaud Larose is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Gruaud Larose is a perfect match with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta as well as cheese.

Aside from owning multiple vineyards in Bordeaux, and a massive Negociant company, the Taillan Group also owns The Beijing Taillan Winery in China.

Some of the other Bordeaux properties owned by the Taillan Group include: Chateau Chasse Spleen in Moulis, Chateau Haut Bages-Liberal in Pauillac, Chateau Ferriere in Margaux, and Chateau de Camensac in the Haut-Medoc appellation.

www.gruaud-larose.com

Château Gruaud Larose Wine Tasting Notes

40 Vintages 513,209 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating

2018Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)94

Fleshy, juicy and creamy, this wine is bright, lifted, sweet and crisp. The Cabernet Sauvignon is accompanied by tobacco, cigar box, cedar and blackberries and there is a nice crunch to the earthy red fruits in the finish. Give this time in the cellar -- at least 7-8 years -- and it will come together nicely. This is the best vintage for Gruaud Larose in years! The wine was made from blending 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.2% alcohol. Picking took place September 20-October 10. 93-95 Pts

1,209 Views   Tasted
2017Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)91

With a shot of espresso, you'll find tobacco, forest leaf, bright cassis and crunchy tannins. The wine is medium bodied with a strong leaning toward the fresh side of the red fruit range. Give it a few years to compose itself and it will come together.

5,418 Views   Tasted
2016Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)92

The tobacco, espresso and dark cassis nose hits the spot. Medium/full bodied with soft, polished regal textures and a bright, dark red berry, cedar and tobacco finish, this should really hit the spot in 12-15 years or so.

1,810 Views   Tasted

Cassis, tobacco and espresso with a good hit of cedar to arouse the olfactory system. A fresh, red berry side of the style range, there is a softness to the tannins that brings out the best in the crunchy currants and blackberry fruits in the finish. This will require time in the bottle to come around. Good girls don’t come easy. I mean good things take time.

7,640 Views   Tasted 92
2015Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)92

Medium/full bodied, elegant, fresh, tobacco and cedar tinged, the ripe, dark red fruits are forward. The tannins have a softness, making the wine seem already approachable. But patience will be rewarded, as time will add complexities and nuances to the wine. Give it at least another decade or longer before popping a cork. The wine was made from blending 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot and 9% Cabernet.

2,347 Views   Tasted

Concentration, length, ripe dark fruits and the added nuances of wet earth, forest floor, tobacco, ash, herbs, espresso and cassis. The wine is full bodied with ripe tannins, fresh, juicy, not quite crunchy fruit and loads of blackberries in the finish. This is the best Gruaud Larose in years.

2,466 Views   Tasted 93

With a medium body and on the bright, red berry side of the style range with cedar and cigar box notes adding complexity, there is a freshness to the fruit, but it is on the lighter side for the vintage. 90 - 92 Pts

2,340 Views   Tasted 91
2014Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)91

Sleeping, but with coaxing you find cedar, pepper, cassis and earthy cherries, the wine is classic in nature, with firm tannins and ageworthy red fruits.. The wine was made from 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.

1,952 Views   Tasted

Medium bodied, earthy, cranberry, blackberry in character, this is a classic style of Bordeaux, with a lot of freshness, tobacco and cedar in its personality.

4,388 Views   Tasted 91

With a medium body and soft tannins, this wine is fresh, earthy and laced with crisp, crunch of fresh red and black fruits. 90-92 Pts

7,163 Views   Tasted 91
2013Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)88

This blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc produced a medium bodied, red fruit, dominated wine with dusty tannins. Forward in style, the finish mixes sweet and tart, spicy, earthy, red berries.

3,115 Views   Tasted

With medium body, this earthy wine is brimming with red berry character and finishes with dusty tannins and spice. The wine was made from a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc. 88-89 Pts

6,301 Views   Tasted 88
2012Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)88

This did not develop as well as I had hoped, medium bodied and showing some dryness in the red fruit dominated finish, there is an herbal, olive element in the red fruit filled finish that is discerned as well.

4,575 Views   Tasted

Medium bodied, filled with fresh, bright cassis and blackberries, this is a classic vintage for Gruaud Larose. The wine was produced from a blend of 66.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 6.5% Petit Verdot and reached 13.46% alcohol. 90-92 Pts

7,268 Views   Tasted 90
2011Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)89

Medium bodied and a little short, but the earthy black and red fruits and soft and clean. The wine finishes with tobacco, herbs, cassis and blackberry. The wine was made from a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Franc.

2,225 Views   Tasted

Medium/full-bodied, with crisp, fresh cassis, earth, spice and gravel, the wine ends with a tannic crème de cassis finish that requires age to develop. Produced from a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Franc . 91-92 Pts

3,137 Views   Tasted 91
2010Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)92

Tannic, structured, long, concentrated with cassis, black raspberry, stone, tobacco and spice, this blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot needs at least a decade, and probably longer before it’s fun to drink.

7,079 Views   Tasted

Gruaud Larose With yields of 40 hectoliters per hectare, the property produced a wine blending 61% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot with the remainder evenly split between Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The wine reached 13.8% alcohol in 2010, which is slightly higher than they achieved in 2009. Ruby colored, with scents of cassis, oak and gravel, this full bodied, brawny, beefy, traditional and tannic wine has some dryness in the finish. 91-93 Pts

7,817 Views   Tasted 92
2009Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)93

Cedar wood, cassis, earth and mineral notes create the perfume This blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon and 32% Merlot is powerful, concentrated and tannic. Produced in a more traditional Bordeaux style, the wine lacks the opulent nature of the vintage and will require more time than many wines from the same vintage to develop.

12,761 Views   Tasted

2009 Gruaud Larose is deep ruby. Cassis, coffee, and earthy aromas are easy to detect. This full bodied, structured wine ends with a sweet black raspberry finish. It is the best wine from the property since the 2000. The wine was produced from a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon and 32% Merlot. 92-93 Pts

12,413 Views   Tasted 93
2008Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)90

Showing a lightness of color, the wine offers sweet tobacco, red fruits, herbs, leaf, spice, barnyard, earth and pepper. Medium bodied, fresh, light, soft, with clean, red cherry and cassis finish. The wine was made blending 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc.

2,298 Views   Tasted

With tobacco, smoke, cassis, licorice and spice aromatics, this polished style of St. Julien lacks the concentration found in the best years of Gruaud Larose. There is a minor hint of green flavors found in the cassis filled finish. From a blend of a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and 9% Petit Verdot, for Gruaud Larose, this will drink well young.

6,125 Views   Tasted 90

Earth, cassis, truffle and cedar aromas lead into a full boded, beefy, cassis and black cherry filled wine.

7,379 Views   Tasted 90
2007Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)85

Medium bodied, with a strong, earthy, barnyard note that would be more at home in Chateauneuf du Pape, than in Bordeaux, you also find notes of tobacco and forest aromatics and some red fruits, this is ready to drink as most of the tannins are long gone. The lean finish is a bit clipped, so this is probably better suited for near term drinking, than for any further development.

4,356 Views   Tasted
2006Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)88

Firm, structured, medium bodied, tannic and traditional, with a focus on crisp, red berries, earth and tobacco, the wine needs time to soften and come together.

6,543 Views   Tasted
2005Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)90

Medium bodied, bright and fresh, with a lean to the red fruit side of the style range, the wine is better on the nose than the palate, finishing with crisp, crunchy, sweet and tart red fruits. This will develop more secondary aromas, but it's probably going to retain its style.

6,819 Views   Tasted

A masculine styled wine with a tannic spine. The finish was rustic. In time, a lot of time, this will improve.

11,999 Views   Tasted 89
2004Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)88

Better on the nose, with its secondary notes of forest floor, tobacco, cranberry and cassis than on the medium bodied, bright, crunchy red berry dominated palate. The tannins leave you with some dryness in the end notes.

2,807 Views   Tasted
2003Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)89

Medium/full bodied, and drinking at close to peak today, the wine offers a ripe, berry nose, wet earth, spice, thyme and herbal profile. The tannins are round and soft, leaving with an herbal, red berry finish.

3,627 Views   Tasted
2002Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)87

Medium bodied, with an herbal quality to the tobacco and blackberry fruit in the nose, the wine has a light rustic, sandy quality to the tannins in the crisp, red plum and earthy finish.

2,633 Views   Tasted
2001Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)90

Like many 2001 Bordeaux wines, this is on the evolutionary fast track. Tobacco leaf, smoke, creme de cassis, mushroom and spice box aromas work well with the medium/full bodied, gentle textures. Lacking the depth and concentration of the better vintages, this Gruaud Larose is already drinking well.

7,022 Views   Tasted
2000Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)93

This is developing quite nicely. The tobacco, cassis, herb and spicy cassis nose pairs perfectly with the classically styled, full bodied character, leaving with a blend of cassis, blackberry, earth and a touch of green tapanade in the finish. While this is nice now, it should get even better with a few more years in the bottle.

6,593 Views   Tasted

Still my favorite vintage of Gruaud Larose after the stunning 1982 and 1986, the fruit is ripe, concentrated and refined delivering a rich, mouthful of fresh, sweet berries with every taste. Clearly, this is structured to age for decades. While young, the fruit is of good quality making this fun to drink today, if you enjoy youthful, primary wines. If you prefer more secondary characteristics, give it another 5-7 years of age before popping a cork.

8,029 Views   Tasted 93

Deep in color, it looks like a 5 year old wine. In the perfume, chocolate, cassis, earth, tobacco and cedar wood. The wine is full bodied, concentrated and filled with lush, ripe, blackberry and cassis. Still young, tannic and tight, more bottle age will add to the wines development.

9,649 Views   Tasted 93

Animal scents, earth, tobacco, smoke and cassis lead to a full bodied, concentrated, youthful wine that wants a few more years in the cellar before its ready for consumption.

10,996 Views   Tasted 93

Forward in style, this full-bodied St. Julien wine is filled with cassis, earth, tobacco, herbs, stone and cigar box aromas. There is still some masculine tannins to resolve. For Gruaud Larose, this is drinking surprisingly well at such a young age.

14,503 Views   Tasted 93

An earthy nose with black fruit, spice and wood startted things off. The wine is big, intense and concentrated, but the finish was short. I've had other bottles show much better.

10,503 Views   Tasted 90
1999Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)88

Fully mature, this medium bodied, cassis, earth and tobacco filled wine ends with a short, cranberry, spice and cassis finish.

4,003 Views   Tasted
1998Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)89

This medium/full-bodied, classic charmer is ready, willing and able to deliver its cassis, blackberry, earth, tobacco leaf, and herb filled contents with about 1 hour of decanting.

2,281 Views   Tasted
1996Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)85

1996 Gruaud Larose opened with barnyard, tobacco, earth and unclean aromas. Medium to full bodied with a lean, rustic personality and an earthy, cassis flavored finish, this is not a success for a vintage where so many great wines were produced in the Medoc. I do not see this wine improving with age.

8,279 Views   Tasted
1995Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)88

Light, with rustic tannins and hint of tartness in the berries, the nose, with its tobacco, earth, cassis and barnyard aromatics is fine. But the fruit is losing the race with the tannins on the palate and in the finish. Time will probably not improve this wine. At 19 years of age, it is, what it is.

4,071 Views   Tasted
1990Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)92

Fully mature, this is ready to go. The wine is medium bodied, most of the tannins have melted away. Better on the cedar, tobacco, cherry and leafy nose, than on the soft, smooth, mature palate. The wine is fine, but it lacks the weight, density and complexity found in previous vintages like 1986 and 1982.

2,519 Views   Tasted

Some wines are better on the nose, while others are better on palate. Clearly this was better in the nose with its tobacco, cedar, earth, cassis, cigar box and blackberry scented perfume. On the palate, the wine was soft and refined, as well as surprisingly developed. I try to finish all my remaining bottles over the next 3-5 years, before more of the fruit begins to drop.

4,995 Views   Tasted 91

This is my third bottle in three months. The wine has shown consistently to be forward in style. Smoke, cassis, forest floor, blackberry and earthy scents produce the perfume. Soft and round in texture, the wine ends with cassis, licorice and spicy flavors. There is no tannin left to resolve. This is fully mature. In a blind tasting, it looks and tastes as if it were at least 10 years older than it is. While there is probably no hurry to drink this up, there is no reason to wait. I want to finish my remaining bottles over the next 5 years before the wine begins to slowly decline.

7,816 Views   Tasted 93

Developing faster than anticipated for a Gruaud Larose of that era, (1982 and 1986 are both young) the wine offers tobacco, forest floor, barnyard, cassis, herb and dark berry aromas. With a roasted fruit quality and ripe tannins, the concentrated wine feels round in the mouth. There is no hurry to drink it, but as it's close to mature, this is a good time to start opening the wine.

8,251 Views   Tasted 93

Interestingly, this is one of the few modern Bordeaux wines that was produced from all 5 varietals. Earth, truffle, smoke, tobacco, fig, plum and cassis scents make up the perfume. Full bodied and filled with ripe, juicy Cabernet Sauvignon, this powerful Bordeaux still tastes young. The wine finishes with spicy cassis and earthy flavors. This will be a very long lived wine.

7,504 Views   Tasted 95

Layers of dense, ripe fruit. More rustic than Leoville La Cases with a complex barnyard component. More power than elegance, and a lot of fun to drink.

3,837 Views   Tasted 94

Aromas of wet forest, licorice, coffee, red and black fruit fill the glass. This is a very thick, chewy, extracted, full-bodied wine with depth and complexity. The long finish is a pleasure. I would not be surprised to see this wine drinking well at 40-50 years of age.

3,841 Views   Tasted 95
1989Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)89

Barnyard notes with herbs and some fruit. Light for Gruaud. Not a bad wine. But, there was nothing to like about it either.

4,239 Views   Tasted
1986Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)95

4 hours in the decanter helped bring this often, tannic beast into the zone. With notes of cedar, tobacco leaf, forest leaf, smoke and cassis, the wine offered power, structure, depth of flavor and a full-bodied blast of dark red, chewy fruits that hung in there. This is a super example of classic Bordeaux that is a pleasure to drink. You can easily hold this for 20 more years or pop a cork tonight.

4,106 Views   Tasted

Tobacco leaf, cigar wrapper, red fruits and forest notes create the nose. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, concentrated and loaded with layers of ripe, earthy, tobacco-stained fruits with a hint of green. The tannins remain firm, but they are fading, leaving with you a ripe, crisp, red berry finish. Decanting of at least 1 hour helps the wine preform at its best.

4,186 Views   Tasted 94

With 2 hours of air, this was stellar. The nose, with its strong aromas of cedar, cigar box, tobacco and cassis lets you know you're in the Left Bank. Full bodied, concentrated, with a boatload of juicy cassis on the palate, there is a touch of dryness in the endnote, typical of 1986, but it does not overwhelm the qualities in the rest of the experience. There is no hurry to drink this, as I imagine it will be providing pleasure for at least another 20-30 more years, of well stored.

4,749 Views   Tasted 95

If the aromas of a cigar store, cedar closets and cassis, a mouthful of ripe, fresh blackberries, concentration of flavor and intensity, with regal, elegant, masculine textures and a long, smoky, spice filled, currant finish is a turn on, you came to the right place. Avoiding the extreme tannic character of the vintage, 2 hours of decanting was just right. The wine improved in the glass until we reached the last drop. This is so easy to drink, we finished the bottle far too quickly.

5,771 Views   Tasted 96

Deep ruby in color, which is amazing considering this Bordeaux wine is 25 years old. A complex nose filled stuffed with tobacco, forest floor, blackberry, mineral, barnyard, smoke, mushroom and earthy aromas. Big, powerful, tannic and mouth filling, the wine is packed with ripe, crunchy Cabernet Sauvignon. Still young, with tannin to resolve, this outstanding Gruaud Larose could be a 100 year wine!

8,716 Views   Tasted 96

The tannins are not rustic, but they remain firm. The wine is worth waiting for as it's filled with cassis, tobacco, forest and spice aromatics. This concentrated, mouthfulling wine has a great future to look forward to for consumers with patience and a taste for well made, old school wines.

6,498 Views   Tasted 94

Huge layers of concentrated fruit, spice and tannin are in abundance. This full bodied, large scaled wine is classic and classy. Needs time.

5,305 Views   Tasted 95
1985Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)91

Fully mature, the seductive nose offers hints of truffle, tobacco, spice box, licorice, blackberry, cedar wood and smoke. Smooth and round with a little dust in the tannins, the wine ends with a sweet and sour cherry finish.

3,416 Views   Tasted
1982Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)98

In serious competition for one of the best bottles of 82 Gruaud Larose I have ever had, this is a beauty. Clean on the nose, with its blend of cedar, tobacco leaf, cigar box, smoke, cassis, wet earth and leafy green herbs with a generous blast of red fruits, the wine wants to get noticed. Still looking and feeling young for its age, the wine is full-bodied, rich, powerful and wildly regal. The finish fills your mouth with layers of sweet, ripe earthy red fruits, wet earth and tobacco. This is really in the zone, and while not inexpensive, for a 1982 Bordeaux at this level, it is a deal!

2,877 Views   Tasted

This is one of the most consistent wines of the vintage, the vast majority of times I've tasted this wine, it has been stunning. And this bottle was no exception! The wine is deep, concentrated and packed with ripe, powerful fruit and all the cigars you can smoke for a year. Dense, long and with the potential to age for decades, while not inexpensive, to taste a sublime Bordeaux of this quality and age, it is worth the bank.

4,011 Views   Tasted 97

Remarkably consistent, the wine packs a lot of character into every sniff, sip and swallow. Full bodied, deep, long and concentrated, there is so much character and complexity going on here, it's hard not to fill your glass a second time.

4,257 Views   Tasted 97

Full bodied, dense and offering a barnyard, animalistic, cigar box, tobacco and cherry nose, it’s special as soon as it hits your glass. Big, powerful, dense, yet refined and regal, this really makes an impression that sticks on your palate and memory. The wine improves in the glass. As evidenced by this note, this is a very good wine, but I’ve tasted even better bottles over the years.

4,837 Views   Tasted 96

The first 20 minutes in the glass reminded my nose of what it would be liked to be trapped in a filthy barn, with sweaty horses and a cow or two. But within 30 minutes that cleared up and cedar, tobacco, cassis, forest floor and blackberry notes were all over the place. Full bodied, mouth filling, rich and fresh, with ripe tannins and length, I loved every sip.

6,075 Views   Tasted 97

The old adage about no great wines, just great bottles came true for this one... A good bottle, but not great. Still, the earthy, cassis, cedar, cigar box and barnyard scents were evident. The palate was more rustic than usual, with its sweet and tart, cassis character. Oh well, fortunately, there is always another bottle.

4,415 Views   Tasted 94

Wow! The finish remains for close to 60 seconds showing off all its earthy, dense, chewy, intensity. The wealth of fruit is rustic in all the right ways and places. Young, yet delivering more than enough of its best qualities, you can drink now, or wait a decade or two. Has Gruaud Larose even made a better wine than they did in 1982?

5,317 Views   Tasted 97

I am never bored drinking this beauty. With its soft ripe tannins, tobacco, cassis, black cherry, mint and cigar box nose, long, lingering finish and layers of complexity that keep you looking for more, and finiding it too, this is a winner.

5,452 Views   Tasted 97

If there is a better high quality 1982 Bordeaux for less money, buy it. Take it from me, you can look as much as you like, but you are not going to find an other wine at this price and quality from 1982. This stellar wine serves up so much ripe fruit, with great character, length and style, if you do not know the wine, you need to taste it.

5,474 Views   Tasted 97

Smoke and tobacco, green peppercorn, forest floor and cassis create the aromatic profile. Powerful, concentrated and packed with flavor, the long, expressive finish delivers a mineral driven, fresh cassis filled personality.

5,637 Views   Tasted 96

I cannot think of a more consistent, better wine to show someone why 1982 is considered a great vintage. Time and time again, this stunning wine screams with its powerful aromatics coupled with its intensely concentrated layers of fruit. Drink this today, or age it 30 more years and for your kids. For the money, there is no better 1982 to buy than this wine!

6,226 Views   Tasted 98

WOW! If I could post a one word tasting note, perhaps wow would say it all. But there is a lot more to the wine that. Deep, powerful, intense and filled with multiple layers of perfectly ripe, silky textured berries, the finish must last close to 50 seconds! Still young, you can enjoy this thrilling wine today, or age it for another 20-30 or more years. In a blind tasting of 1982 Bordeaux, this could surely be placed next to any of the more exalted and expensive names and depending on the bottle, could come out on top.

6,473 Views   Tasted 98

Serious Bordeaux lovers, with extra income cannot own enough of this stunning gem! I taste them several times a year and it is never disappointing. Packed with earth, barnyard, cigar wrapper, ash, blackberry and cedar wood, the wine keeps getting better year after year. If the purpose of tasting notes is to let others know which wines to buy as well as avoid, 1982 Gruaud Larose is the 1982 to buy.

6,687 Views   Tasted 98

This is the Left Bank wine to buy. In fact, it's the vintage of Gruaud Larose to buy as well! It continues to improve with every passing year. It has everything you could ask for in a Bordeaux wine. It’s packed with truffles, cigar box, smoke, leather, gravel, cassis, black cherry and forest floor scents. Everything is in perfect balance with the perfect amount of ripe fruit, tannin and acidity that is only made better by the intense, expansive, long, mouth filling finish.

8,133 Views   Tasted 98

With attention grabbing aromatics filled with smoke, truffle, tobacco, cassis, cedar chest and wet earth, the wine gets you going. Full bodied, powerful and filled with layers of concentrated, ripe, juicy Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine finishes with lush, black cherries.

10,691 Views   Tasted 95

1982 Gruaud Larose should be the 61 in the making. This wine was great ten years ago and today, it's better than ever! Powerful spice, truffle, cassis, floral, black cherry, tobacco and cassis aromas wake up your senses. On the palate, this dense, concentrated wine is fresh, round and mouth filling. The long finish ends with spicy, plummy cassis. Still young, this is a serious wine and a contender for the finest wine ever produced from Gruaud Larose. 98 Pts

10,355 Views   Tasted 98

This boom, when the wine hit the glass. Aromatic fireworks filled with forest, blackberry, plum, coffee, cassis, earth and toffee notes. Big, dense, very concentrated with ripe fruit. Lots of structure. Still tanninc, needs time.

5,140 Views   Tasted 96

This, black fruit and barnyard scented wine stands up shouting and demanding to be noticed. Massive layers of concentrated fruit. Masculine in style. Beefy, big and broad shouldered. What it lacks in elegance and finesse is makes up for personality. If wines were dogs, this would be a Newfoundland. Close to mature, but with a long life ahead. I’m willing to bet this wine continues evolving for at least another 20-30 more years if well stored.

5,077 Views   Tasted 95

Deep, dark, ruby tinted, with a serious perfume of cassis, barnyard funk and wet forest notes. This completely coats your palate. Very dense, full bodied with an intense finish that lasts close to 60 seconds. First growth quality with decades of life remaining.

5,351 Views   Tasted 95

Smokey, burnt wood, cassis, barn yard and licorice tones were easily discerned. It’s packed and stacked with large doses of ripe, juicy Cabernet fruit. Very thick, dense and concentrated. Needs time to soften and come together.

5,203 Views   Tasted 96
1981Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)85

The finish was very short and the mid palate was not any better. Some light fruit with tart qualities were in the finish.

2,879 Views   Tasted
1975Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)84

Rustic in style and still tannic, the wine feels hard on the palate. With it's old school style and tobacco, earth, herb and cassis aromas, it might be fun for lovers of this style to drink. But I found little pleasure in drinking it.

3,915 Views   Tasted
1962Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)80

Over the hill was probably about 10 years ago. The wine has taken on a maderized character. There is still some remaining essence of what it used to be, but you have to be quite open and forgiving to look for it.

1,756 Views   Tasted
1961Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)96

First Growth in quality, this has been a consistent winner for decades. It is the quintessential example of what aged, Left Bank Bordeaux is all about. It is full bodied, deep, concentrated and long. Stylistically, it offers a gentleman's, refined austerity, with fresh, bright, ripe berries and all the smells of a great cigar store! I've had better bottles, and this was quite strong.

2,707 Views   Tasted

This remains the best buy of a stellar wine from the legendary 1961 Bordeaux vintage. The tobacco, earth, cedar, lead pencil and cherry aromas in the nose are striking. Full bodied, concentrated and long, the finish, with all its fruit, tannins and acidity are still serving up a delicious mouthful of aged Claret.

2,537 Views   Tasted 96

I've been fortunate to have enjoyed this sublime wine at least a dozen times over the years. With 50 year old wines, bottle variation comes into play. This was a very good, but not ethereal experience. The nose offered truffle, tobacco, cedar chest, citrus rind, spice, black cherry and cigar box aromas. This particular bottle did not offer the same level of concentration or intensity found in the best examples, but there was enough ripe, soft, polished, spicy, soft, dark red berries to keep me focused on the wine and asking for more, once my first glass was finished.

3,576 Views   Tasted 95

Cedar wood, lead pencil, stone, wet earth, spice, cassis, tobacco ash and smoke aromas are a treat for the senses. At 50 years of age, this St. Julien is still fresh, clean and filled with layers of soft, round fruit that ends with a long, sweet, earth and cherry finish.

3,147 Views   Tasted 94

1961 Gruaud Larose can be a drop dread stunning wine with voluptuous charm. Sadly, not on this occasion. Great aromatics were easy to find in the melange of truffle, earth, smoke, tobacco, cassis and hot bricks. With elegant textures and charm, thus bottle offered pleasure, But it did not offer the same level of concentration, freshness or opulent textures experienced in the best bottles. Once again, this bottle proved the old axiom remains true, after 20 years of age, there is no such thing as a great wine, only great bottles. 93 Pts

3,081 Views   Tasted 93

This asks you to call George Orwell, because the aromatics say, “Animal Farm”. After the barnyard aromas simmer down, tobacco, dark berry, spice, earth and cedar fill up the perfume. The wine is concentrated, rich, elegant, fresh and long.

3,141 Views   Tasted 95

Perfume shot from the glass like a rocket. Truffles, spice, Cuban cigar, ripe dark cherry, earth and forest scents were all over the place and in your face. Silky like a Pomerol, coupled with the powerful, athletic body of a Medoc, this wine is everything a mature Claret is supposed to be!

3,270 Views   Tasted 97
1959Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)93

With a truffle, earth, cedar chest, cigar box and a basket of fresh picked cherries, with a handful of earth, you could recreate the beautiful perfume. While I've tasted better bottles of this wine, the sweet, fruits, silky textures and long finish were a beautiful treat to taste.

4,130 Views   Tasted

This was my experience with the 1959 Gruaud Larose. I hope it won't be my last. Intoxicating aromas of earth, tar, leather, smoke, flowers, cigar box, cassis and tobacco fill the air. Big, rich and concentrated, with supple, opulent textures, this sublime wine ends with a long, pure, sweet cherry filled finish.

4,202 Views   Tasted 96
1955Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)92

With that beautiful, complex set of aromas that only comes from fully mature wines; wet earth, cherries, forest floor, tobacco, spice, stone and smoke grab your focus. The wine is soft, with the silky patina of age, finishing with sweet, smoky cherries. There is no reason to wait any longer, if you have a bottle, open it.

4,640 Views   Tasted
1953Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)90

Living on borrowed time, I would not hold it any longer. I'd drink it to grab the last of its ripe, soft, truffle infused cherries, tobacco, earth, plum and cigar box character. Nothing lives forever..

4,186 Views   Tasted
1945Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)90

Hanging on to life buy a slim thread, there was more to like with the smoky, earthy, animalistic, spicy, cigar box nose, than on the full bodied, but sweet and tart, red berry and spice palate. Clearly fading, this needs to be consumed, if you are of course lucky enough to have a bottle in your cellar.

2,733 Views   Tasted
1934Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)55

From an original bottle with the original cork and a good full, this bottle was in serious decline with VA to boot. Other bottles could be better. Approach buying this wine with caution.

2,586 Views   Tasted
1928Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)95

I suppose this is what to expect from the 1986, when it hits 90 years of age. The sensuous, full bodied, silky, patina of age is all over the cassis, tobacco, spice and earthy charms. The nose, with its cigar store essence and the finish that tasted as good as it felt was a real turn on. Why can't they make wines like this at Gruaud Larose any more?

2,968 Views   Tasted

Sadly, this specific bottle was in the fading stage of life. The nose was much better than the palate with its complex array of secondary notes. The finish was all about the sweet and tart red fruits, but there was a bit more tart than sweet. Because 1928 and Gruaud Larose from that time period have a great track record for aging, I imagine other bottles could provide a better tasting experience.

4,968 Views   Tasted 85
1918Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)93

It is hard to believe that this wine is not only 100 years of age, but the product of a less than average. Yet, the proof is in the bottle, and this bottle rocked! The red fruits had life, perfectly blending in with the patina of age that brings tobacco leaf, wet forest, cedar, lead pencil, smoke and earthy nuances. The earthy finish served with bright, crisp, red fruits, herbs and tobacco.

2,274 Views   Tasted
1916Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)75

My first time tasting any wine from this elusive, pre, World War 1 vintage. The color of tea, with tobacco, earth, cigar ash and truffles cents lead to a light, lean, but still alive wine with a whisper of cherry in the finish.

3,137 Views   Tasted