Château Gruaud Larose
Chateau Gruaud Larose
In 1757, Mr. Gruaud grouped a number of small
vineyards together to form one large one, under his name. Eventually a
descendant of the first owner took over the property. His name was Larose, and
he immediately linked his name to the estate, bought by Mr. Desire Cordier in
1915. Managed under the direction of Mr. Georges Pauly, and owned by the wine
group TAILLAN, Gruaud Larose is one of St. Julien's most popular wines. Its
large production has a quality that is consistently very high. One of the most
continuously successful wines produced in Bordeaux, regardless of vintage.
After Larose died in 1795 his heirs were unable to settle the terms of ownership and after much in-fighting the chateau was purchased by a consortium in 1812. When the property was classified as Second Growth in 1855, half of the estate was owned by the "Baron Sarget de Lafontaine" who entered an impassé with the other squabbling shareholders in the mid 1860's. Gruaud-Larose has often been described as a super-second, placing it in with the group of Deuxième Cru Classé properties that challenge the elite Premier Cru Classé estates for supremacy in Bordeaux.
"The wine of kings, the king of the wines" is a coat of arms in itself, proudly displaying the royal status of this wine. Gruaud-Larose extends on 129 hectares, 84 of which are planted with vines and situated at the southern end of Saint-Julien. For a while this expanse, in one undulating block, had received the doting care of a corporate owner; today it is belonging to the Taillan Group and Jean Merlaut who are among the most capable producers in the Médoc. This important estate displaying an unusual homogenity extends over 80 unbroken hectares of deep furrows. It is here that the most intense and stongest of the saint-juliens is produced, an excellent wine which can be kept for a long time. The wine is undoubtedly a model of left-bank winemaking, an austere touch in its youth and leisurely in the evolution of its structure. Since 1989 they have produced a second label named "Sarget de Gruaurd Larose" that undergoes similar vinification to the Grand Vin but without any new oak aging. The wine is sourced from the younger vines between 3 to 20 years of age that cover around 55% of the vineyard.
"The 2003 Gruaud Larose’s dark plum/garnet color is followed by sweet aromas of damp earth, forest floor, herbs, espresso roast, cassis, licorice, and plums. Medium-bodied as well as surprisingly up-front and precocious, it possesses sweet tannin, very nice concentration, and loads of earthy/herbal characteristics intermixed with black fruits, and an attractive, but supple, evolved finish.
- Rated 92, Wine Spectator.
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