(From 1995 Vintage) The vine here requires constant attention and numerous tasks to be carried out during the year. The quality of the grapes remains an obsession, a healthy harvest being a prerequisite for a successful vinification. The grapes are picked manually and are sent to the cellars so that the person in charge can control the vinification and the maturing of the wine. From then on there is a change of hands, not a change of destiny. The cellar master is there to attend to the year's offering and to master it. Everyone is at their post, the grapes are sorted again, chosen, selected by both man and machine. The destemmer performs its task and the grape bunch finds itself bare. The grapes are free - for a little while. The twisting pipes and the power of the machines are there so that the mixture of pulp, juice and skin find refuge in the large wooden vats to ferment. Fruit of heaven and the sun, the story of this grape ends in the silence of the vat room. The story of the wine may now begin.
(From 2003 Vintage) Exceptional vintage. Outbreak of the first leaves beginning of March. Temperatures and amount of sunshine well beyond normal. Even so, the vines didn't suffer. Great drought confirmed (-50% pluviometry) and general flowering beginning of June. From August 20th, rainfall (withered or roasted grapes). Certain late growths benefitted from the eastern drying wind that stops the grey mold (Botrytis) to wait for complete maturity of the Merlots. The old vines, in ploughed soils with a solid root system in deep gravely soils held perfectly up against the great drought.
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines(From 2006 Vintage) 60% Cabernet Sauvignon; 30% Merlot; 6% Cabernet Franc; 3% Petit Verdot; 1% Malbec. This curious offering is at once both ripe and slightly herbal in tone with a bias to softness in balance. It never musters more than minimal fruit and comes up a bit dilute on the palate, and we have our doubts about its ability to improve with aging.
Wine Spectator(From 2006 Vintage) Rating: 89/100 - As reviewed by Wine Spectator on 4/07
Robert Parker(From 1989 Vintage) Rating: 89/100 - As reviewed by Robert Parker on 01/21/2003
Wine & Spirits(From 2000 Vintage) Four days after our panel met, staffers gathered to taste the top wines with their labels revealed, and Ray Isle noted this as an ideal vintage for Gruaud, one in which the fruit can live up to the structure. looking back at my notes across several days, this wine had been fighting its oak when first opened, hinting at rose under the primary fruit intensity. Floral qualities became more distinct over the next two days, the energy rising, the wine brightening to the scent of fresh, floral grapes and rose petals, even as the structure limited all the sweetness of the fruit. Now knowing what this heady, dense wine is, the structure makes sense, as does my note from the first day: gracious as a classic Bordeaux.
Robert Parker(From 1990 Vintage) Rating: 93/100 - As reviewed by The Wine Advocate in Issue 109