(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.
Strong, very well-developed, reddish-brown colour. Elegant and delicate nose, tending towards notes of undergrowth, from truffle to light tobacco, with hints of toast, roasted coffee beans. Pleasantly aggressive in the mouth, plenty of finesse, soft tannins, with flavours of stewed prunes and cherry stones. An all-rounder that displays the elegance of a St. Julien and the generosity of a Gruaud Larose.
RP94 Drink 2010-2030 A very strong effort for Gruaud Larose, possibly eclipsed by what they have done in 2009, this is a pure, full-bodied Gruaud Larose with plenty of new saddle leather, cedar wood, black currants, cherries, licorice, and Provencal herbs. Spicy, earthy, full-bodied, and rich, it has hit its plateau of full maturity, where it should stay for another 20 or more years.
Wine & SpiritsFour 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.