Chateau Gruaud Larose 1996
Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
The wine is full bodied, but elegant with lots of fruit when young. The wine ages very well and develops all the characteristics of a great Bordeaux.
63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot.
International Wine Cellar - "Dark ruby. Deep, brooding nose hints at dark plum, blackcurrant, coffee and lavender accented by cinnamon and nutmeg. Enters bright and fresh, then turns richer in the middle, with accessible plum, herb and coffee flavors persisting nicely on the peppery finish, which features chewy tannins. This is at once more herbal and more forward than the 1995. It's also better than I remember it, and although still quite young it offers plenty of appeal. The wine's harmonious acidity makes it seem lighter-bodied than it is. About 40% of the malolactic fermentation was carried out in barriques, compared to a normal one-third. Note that the label states 12.5% alcohol, but the data given to me by the estate shows 13% alcohol."
Chateau Gruaud Larose Winery
Chevalier de Gruard and Chevalier de La Rose owned this 70 hectare estate in Saint-Julien in the mid 18th century. Their two names were first associated on a label in 1781. Due to inheritance problems, the estate was divided in two until 1935, when Désiré Cordier, who had already bought a part in the early 1900s, restored the domain to its original size.
Since the 1980s, Gruard Larose has been held by groups of institutional investors before coming into the hands of the Merlant family in 1997. The vines are in a single block on a rise consisting of deep red gravel. Georges Pauli and his team have been responsible for winegrowing since 1970. Due to their expert care, Gruard Larose's soil is able to express its full potential. The wine is more than ever worthy of its Second Growth status in the 1855 classification. View all Chateau Gruaud Larose Wines
About St-JulienView a map of St-Julien wineries (saint juhl-e-EHN)
The smallest of the top four Haut-Médoc communes, St-Julien is directly south of Pauillac. With no first growths to its name, the commune often goes overlooked. But it has 11 excellent second, third and fourth growths, and the highest proportion of classified growths of the top four. It doesn't have the concentration and powerful punch of a Pauillac or the soft elegance of a Margaux, but the wine of St-Julien combines the best of its northern & southern neighbors.
Notable FactsA good descriptor of St-Julien wines is balance. Cabernet Sauvignon-based like all left bankers, St-Julien also adds a bit of Merlot for softness. The best known chateaux are the Léovilles – Léoville-Barton, Léoville-Las Cases, Léoville Poyferre - although Barton and Las Cases are more common and more recognizable to consumers. All three are second growths and top notch for their class. The other well known chateaux are Chateau Gruaud-Larosse & Lagrange, a second growth and fourth growth, known for reliable quality.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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