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Chateau Gruaud Larose (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1989

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
  • RP91
  • JS96
  • RP95
  • D95
  • JS94
  • WE94
  • D94
  • JS94
  • WE93
  • WS92
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
The Wine Advocate

Fully mature, the dark garnet-colored 1985 exhibits notes of tapenade, earth, sweet berry and black currant fruit, and possibly a hint of black truffles. The wine is lush, medium to full-bodied, and fleshy, with no hard edges. Sweet fruit, plenty of glycerin, and a very seductive style make for a very sumptuous, complex, fully mature Gruaud-Larose.

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Chateau Gruaud Larose

Chateau Gruaud Larose

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Chateau Gruaud Larose, , France - Bordeaux
Chateau Gruaud Larose
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.

South Africa

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An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance, South Africa has a surprisingly long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century. Today, however, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot, but the Benguela current from Antarctica provides the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.

South Africa’s wine regions are divided into region, then smaller districts, and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for earthy, gamey reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following behind.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

DISMAGNUM_1989 Item# 126458

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