Chateau Gruaud Larose 2018
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Based on 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Château Gruaud Larose sports a dense purple hue as well as a stunning nose of pure crème de cassis, cedar pencil shavings, blackcurrants, smoked tobacco, and a liquid rock-like sense of minerality. This dense, almost broodingly backward, concentrated Saint-Julien has flawless balance, a remarkable sense of purity, masses of tannins, and one hell of a great finish. Seemingly almost from a more austere year (say 2000 or 2010), it's not going to hit maturity for at least a decade and should cruise in cold cellars for 20-30 years. It's a brilliant wine!
Aromas of currants, blackberries, dried flowers, dark chocolate and tobacco leaves. Citrus zest, too. It’s full-bodied with firm, ultra fine tannins. Complex and layered with a juicy core of ripe fruit. Silky and delicious. Very creamy and fine-tannined. Better from 2025.
A densely textured and rich wine, this has power and concentration. Smoky tannins show strongly as well as juicy black-currant fruits that are still young. The wine, with its structure, is just starting on a journey to aging. Drink from 2027.
Here the tannins are pretty hefty, matched by deep brambly black cherry notes. Good-quality with slate, cigar, chocolate, earth and black pepper spice through the mid-palate. Not as elegant at this stage as some St-Julien in the vintage but this has a long life ahead and is full of promise. Drinking Window 2026 - 2040
Composed of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Gruaud Larose has a medium to deep garnet-purple color. It comes barreling out of the glass with powerful scents of blackberry preserves, baked plums and crème de cassis plus hints of fruitcake, Indian spices and tobacco leaf. The medium to full-bodied palate offers bags of baked berries flavors and a chewy texture with just enough freshness, finishing spicy. Judging by the slightly rustic tannin's and suggestions of dried berry characters, I'm guessing the heat and drought had an impact this year. This said, the wine is very well crafted and delicious right now, although a good 3-4 years in bottle should soften the tannin's and bring out further nuances.
The 2018 Gruaud Larose, which incidentally now comes with a red wax capsule, is initially tightly wound on the nose, offering blackberry, raspberry, touches of juniper berry and a light seaweed note that becomes accentuated with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannin's, and a little lactic on the entry, with a smear of dark chocolate segueing into a balanced middle that will require time to absorb the oak. It needs a little more complexity to come through on the finish, so give it 3–4 years in bottle. Drinking window: 2024 - 2045
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.