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Chateau Gruaud Larose (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018

  • RP97
  • JS96
  • WE94
  • D94
750ML / 0% ABV
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74 97
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2018 Gruaud Larose is blended of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc, with a pH of 3.88 and 14.2% alcohol. Deep garnet-purple in color, it leaps from the glass with bold black cherries, mulberries, plum preserves and blackcurrant cordial scents with hints of menthol, lilacs, licorice and cloves plus wafts of fallen leaves and tilled soil. Medium to full-bodied with a taut core of ripe, densely packed, muscular fruit, it has a firm line of ripe, grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and spicy. Very exotic Gruaud!
Barrel Sample: 95-97
JS 96
James Suckling
This is really generous and rolls off the tongue with ripe and velvety tannins and a fresh undertone. Full-bodied, firm and silky. Extremely long and flavorful. Very complex already.
Barrel Sample: 95-96
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
From one of the more inland of the Saint-Julien estates, away from the Gironde estuary, this wine is generous in fruit, with soft tannins and lively acidity. It is finely structured and will age well over the medium-term.
Barrel Sample: 92-94
D 94
Decanter

This is good quality, not exactly generous but clearly carefully extracted - they kept the simultaneous alcoholic and malolactic fermentations to between 24°C and 26°C. It's packed full of flavour, with real precision to the fruit. Bramble and hedgerow scents suggest a firm acidity and a structure that's built to last, while still being appetising and full of pleasure. As it opens in the glass, liquorice and dark chocolate come to the fore. A wine that will age well without question. 85% new oak. Drinking Window 2027 - 2040. Barrel Sample: 94

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Chateau Gruaud Larose

Chateau Gruaud Larose

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Chateau Gruaud Larose, France
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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.

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St-Julien

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An icon of balance and tradition, St. Julien boasts the highest proportion of classed growths in the Médoc. What it lacks in any first growths, it makes up in the rest: five amazing second growth chateaux, two superb third growths and four well-reputed fourth growths. While the actual class rankings set in 1855 (first, second, and so on the fifth) today do not necessarily indicate a score of quality, the classification system is important to understand in the context of Bordeaux history. Today rivalry among the classed chateaux only serves to elevate the appellation overall.

One of its best historically, the estate of Leoville, was the largest in the Médoc in the 18th century, before it was divided into the three second growths known today as Chateau Léoville-Las-Cases, Léoville-Poyferré and Léoville-Barton. Located in the north section, these are stone’s throw from Chateau Latour in Pauillac and share much in common with that well-esteemed estate.

The relatively homogeneous gravelly and rocky top soil on top of clay-limestone subsoil is broken only by a narrow strip of bank on either side of the “jalle,” or stream, that bisects the zone and flows into the Gironde.

St. Julien wines are for those wanting subtlety, balance and consistency in their Bordeaux. Rewarding and persistent, the best among these Bordeaux Blends are full of blueberry, blackberry, cassis, plum, tobacco and licorice. They are intense and complex and finish with fine, velvety tannins.

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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 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 lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally 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 in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

MCYF525340_2018 Item# 525340