What was nice this time that i had a few vintages to savior at once.
A bit of history first
L'Abbe Gruaud, worthy representative of the Noblesse de Robe, which typified the Pre-Revolutionary Ancien Regime of France, initiated the story of the château in 1725. He wanted a wine with elegance and power and was rapidly successful. Early records of the famous Bordeaux wine-broker Lawton spoke of the wines of a certain “Sire Gruaud” in 1755 - a century before its official classification - which produced 60 casks of premium wine always sold at high price. Gruaud had already made its reputation in Saint Julien and abroad. Thanks to the family of Joseph-Sébastien de Larose, son-in-law and heir of L’Abbé Gruaud, the wine not only made a reputation but also made a name for itself : Gruaud Larose. Over nearly 300 years, the château produced some iconic wines made of finesse when young and of elegance after a long ageing. And always with an underlying powerful structure. In that sense, every vintage reminds us that Gruaud is the soil, the tannins and the terroir, and Larose is poetry, aromas and bouquet.
Yes I tasted vintage 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003.
Gruaud 1998, yet coming well to age this wine still shows plenty of adventure and surprise.
The nose needs a little time to awaken but little by little it reveals intensity and suspicion of deep red fruits, spice and some oak. Its like a lost paradise but not first class, it lacks some straight points to be called "a hit right on the spot" but nonetheless it will take you on a ride.
The palate starts with a certain strength invades the walls of your palate and than hits with a burst of BlackBerry, slight cherry and currants, a mid palate that holds well with under layers of spice and a wood base. The end holds fairly well and satisfying.
A wine that stands its ground but i think that the wine of kings as they call it could bring more of its own identity and not trying to please certain palates.
Gruaud Larose 2000, yes this amazing vintage is really one of the best vintages this Chateau had in the last 10 years, truly remarkable. (did not taste 2009 and 2010)
The nose starts with the avalanche of fresh, juicy appealing red fruits. It is sway and very seductive, the oak is well set and the acidity in pure fashion.
The palate is taken by absolute delight and poesy, cheer attitude, the freshness and fruit burst is crunchy and smooth. This wine has still life in it so even for safe keeping you are making here a safe bet and it really will get ready to its optimum around 2013. It will give fire and delight till 2030+,
so yes if you can lay your hands on this vintage you will see each bottle tells its own story, a personal story, maybe your story.
Gruaud Larose 2001, yes this vintage i called the silent vintage as for many it started out not so well.
But it was what I call a late shiner, yes it took some time as we all thought this one would crumble.
Well even so it has not such a life span as a 2000 it has surprisingly a very good punch to give.
The nose is a bit shy but the little leather mix up with the fruits, tobacco and pepper as a spice were all little under layers of the overwhelming fruit on offer.
The palate is medium and characterful, a variety of levels of the traditional red fruits, the spice and the oak gave this wine a reason the shout. The acidity works it balance it had a fairly good lasting not too short. It's just a wine that will not live the distance but good value for money and great to enjoy
Gruaud Larose 2003, Now the nose to start of with is somewhat a bit disappointing. It gradually opens up and reveal this warm dens fruit indicating also the year of heat and you can smell it how deep the sun has penetrated the fruit. So there is for me a lack of variety in this wine and not their best.
On the palate it feels a bit tight and lazy, as the acidity is there but not pronounced and so not fresh. What it does give is the intention and good will of trying to produce a good wine. The end is somewhat a bit sharp but having tasted it after it was open for 1 hour it went down a lot and got much softer. Don't get me wrong its far from a bad wine but it does not come into the category of their good vintages.
In all I did enjoy each of them and it was good to interact with the wine and try to distinguish the years and the attitude towards the wine.
I give this house on 100 a 89 to 93.
Do try it out and let me know.
until next time drinks reasonably and responsible