2008 Ch. Gruaud Larose, St Julien

2008 Ch. Gruaud Larose, St Julien

Product: 20088004383
Prices start from £290.00 per case Buying options
2008 Ch. Gruaud Larose, St Julien

Description

David Launay, General Manager of Gruaud-Larose, felt that the ripeness of 2008 lended itself particularly to Merlot and altered the proportions of his 2008 accordingly: 54% Cabernet, 34% Merlot and 12% Petit Verdot. The concentrated, sweet ripe red fruit of the Merlot certainly comes across in this lean but dense wine. With the hallmark Gruaud notes of cedar and spice, this will be approachable earlier than some but would nonetheless be a rewarding buy for any cellar. 

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6 x 75cl bottle
BBX marketplace BBX 1 case £290.00
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BBX marketplace BBX 1 case £295.00
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About this WINE

Chateau Gruaud Larose

Chateau Gruaud Larose

Château Gruaud-Larose is a 2ème Cru Classé property that produces one of St-Julien's most full-bodied and long-lived wines.

For many years Gruaud-Larose was owned by the négociants Cordier, who also own Château Talbot. It was sold in 1993 to the French conglomerate, Alcastel Alstom, which in turn sold it to the Taillan Group, owners of Chasse-Spleen and  Haut-Bages-Libéral, in 1997. The talented Georges Pauli has remained as régisseur and winemaker throughout all these changes.

Gruaud-Larose has 84 hectares of vineyards located on a gravel-rich plateau just to the west of Château Beychevelle. The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (65%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (8%) and Petit Verdot (2%). Vinification takes place in a mixture of wooden vats and cement tanks and the wine is aged in oak barriques (30% new) for 18 months.

Gruaud-Larose can be tannic and ungainly in youth but with bottle ageing it becomes marvellously harmonious and develops complex and beguiling characteristics of concentrated black fruits, cedar, spices and liquorice.

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St Julien

St Julien

St Julien is the smallest of the "Big Four" Médoc communes. Although, without any First Growths, St Julien is recognised to be the most consistent of the main communes, with several châteaux turning out impressive wines year after year. 

St Julien itself is much more of a village than Pauillac and almost all of the notable properties lie to its south. Its most northerly château is Ch. Léoville Las Cases (whose vineyards actually adjoin those of Latour in Pauillac) but,  further south, suitable vineyard land gives way to arable farming and livestock until the Margaux appellation is reached.  

The soil is gravelly and finer than that of Pauillac, and without the iron content which gives Pauillac its stature. The homogeneous soils in the vineyards (which extend over a relatively small area of just over 700 hectares) give the commune a unified character.

The wines can be assessed as much by texture as flavour, and there is a sleek, wholesome character to the best. Elegance, harmony and perfect balance and weight, with hints of cassis and cedar, are what epitomise classic St Julien wines. At their very best they combine Margaux’s elegance and refinement with Pauillac’s power and substance.

Ch. Léoville Las Cases produces arguably the most sought-after St Julien, and in any reassessment of the 1855 Classification it would almost certainly warrant being elevated to First Growth status.

Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Léoville Las CasesCh.Léoville Barton, Ch Léoville Poyferré, Ch. Ducru-Beaucaillou, Ch Langoa Barton, Ch Gruaud Larose, Ch. Branaire-Ducru, Ch. Beychevelle

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Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

Wine Advocate90/100
Wine Spectator 88-91/100
jancisrobinson.com17/20
Robert Parker90/100

Critic reviews

Wine Advocate90/100
While the 2008 is not a blockbuster, it is a strong effort for the vintage. This dark plum/purple-hued wine reveals some background oak, licorice, earth, plum, black currant and cherry notes intertwined with a foresty/mossy component. Deep, polished and medium to full-bodied with sweet tannin, it builds incrementally on the palate. This impressive 2008 will benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring and should drink well for two decades.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 02/05/2011 Read more
Wine Spectator 88-91/100
Plummy and perfumed, with sweet spices and currants. Lovely subtle nose. Full- to medium-bodied, with fine tannins and lovely balance. Ripe and pretty fruit. Could get even better.
(James Suckling - Wine Spectator - Apr-2009) Read more
jancisrobinson.com17/20
Mid crimson with a pale rim. Very sweet for a St-Julien. Almost right bank ripeness. Sweet start. Not as classical as most St-Juliens. More forward and winning! Attractive drink for the medium term. Hint of chocolate even. Medium charge of tannins. Polished silky texture. Very beguiling.
(Jancis Robinson MW - jancisrobinson.com - Apr 09) Read more
Robert Parker90/100

While the 2008 is not a blockbuster, it is a strong effort for the vintage. This dark plum/purple-hued wine reveals some background oak, licorice, earth, plum, black currant and cherry notes intertwined with a foresty/mossy component. Deep, polished and medium to full-bodied with sweet tannin, it builds incrementally on the palate. This impressive 2008 will benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring and should drink well for two decades.
(Robert Parker- Wine Advocate- May 2011)

While it is not the 2000 or 1990, the 2008 is the finest Gruaud Larose I have tasted in eight years. Not a blockbuster, it is more beefy and dense than other recent vintages, revealing notes of pine forest, smoke, herbs, licorice, black currants, and cedar. With high but ripe tannins, medium to full body, and a strong finish, it will benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring, and should keep for 20 years thereafter.
(Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Apr-2009)

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