2011 Ch. Gruaud-Larose, St Julien

2011 Ch. Gruaud-Larose, St Julien

Product: 20118004383
Prices start from £382.20 per case Buying options
2011 Ch. Gruaud-Larose, St Julien

Description

I was brought up on Ch. Gruaud Larose. I remember the 1983, 85, 86, 88, 89, 90 all with great fondness. I was mocked by my colleagues quite a lot. “Wouldn’t you like some fruit in your wine” or other such “quips”. I think it rude and a little unkind, but I sort of see their point with “Old Gruaud”.

But since 2005 I’ve fallen in love with it again in a different way. The 2011 is along the same lines. A major density of sweet, black fruit, with real weight and layers. Creamy and intoxicating. Rounded, plump and charming. Old Gruaud’s good, the new era is Great!
Simon Staples, Asia Wine Director
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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

The Wine Advocate89/100
Wine Spectator 90-93/100
Parker89-91/100
Decanter17/100

Critic reviews

The Wine Advocate89/100
Rich, evolved, cedary, black currant and cherry fruit are present in this dark ruby-colored 2011. With medium body, pleasant ripeness and fruitiness, good purity and depth but no herbaceousness or hardness, it has a precocious, flattering, up-front appeal that suggests it will drink well for 10-15 years.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 30/04/2014 Read more
Wine Spectator 90-93/100
A stony, slightly austere style, showing iron and steeped red currant fruit, with bitter cherry notes running through the finish. There's a slightly rustic edge, but also solid concentration.
Wine Spectator's 2011 Top-Scoring Red Bordeaux
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, April 10, 2012 Read more
Parker89-91/100
I would have rated the 2011 Gruaud Larose slightly higher if it had not been for the abundant, dry, slightly astringent tannins in the finish. Nevertheless, there is a lot to like about this plum/purple-tinged St.-Julien. Notes of unsmoked, high quality cigar tobacco are intertwined with plum, black currant and dusty, earthy, loamy soil characteristics. The wine reveals good richness, medium body and a structured, somewhat formidable level of tannin that needs to melt away before this 2011 can be fully enjoyed. Give it 2-5 years of cellaring and drink it over the following two decades.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - April 2012 Read more
Decanter17/100
Rich, supple, slightly spicy fruit, attractive touch of oak, seductively forward but will age well.
4/5 Stars -Decanter – Bordeaux 2011 coverage – April 2012 Read more