|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > St Julien|
This famous and historic Saint Julien 2nd growth is popular throughout the world. This is a large vineyard of 82 hectare which surrounds the château and has changed little in size since the 1855 classification. The grape varieties are 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot.
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The 2021 Gruaud Larose is very impressive, exhibiting deep aromas of wild berries, cherries and cassis mingled with hints of licorice, violets and cigar wrapper. Medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it's impressively rich and layered, with lively acids and ripe tannins, it concludes with a pure and penetrating finish. Classically balanced and intensely flavored, it's an elegant, beautifully made wine that is well worth seeking out. Three beautiful parcels of recently planted Cabernet Sauvignon, situated on deep gravel ideally adapted to this variety but hitherto planted with Merlot, make a contribution to the blend this year; but that's only one of the factors that explain why Gruaud has produced a 2021 that looks set to rival or surpass even recent and more propitious vintages such as 2018. The blend is fully 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, complemented by 12% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, and it checks in at 12.5% alcohol. Congratulations are in order for technical director Virginie Sallette and the entire team at Gruaud Larose! Tasted twice.
The yield was down to 30 hl/ha in 2021 and the blend is strongly Cabernet with 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 12% Merlot. Bright ruby purple colour. Spicy black fruit and game on the nose in quite a unique expression of the vintage. The palate is lined with sappy wood and pithy tannins that frame fresh currants and hedgerow at the core. The riper cherry tones of the nose return on the focused and linear finish.
The 2021 Gruaud Larose is made from 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, and 4% Cabernet Franc, harvested from 23 September to 7 October, and aging in 95% new oak for an anticipated 18 months. Deep garnet-purple colored, it needs a lot of coaxing to unlock notes of ripe blackcurrants, fresh blackberries, and mulberries, leading to wafts of pencil shavings, dried roses, and crushed rocks, plus a hint of tapenade. Light to medium-bodied, the palate has great tension and energy with a great backbone of ripe grainy tannins and loads of mineral and earth layers, finishing with a refreshing lift. It has an impressive quiet intensity that really works.
Clearly Cabernet dominant, savoury with an attractive tannic frame. Should be accessible relatively early for a classified St Julien, but will age for a good few decades as there are plenty of well-textured tannins. Attractive floral notes give a gentle aromatic welcome, and the feel is elegant and finessed on the opening beats, with rose stems, raspberries, loganerries, white pepper, slate and liqourice. They have done a great job here, in the last year of organic conversion. 95% new oak.