|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.
The 2022 is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc
The progress at this estate continues with the terrific 2022 Gruaud Larose, a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc that unfurls in the glass with deep aromas of minty blackberries, violets and pencil shavings. Medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, it's elegantly muscular, with a broad attack that segues into a concentrated mid-palate framed by supple, powdery tannins. Richer and more brooding than its 2020 and 2019 counterparts, it confirms Gruaud's return to the Saint-Julien élite. Around one-third of the production made it into the grand vin this year, the château's first with organic certification.
The 2022 Gruaud Larose was picked from 7 to 24 September and includes a little more pressed wine this year: 13.5% exclusively from Cabernet Sauvignon due to the quality. This latest vintage matured for a planned 18 months in 95% new oak. Significantly, this is the first year under organic certification (notice two storks on the label signifying this. Maybe they are carrying a little Gruaud baby?) At 13.64% alcohol, this is less than many other properties for those seeking slower intoxication. It has an impressive bouquet with pure blackberry and raspberry fruit, black truffle and sous-bois scents. I am impressed by its delineation and focus; frankly, these are the nicest aromatics I've encountered for a while at this address. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain tannins. I cannot remember a Gruaud at this nascent stage that exhibits this level of energy and tension deriving from the Cabernet Sauvignon extracted at the beginning of vinification. There's much more precision here. Mineral-driven toward the finish, this easily surpasses vintages made at the estate over the last decade and more. Perhaps like the legendary Gruauds of old (1982, 1961, 1928, even 1870)? Gruaud reborn. 2028-2070
Sweet summer pudding on the nose, with fleshy, bready, roasted fruits and sweet vanilla. The palate has a light earthiness and wood spice, but the fruit is polished and swallowed by the fine grained, firm tannins. Lithe and edgy with a vibrant, pure finish. Long and refined.
A blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, and 3% Cabernet Franc, the 2022 Gruaud Larose is deep garnet-purple in color. It needs some coaxing to bring out scents of wild blueberries, blackcurrant jelly, and black raspberries, with touches of garrigue, dried mint, underbrush, and dusty soil. The medium-bodied palate is tightly wound with bright, youthful black fruits and evocative mineral sparks, framed by grainy tannins and seamless freshness, finishing earthy. 40% of the year's production went into the first wine.
Spicy, intense and concentrated, and yet delivers juicy drinkability from beginning to end, not an easy balance to achieve in 2022. The vintage trace comes through in notes of tobacco, dried herbs, cloves and sandalwood, with tannic build up through the palate, but it is balanced by fresh mint leaf, cassis, bilberry, cocoa bean, and salinity. Firm tannic architecture, excellent quality. 33% of production in the 1st wine, 95% new oak. mint,
83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc. Certified organic. Cask sample.
Deep crimson hue. Cassis and mineral nose. Juicy and vibrant with a real notion of drinkability. Elegant texture and tannins. Very long finish. Plenty of charm but substance as well. (JL) 13.6%
Drink 2032– 2048