About the Wine
Back vintage ex-cellar Bordeaux from the acclaimed 1996 vintage.
Chateau Gruaud-Larose in Saint-Julien is one of only 14-second growths from the 1855 Classification in Bordeaux. The history of the property dates back to 1725.
The estate was formed in the early 1700s and has since changed hands half a dozen times. It was most recently purchased by the Taillan group and the Merlaut family in 1997. This wine group owns a variety of other properties including Ch. Haut-Bages Liberal (fifth growth), Ch. Ferriere (third growth), Ch. La Gurgue, Ch. Camensac (fifth growth), Ch. Chasse Spleen, and Ch. Gressier Grand Poujeaux.
1996 was an amazing year for the Left Bank. Decanter Magazine called 1996 a "Classic, old school Médoc vintage." And Wine Spectator said, "In general, the best wines are from the northern Médoc, which is what I wrote back in 1997 when I first tasted the wines from barrel and a few years later from bottle. St.-Estèphe is clearly the best appellation, followed by Pauillac and St.-Julien."
Tasting Notes: 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot.
See Critical Reviews for detailed tasting notes.
Fresh, vital, very youthful nose with spice-flecked deep black fruits. There is a meaty, earthy depth to this, with that animal, quite Sauvage note beneath the plush fruit and spice. The palate is in a fairly tough grip of the structure at this stage, with plenty of tight, sinewy tannin and an orangy grip on the acidity. The finish shows that this has harmony and all the components age very gracefully. One to revisit in a few years.~93 Points, Tom Cannavan.
Dark ruby. Deep, brooding nose hints at dark plum, blackcurrant, coffee, and lavender accented by cinnamon and nutmeg. Enters bright and fresh, then turns richer in the middle, with accessible plum, herb, and coffee flavors persisting nicely on the peppery finish, which features chewy tannins. This is at once more herbal and more forward than 1995. It's also better than I remember it, and although still quite young it offers plenty of appeal. The wine's harmonious acidity makes it seem lighter-bodied than it is. About 40% of the malolactic fermentation was carried out in barriques, compared to a normal one-third. Note that the label states 12.5% alcohol, but the data given to me by the estate shows 13% alcohol. ~91+ Points, Vinous Media.