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.
The Château Gruaud-Larose 2005 has an open bouquet: quite savoury in style with touches of bacon fat and cured meat infusing the black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly angular tannin. The acidity is well judged although it still needs to develop a little cohesion towards the finish. It seems to have just lost a little length since I last tasted it - obviously still going through its awkward "teenager" moment. I am sure it will come down from its bedroom at some point and those sage and thyme notes on the aftertaste continue to appeal. Drink 2018 - 2040 - 91/100 NM