Chateau Gruaud Larose 2016 : a Saint-Julien wine with great precision
Chateau Gruaud Larose is a 2nd Classified Growth in the Saint-Julien appellation. The vines have an average age of 46 years and are planted in a 82-hectare vineyard with Garonne gravel soils. The maturation process of this Bordeaux red wine is carried out in French oak barrels (80% of which are new and 20% aged one year) for a period of 18 to 24 months. Chateau Gruaud Larose 2016 is a blend made up of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc.
At Chateau Gruaud Larose, the mild and rainy winter caused early bud burst in the 2016 vintage. Spring was marked by cool temperatures and high rainfall, leading to high risks of disease by mildew. Flowering, however, occurred under perfect conditions, thanks to a very fortunate window of good weather. At the end of June, the summer settled in and brought with it very high temperature and drought. It was so dry, in fact, that the vines experienced a blockage in their development at the beginning of September. Finally, a storm on September 13th allowed the fruit to continue the maturation process, and the grapes were fully ripened just in time for the harvest, which took place under ideal climatic conditions.
When tasted, the Chateau Gruaud Larose 2016 expresses on the nose a generous aromatic palette, characterised by plenty of black fruits (blackberries), along with woody and empyreumatic notes (tobacco). On the palate, this Bordeaux red wine presents fine tannins and perfect acidity (indicating a grand potential to age). On the finish, the Chateau Gruaud Larose 2016 is remarkably intense, precise and extremely long.
Wine Advocate-Parker :
The 2016 Gruaud Larose is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc this year, picked between 29 September until 15 October (with the Petit Verdot) and matured in 80% new oak, the remainder one or two years old. The alcohol is a modest 13.02%. It has a generous bouquet with scents of blackberry, briary, a touch of sandalwood and tobacco, gaining more precision as it aerates in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, certainly one of the most finessed Gruaud Larose in recent years, with perfectly judged acidity. I love the focus here, a little understated at first but you cannot deny the intensity and precision on the finish. Moreover, this seems to be a slightly more detailed Gruaud, nuanced and long in the mouth. Excellentùand I suspect it might be a little more approachable than some of its peers.