2003 Gruaud Larose, St-Julien

SKU #1024002 92 points Wine Spectator

 Aromas of blackberry, toasted oak, sweet tobacco and espresso. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a long, fruity finish. I like the texture. Best after 2010. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.  (3/ 2006)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 Under the management of Jean Merlaut, this estate has lost some of the super-opulence of the wines of the 90s, and gained finesse and elegance. That has stood the 2003 in good stead, emphasizing solidity and dry tannins to balance the wood and cranberry flavors of the fruit.  (5/ 2006)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2003 Gruaud Larose’s dark plum/garnet color is followed by sweet aromas of damp earth, forest floor, herbs, espresso roast, cassis, licorice, and plums. Medium-bodied as well as surprisingly up-front and precocious, it possesses sweet tannin, very nice concentration, and loads of earthy/herbal characteristics intermixed with black fruits, and an attractive, but supple, evolved finish.  (4/ 2006)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good ruby-red. Full-blown aromas of black fruits, coffee liqueur, mint and roasted meat. Quite powerful in the mouth without coming across as sweet; shows distinctly southern notes of garrigue and scorched earth. Less silky than I expected; in fact, this seems to be closing down today. Substantial, slightly disjointed tannins hit the palate late and build. I wouldn't even think about pulling a cork for at least four or five years. Not a particularly impressive vintage for this wine, yet there's a bit more here than I originally thought.  (6/ 2006)

K&L Notes

Very spicy, exotic Asian spice aromas and flavors. Huge wine. Holding back. Very extracted wine. Some hollowness but this wine should come around. Hard to taste? Tasted two times. *+? - Barrel Sample by Clyde Beffa (04/04)

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Price: $74.99

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Saint Julien

- St. Julien, the smallest of the four famous appellations of the Haut Medoc, is known for highly extracted, finely structured, Cabernet-based reds. It is nestled between Pauillac to the north and Margaux to the south. Like St. Estephe, there are no first growths in this area. Leoville-las-Cases, Leoville Poyferre, Leoville Barton, Ducru Beaucaillou, and Gruard Larose are the second-growths of St. Julien followed by Lagrange which is the only third-growth. Beychevelle, Branaire Ducru, St. Pierre, and Talbot, which are all fourth-growth wines, round out the grand cru classe chateaux. In the last several vintages, wineries from this appellation have been out-performing their traditional rankings making many of the wines from this region some of the best values in red wine today.