2005 Gruaud-Larose, St-Julien

SKU #1038742 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 This tastes of great Cabernet Sauvignon, with its black currant, cedar and herbs and fresh, juicy acidity. It is as fresh as it is rich, but it has a structure of dense tannins that balances the wine. This is one of the best wines from Gruaud-Larose for several years.  (6/ 2008)

91 points Wine & Spirits

 Licorice spice and tough black tannins form tight boundaries around this wine. Within them, sweet red fruit lends a gracious impression, gentle and refined. Age will allow the wine to expand as the tannins relent, but this offers impressive drinking now, particularly if decanted with steak.  (10/ 2008)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Aromas of blackberry, meat and earth follow through to a full body, with velvety tannins and a rich finish. Decadent, balanced and very approachable already. I thought it would have been a little better than this. Best after 2014.  (3/ 2008)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good red-ruby. Redcurrant, leather and game on the expressive if slightly rustic nose. Sweet and concentrated but a bit youthfully aggressive, and not showing the refinement or definition of the 2006. Strong nutty oak component. Finishes with substantial tannins that are a bit richer and more fully buffered by the wine's middle-palate material than those of the 2006. It will be interesting to compare these two vintages in ten years or so.  (6/ 2008)

K&L Notes

From barrel: Toasty oak aromas and flavors. Some tobacco. Good mouthfeel and texture. A bit tannic at the back. (Clyde Beffa, K&L Bordeaux buyer)

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Price: $89.99

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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.