2003 Gruaud Larose, St-Julien
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. (JS)
Spicy and earthy, with lots of ripe fruit. Full bodied, with soft round tannins and a juicy finish. Yummy and decadent. No need to wait, but it will be much better if you pull the cork after 2014.
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. (RV)
Dark crimson with a classic claret nose but not that much fruit weight in the mid palate. Very nice aromatic development though. There are some pretty insistent tannins now in the background and I suspect they will always be there.
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. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Dark red. Spicy red plum and blackcurrant aromas on the enticing nose; this doesn't smell at all overripe or cooked, as so many other overrated 2003 Bordeaux reds do. Bright and suave on the palate, with fresh flavors of red and darker berries complicated by flint, cedar and smoke. Finishes long and surprisingly lively for such a hot vintage. (ID)