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 Vintage1981 Label 56 of 131 
(NOTE: Label borrowed from 1964 vintage.)
ProducerChâteau Gruaud Larose (web)
VarietyRed Bordeaux Blend
AppellationSt. Julien

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 1989 and 2006 (based on 15 user opinions)
Wine Market Journal quarterly auction price: See Gruaud Larose on the Wine Market Journal.

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 90.1 pts. and median of 91 pts. in 77 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by Purple Tooth on 5/25/2015 & rated 93 points: Mirrors the beautiful 1983, that tracks in the path of the legendary 1982. So what's the difference? The finish is not a marathon but quite ample..
This is a wine that you either love or don't. If you are a Bordeaux junkie, chances are, I am preaching to the choir...Earth, loam, barnyard, antiqued red berries with acidity to make you go hmmmm.... for a long time...An 81'? WOW! (327 views)
 Tasted by astroman on 7/22/2014: Welcome back dinner (Imperial Treasure Great World City): Served together with the 1986. This has a cleaner palate but thinner palate. Aged nose. (2195 views)
 Tasted by dchain on 6/6/2014 & rated 93 points: From double mag and served with a wonderful black truffle risotto and continued to drink it with beef two ways at Otto Mezzo. Fabulous dark ruby still. First pour had the usual Gruaud funk/stink that can get you a bit worried but once it had about 30 mins of air, it really opened up to show lovely black cherry, leather, black tea, touch of orange zest and forest floor. Really aromatic and impressive on the nose. On the palate it is wonderfully gulpable with everything in balance, still has lovely freshness. Medium weight and decent length, you really cannot complain about a 33 year old wine from a frost hit year. Delicious! (2139 views)
 Tasted by MWiking on 4/25/2014 & rated 88 points: Tycker detta vin inte riktigt håller ihop, lite spretigt i smaken och drar åt alla håll och kanter.
doft av stall, cigarr, piptobak läder, Smak, frukten är kvar till viss del men för mig smakar detta vin mest STall, Ek, kanske lite toner av alkohol? Rök, Jord. (2604 views)
 Tasted by FamilyLarsson on 4/24/2014 & rated 94 points: En strålande mogen Bordeaux.
Se noteringar 2014-02-07 (2438 views)
 Tasted by Ramberg on 4/24/2014 & rated 94 points: A very mature and beautiful nose unveils in the glass.
Stable, leather, tobacco, mushrooms, damp forest floor, wet earth, cedar wood and coffee.
Unmistakable nose.
On the palate this holds together great, with finely grinded tannins, red &black currants and good acidity.
Very balanced and very fine and mature wine.
A very fine bottle. (2869 views)
 Tasted by paulst on 3/25/2014 & rated 92 points: Expresses mature St Julien terrior; wonderful, earthy, balanced, intrgrated and textured; easy and light with soft blackberry-light cherry; light on the finish. (1234 views)
 Tasted by FamilyLarsson on 2/7/2014 & rated 94 points: Detta är verklig en helt underbar mogen Bordeaux. Stall, läder, tobak, kaffe, höstskog, svamp och ända förvånansvärt närvarande och elegant frukt med både jordgubb och uns av svarta vinbär. Även en väldigt fin syra och elegant balans. Borde vara "over the hill" men är ett riktigt gott vin för oss som älskar mogen Bordeaux. Givetvis inte i nivå med den helt fantastiska 82-an, men väldigt gott.
Det skall också tilläggas att de legat perfekt förvarade i källaren ända sedan de köptes 1986. (1483 views)
 Tasted by cooberp on 1/5/2014 & rated 90 points: Really foresty, fragrant pine-needle nose. Surprisingly ripe blackcurrant fruit. Could be a bit longer, and I can't foresee further improvement, but this is already punching above its weight at age 32 from an unsung vintage. (1360 views)
 Tasted by Bernt Olav on 10/30/2013 & rated 91 points: Nok en god flaske! (1758 views)
 Tasted by Replevin on 10/18/2013 & rated 98 points: Poster child for bottle variation. Beautiful afternoon and decided to splurge on an 82. Accidentally pulled the 81 and didn't notice. Was appropriately impressed with the wine and then noticed the label and saw that it was an 81 - this was really drinking that well. I was especially surprised because I drank an 81 about a month ago (from the same auction lot) and, while it was satisfactory, just didn't have the intense acidic and fruity core that this bottle showed. In retrospect, not even on the same planet as this bottle. Fwiw, that cork was quite saturated.

Notes - bottle into the neck. Dark purple in the glass with no browning. Nose - no idea, maybe turnips? Sweaty socks? Just a very funky (in a good way) nose. Intense acid and fruit on the entry, round and full mid-palate, and long finish. Just a brilliant combination of age, funk, acid, and vibrant fruit. Wow. Stunning wine. Absolutely one of the best Bordeaux I've ever tasted. A+ (1752 views)
 Tasted by Replevin on 9/22/2013: Purchased as a mixed auction lot. Bottle into neck. Cork was saturated, but came out in one piece with my Durand. Dark ruby with browning. Some initial funk which blew-off with decanting. Medium acid and minerality. Soft fruits. Tobacco and earth. Medium finish. This apparently well-stored bottle was clearly in decline. A nice drinker with very typical older Bordeaux flavors. B/B- (1858 views)
 Tasted by Jackg on 9/21/2013: Old but still had,life. Not much legs, but cork came out whole. Decanted for 5 hours. Earthy, pencil aroma.
Light and pleasant taste (1592 views)
 Tasted by Bernt Olav on 8/10/2013 & rated 88 points: En litt dårlig flaske, manglet litt frukt. (1632 views)
 Tasted by Bernt Olav on 7/28/2013 & rated 92 points: Samme som forrige flaske! En halv flaske ble satt i kjøleskap i 2 døgn. Da var det litt voldsomme blyantpreget borte og vinen var mer balansert. Og vinen var langt fra ødelagt, så dette er nok en vin som vil holde godt i mange år til. (1363 views)
 Tasted by Bernt Olav on 6/30/2013 & rated 92 points: Denne var langt mer ungdommelig enn forventet. Mørk rød kjerne med svak bruning. Aroma av blyant, lær, litt søtlige røde bær, plomme, tobakk. På smak mye av de samme elementene. Støvete tanniner , men med tydelig syre. Silkemyk munnfølelse og medium til god fylde. God lengde. God lagret bordeaux dette! Mye tyder på at jeg har vært heldig med dette kjøpet(auksjon). (1427 views)
 Tasted by Burgundy Al on 5/8/2013 & rated 86 points: Gruaud Larose Dinner (Inovasi - Lake Bluff IL): Earth and spice aromas with just enough Brett to provide character but not dominate. Still, this was moderate and subtle without the density that comes from better vintages. (2051 views)
 Tasted by tooch on 4/20/2013 & rated 94 points: Dinner in NYC (North End Grill - New York, NY): At times, this wine just really hits me the right way. Old skool claret. I doubt know about everyone else at the table, but damn, I thought this was fresh. Luckily, it did have those secondary and tertiary - smoke, earth, dark fruits and cedar. Great acidity on the finish this is a sentimental favorite as it's a birth year wine of mine! (2086 views)
 Tasted by salil on 4/20/2013 & rated 93 points: Drinks at the North End Grill with Matt L. in town (NYC): Great stuff; perfectly mature and drinking so well right now - it's very fragrant with no shortage of leathery/earthy Cordier funk, and on the palate it's equal parts fruit and developed savoury tobacco and cedary flavours, with the tannins fully integrated, bright acids keeping it very fresh, and a very polished, silken texture. (2054 views)
 Tasted by GRAPE JUICE on 3/27/2013: Alcohol ::
Dark garnet core, light brownish hue. The nose display slight cooked fruits which might have a light heat damage. Red date, tobacco leafs and earth. Light bodied. This is on it ways down with lots of musky, earthy note and not much fruits left. Quite straight forward too. Medium finished. Trying to hold but is tired. (2511 views)
 Tasted by salil on 12/11/2012 & rated 91 points: Bordeaux dinner (Trestle on Tenth, NYC): Classic old Cordier aromatics; leather, earth, tobacco and some herbal and leafy elements framing pure red and dark fruits. It's a lighter bodied Gruaud, trading power for elegance and finesse with bright acids beneath and drinking wonderfully now. (2613 views)
 Tasted by OpuMayaQuem on 11/18/2012 & rated 92 points: Dusty tannins and the right amount of age. Drinking well. (2191 views)
 Tasted by beezer6 on 10/20/2012 & rated 91 points: Saturday Tasting Group (Knightsbridge Wine Shop (Northbrook, IL)): Super funky with lots of damp forest floor and pepper. Rustic raspberries with some shrooms and a little Brett. Dried floral herbs. potpourri. nice palate with soft styling. Drink now. (2548 views)
 Tasted by FamilyLarsson on 5/4/2012 & rated 93 points: Hade fullständigt glömt bort den här lådan i källaren. Gick in på nätet och kollade och enligt alla proffstyckare så var vinet slut för flera år sedan. Korkade upp en flaska som tyvärr inte hade en speciellt angenäm doft. Dekanterade försiktigt, väldigt mycket bottensats. Fick lämna nästan en dl i flaskan. Testade sedan vinet med lite jämna mellanrum under kvällen. Efter 4 timmar så var det helt fantastiskt. Doft av läder, kompost, ceder och en ljuvlig smak av mogen bordeaux. Hade förvånansvärt mycket frukt kvar. En otroligt positiv överraskning och bäst av allt att det finns ytterligare 8 flaskor kvar. Det här får man dela med några av vännerna som är frälsta på nya världen så att de får uppleva något riktigt. (3423 views)
 Tasted by DavidKehler on 5/2/2012: This was outstanding and quite vibrant. The wine was made to be long lived, and I suspect that it will drink well for the balance of the decade, at least. In reading the comments, below, I surmise that people who didn't particularly enjoy this wine had bottles that were poorly stored. Assuming proper storage, this wine is very highly recommended. (3071 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Ian D'Agata
Vinous, February 2013
(Chateau Gruaud Larose Saint Julien) Subscribe to see review text.
By Chris Kissack
Winedoctor, July 2003
(Chateau Gruaud-Larose St Julien) This next wine has a slightly less impressive colour. Not very expressive on the nose, with some sweet and mature fruit showing just a little. There's plenty of structure on the palate here, which has more tannin than the previous wine, unfortunately with fading fruit. There's still some texture and the wine has character. It drinks well, but is drying out. One of the weaker wines of the tasting. Drink now.  15 points
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Vinous and Winedoctor. (manage subscription channels)

CellarTracker Wiki Articles (login to edit | view all articles)

Château Gruaud Larose

Producer website - Read more about Chateau Gruaud Larose

Red Bordeaux Blend

Read about the grapes used to produce Bordeaux The variety Red Bordeaux Blend in CellarTracker implies any blend using any or all of the five traditional Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. As such, this is used worldwide, whether for wines from Bordeaux, Meritages from California and Canada, some Super-Tuscan wines etc.


Vins de France (Office National Interprofessionnel des Vins ) | Pages Vins, Directory of French Winegrowers | French Wine (Wikipedia)


Bordeaux Wine Guide

Vins Bordeaux (Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux)

History of Bordeaux

History of 1855 Bordeaux Classification


Vins du Médoc (Conseil des Vins du Médoc) - Read More about the Medoc
The eight precisely defined appellations of the whole of the Médoc (from Blanquefort Brook to the north of the Bordeaux built-up area, almost to the Pointe de Grave) may claim the Médoc appellation. But there is also a specific territory in the north of the peninsula which produces exclusively wines with this appellation. In the great majority, the Médocs come from the north of the peninsula. The great individuality of this region is that the number of vines has increased more recently here than elsewhere, apart from a few isolated spots where vines have grown for many years. Today, the size of the small estate has brought about the development of a powerful co-operative movement. Four co-operatives out of five belong to the group called Unimédoc which ensures aging, bottling and marketing a large proportion of their wines.

St. Julien

Read more detailed information on St. Julien and its wines The seventeenth century pioneers Traces are to be found of a Saint-Julien de Rintrac, perhaps Saint-Julien's earliest name, as from the thirteenth century. But we have to wait until the seventeenth century pioneers, urban and rural aristocrats, discover the exceptional merits of these terroirs.
Traces of this system still exist today in the structure of estates within the appellation: by the side of the two villages of Beychevelle and Saint-Julien, the large estates are heavily preponderant, representing more than four fifths of the total surface of vineyards.

The terrain is practically identical over all the commune. Only the proximity of the estuary, sometimes close, sometimes further away, can cause slight variations in climate. In fact, Saint-Julien-Beychevelle's layer of gravel takes the form of a huge rectangle over 3 miles long and 2 miles wide. And the alluvial deposits are particularly well fragmented into ridges of Garonne gravel of the early Quaternary. Accordingly, the vines are safeguarded from stagnant water.

The wines from the Saint-Julien appellation may be recognized by their unparalleled bouquet, particularly harmonious and mild. They have a fine deep colour and combine the finesse of their aromas and a solid constitution. They have body, are very rich in flavour and have a delicious and delicate bouquet.

Production conditions (Decree dated November 14, 1936)
In order to have the right to the Saint-Julien appellation of controlled origin, red wines must:

- come from the commune of Saint-Julien and from precisely defined parcels in the communes of Cussac, and Saint-Laurent, "excluding the parcels situated on recent alluvium and sand on impermeable subsoils",
- satisfy precise production conditions: grape-varieties (Cabernet-Sauvignon, Cabernet-Franc, Carmenère, Merlot Noir, Petit Verdot, Cot or Malbec), minimum of sugar (178 grammes - 6.27 oz. - per litre of must) degree (an acquired 10°5) base yield (45 hectolitres per hectare).

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