Gruaud Larose Masterclass with David Launay

Fine & Rare Wines, London
Tasted Tuesday, September 27, 2011 by Papies with 535 views

Introduction

David Launay of Gruaud Larose presented a flight of GL wines from the 60s onwards as well as discussed the history and evolution of the wine making. Interesting how he defined vintages as Gruaud ( the powerful ones 66,86,89) or Larose ( more elegant 62,90,96). Also very interesting their drive lately towards more Cab Sauv and Petit Verdot rather than merlot and Cab Franc. New oak % is increasing to 60-65% from 50%.

Flight 1 (9 Notes)

  • NV Etienne Calsac Champagne L'échappée Belle Brut 89 Points

    France, Champagne

    Calsac's Champagne is made predominately from 1er Cru Chardonnay from the Cotes des Blancs in a super-fresh style. Only made 5000 bottles of his first release (960 bottles came to the UK).
    Smooth and creamy, very pleasant and enjoyable, to the point and great value (15£ or so). Very Balanced with a lovely creamy finish. 88-90

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  • 1962 Château Gruaud Larose 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Bricking, light red colour and shows its age.Nice on the nose, fine, elegant and open with good red fruit. Well aged and fully mature. Alive but not intense (like the 66). Very well made wine and one to buy if can be sourced from good cellar. Lots of finesse and elegance. Some watery thin edge to the finish but apart from that a great wine for its age. ( Andreas 93 / Nicol 95) 94 overall.

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  • 1966 Château Gruaud Larose 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Bricking red on the colour. Intense, "powerful" for its age (Much more than the 62) very much alive and vibrant on the palate. More earthy notes than fruit, some mint and cedar on the nose good acidity and balance. Very elegant well aged bordeaux and will look to buy more. ( Andreas 96 / Nicol 94) - 95 Overall.

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  • 1986 Château Gruaud Larose 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Still dark and youthful and with a lot of life in it. Tigth with lots of tannin still, concentrated and dense. Vibrant wine with lots of presence. Rich, long and tight. Lots of life ahead for this wine and we woudl suggest one waits 5yrs+ . 93-94 at this stage. We woudl suggest decanting and patience. (61% Cab sauv, 32% M, 4% CF and 3% CF)

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  • 1989 Château Gruaud Larose 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Very nice , elegant, mild red fruit on the nose. Expressive but reserved nose, very classic bordeaux. Good tannin and vibrancy and one with a long future ahead of it. Nice sweet core, Long finish. A must buy. Probably the best wine of our GL flight.

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  • 1990 Château Gruaud Larose 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    A crowd pleaser. round and smooth, full secondary, earthy, cedary less fruit on the nose. Long sweet core with lots of legth but lack a spirit and vitality of the 89 and in a way feelslike a wine to have sooner than later especially compared to the 89. 92-93 drink now but this will last.

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  • 1996 Château Gruaud Larose 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Still dark in colour. Full on fruit nose, light earth and floral. Big elegant and round, well aged. Good depth and lots of ripe tannins. Anoither great showing from this wine. Maybe a tough tin on the mid palate. 92-93 drink from now.

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  • 2001 Château Gruaud Larose 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Round, smooth but still with power and finesse. Ripe fruit, full on primary, not overly concentrated, balanced. Very impressive and although young can be approached at this stage with some decanting. Good finish We really like this wine. 92-93 drink from now.

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  • 2005 Château Gruaud Larose 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Young violet red colour. Deep sweet red& black fruit on the nose. Big on the nose open and expressive at this stage. Oak and vanillanotes some mocha and def have increased the new oak in the last few years. Still very young and would suggest waiitng 5-7yrs. 91-92 at the moment but with lots of potential.

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Closing

A great showing from a wine that is actually among the best value for quality in our view.
89 the great wine of the night but impressive showing from 66 and 62 both a great value buy if sourced from good places.
1985 was missing probably the best drinking GL in our mind at the moment and would have liked to try the 2000 although David said that was far too young and closed at this stage hence the omission from the flight.

Wines to look to buy 2001,96,& 89 (also the 85)

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