This wine will deserve a higher score after a few more years in the bottle. Used the Coravin to check on its evolution. Medium bodied, with a feminine, but pure quality of red and black fruits laced with iron, graphite, and damp earth. The tannin while grippy does release into a smooth finish. There is an abundance of oak on this wine that I hope will integrate and resolve over time in the bottle.
I just opened this wine and it seems a bit thin and acidic with little richness or power or depth. I am not impressed, and it seems those who reviewed it 2-3 years ago liked it best. Interesting, a wine that shows better when considered too young. It is tasty, just nowhere near worth the $70 I paid, which the merchant assured me was a bargain. For $36 a Penner Ash pinot noir, or for $43 a Stags Leap Artemis, has much more to offer. Maybe comparable to a $40 Barbi Brunello last night, but at $30 more money a disappointment. Still, it is better than the $30 Senejac from last night but nowhere near a $65 2006 Chateau Lagrange. A $70 Andrew Will Sorella blows this out of the water, and a $90. Aldo Conterno Cicala is on another plane entirely. It's pretty good, but lightweight, not smooth nor interesting, and very overpriced like virtually all name Bordeaux now.
La question était doit-on boire le 2008 avant ou après le 98.. Finalement nous avons servi les deux en même temps. Le 2008, plus présent au nez mais encore assez tannique, le 98 plus équilibré. Les deux magnifiques en tout cas.
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(Château Gruaud Larose) Very dark red violet color; nice cassis, black fruit, pencil lead, graphite nose; distinctive, pencil lead, graphite, tart black fruit palate, needs 5-plus years; medium-plus finish 93+ pts. (57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot)
(Chateau Gruaud-Larose (St Julien)) A warm fruit style here, very open, with some honeyed wood. The fruit has a sweet style with a furry, ripe and gamey warmth. Red fruits. Some of that crystalline character as well which is welcome. Well-judged on entry, showing a little more leanly in the midpalate though. Holding up nicely through to the finish, maintaining that open fresh fruit character, soft and supple, providing a good cover for the tannins. Nice acids too. Promising, with ripe tannin in the finish. A surprise considering it tasted quite incongruous in 2009. Very good.
(Chateau Gruaud-Larose St Julien) This has a paler hue than the other wines of this commune, and the nose is more meaty and less fresh, with some chalky red fruits. It has a nice elegant entry though, wit supple red fruit, although it is leaner and harder than the other wines. Pretty but slightly chewy tannins; this wine is certainly rowing in a different stream to the rest of the commune in this vintage!
(Château Gruaud-Larose (St Julien)) Some attractive fruit on the nose here, which is open, relaxed, confident and stylish. I find some nutty oak to be lingering here as well. I sense elegance rather than power though - not necessarily a bad thing of course. The palate has a fairly light presence in keeping with my impression of the vintage, with a supple seam of lightly crystalline fruit, and a rather firm underpinning of grippy, biting structure beneath. Good.
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