Drank this over three days, and it needed that time to show its best. On the first day it was tightly wound, with a shallow taste profile and a metallic bite on the finish. Had it at 87-88. On the second day it opened into a slightly rustic offering, with medium plus acid, and medium minus tannins. On the third day...a pure and powerful wine of substantive depth and length hence the 91.It's a relatively big, red-fruited wine that is showing little if any tertiary flavors. All in all for me, this wine is not worth the money nor the cellar time.
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(Chateau Gruaud-Larose (St Julien)) A dark colour but showing just a little bricky-oxblood in terms of hue, although still some good density and just a narrow fading rim where this maturity shows; at its core it still has a nice red, claretty appearance. The nose shows some appealing evolution with appropriate time in the decanter, notes of black tea leaves, tobacco and black olives with some sour-salty notes faintly suggestive of soy sauce and black bean. The palate shows a moderate flesh at the very beginning, although there is some tangible extract showing its face here and there so this is no lean and mean effort. There is austerity though, a reserved character, a feeling bound up in some grippy and lightly sooty tannins which appear in the core of the wine and come to the fore at the finish. Quite long too. An attractive wine still with a rather tight structure but showing some aromatic complexity which bodes well I feel. This is all nicely held together; it needs a few years yet though.
(Château Gruaud-Larose (St Julien)) A dark hue here, certainly maturing, although with plenty of depth to it. The nose is in keeping with this appearance, showing plenty of sour fruit at first, with a bitter, dry, cranberry and plum-skin character to it, but with a little more time in the glass it also develops some fleshier, more rounded scents, showing more evolution, with black tea and black bean, spiced with a little sandalwood. Nevertheless the fruit persists with its just-ripe character, tinged with greenness. The palate has an appealing texture but it is certainly gentle and with a moderate amount of spicy grip coming through in the middle, even coming to dominate somewhat on the finish. Little nuances of macerated fruit and leather bring a more mature edge to the wine's character. A wine with a chalk-tinged substance and evolving character. Overall, it will appeal to classicists most, especially those interested in cool climate styles on the very cusp, drinkers who are interested in evolution and aroma more than hedonism. I like it.
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