Médoc Cru Classés 2010: Panel Tasting
Château Gruaud-Larose, St-Julien 2CC
Decanter average score: 18.75/20pts (95+/100pts)
Individual judges’ scores: Stephen Brook 18.5 Michael Schuster 19 Steven Spurrier 19
Gruaud-Larose has just spent €100,000 on a 12-month study into the inner workings of its vineyard soil structure and composition, water regulation, vine growth and other small adjustments. But things have been looking impressive at this St-Julien estate, owned by Jean Merlaut of the Taillan Group, for some time. Recent successes can be ascribed to smart decision making, such as no pesticides or insecticides since the 1990s, made first by Georges Pauli, cellar master until 2007, and now Philippe Carmagnac.
Stephen Brook Dense nose: mocha, with a slight herbaceous edge. Medium- bodied, supple, approachable, though it doesn’t lack tannin or structure. Concentrated with nice spiciness. Balanced; very good length and finesse.
Michael Schuster Fine bouquet in prospect. Nicely balanced, fresh St-Julien with a fine concentration of fruit and beautifully textured tannins. Long and refined to taste, sweet-cored, subtly mineral and freshly defined.
Steven Spurrier Rich and ripe black fruits, both concentrated and expressive, florality and fragrance are there waiting to come out. Firmness, breadth and precision – an excellent wine.
Price: £50–£90 Widely available at leading Bordeaux merchants*