Black fruited on the nose, with hints of coffee bean and liquorice. The palate is classically medocain, with firm but ripe tannins, bright acidity and cedar black fruit. Medium bodied, there are savoury tones of cigar box and peppers. The finish is bright and clean, cooler than many in this vintage, but it is a classically proportioned St Julien.
|Score: 15.5+||Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019|
The 2018 Gruaud Larose was picked from 20 September with the Merlot, finishing on 10 October with the Cabernet Sauvignon, with pumping over every two days and aged for 18 to 24 months in 80% new oak. It has a deep garnet colour. The nose is tightly wound, more so than expected, with blackberry, raspberry, briary and cedar aromas, a crisper Gruaud than I have seen aromatically compared to recent vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins: blackcurrant, mulberry, cedar, hints of clove developing with time. I appreciate how well the wood has integrated in the last few months. It does not possess the persistence of the 2016 Gruaud Larose, but it is very harmonious and less feral than some vintages have been. Great potential. Drink 2024-2045.
|Score: 91/93||Neal Martin, vinous.com, November 2019|
The 2018 Gruaud Larose is blended of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc, with a pH of 3.88 and 14.2% alcohol. Deep garnet-purple in color, it leaps from the glass with bold black cherries, mulberries, plum preserves and blackcurrant cordial scents with hints of menthol, lilacs, licorice and cloves plus wafts of fallen leaves and tilled soil. Medium to full-bodied with a taut core of ripe, densely packed, muscular fruit, it has a firm line of ripe, grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and spicy. Very exotic Gruaud!
|Score: 95/97||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019|
This is really generous and rolls off the tongue with ripe and velvety tannins and a fresh undertone. Full-bodied, firm and silky. Extremely long and flavorful. Very complex already.
|Score: 95/96||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019|
The 2018 Gruaud Larose is inky, jammy and full-bodied. Crème de cassis, blackberry jam, spice, lavender and mint give the 2018 much of its extroverted personality. Gruaud Larose is one of the most extroverted wines on the Left Bank. The richness and elevated ripeness is evident in the 2018. It will be interesting to see what élevage brings. For my taste, Gruaud is on the edge of being too much. The blend is 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc.
|Score: 89/92||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019|
67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc; 85% new oak. Barrel sample.
Darkest, smudgy black-cherry colour. Lifted cassis and a hint of tea leaf. Paper-fine layers of tannins but not a lot of juice on the palate. Savoury, dark but slightly flat finish. (JH) 14%
|Score: 16||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019|
(67 Cabernet Sauvignon, 24 Merlot, 9 Cabernet Franc) | 90% new oak | 14.2% alc With a superb nose and a detailed palate with red and black fruit notes in harmony, this is a well-balanced Gruaud and while it is long and complete I felt that there was a little something missing and so while I was tempted to bump up the score to 18.5, in the end I stuck with a noble 18.
|Score: 18+||Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019|