As I wrote in my barrel tasting note, the 2009 appears to be the finest Gruaud Larose since their 1990. Some of my concerns about too much brett in previous vintages are long gone as the purity of the 2009 jumps out. Copious notes of sagebrush, cedar, cigar box, licorice, incense, blackberries and lead pencil shavings suggest a big Pauillac rather than a St.-Julien. Broad, rich and full-bodied with good balance and abundant, but sweet, well-integrated tannin, this big, masculine Gruaud Larose reveals remarkable finesse, richness, extract, density and a cascade of fruit that nearly hides the lofty tannins. This beauty should be at its best between 2020-2045.
|Score: 95||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, March 2012|
This is the finest Gruaud Larose since the 1990. Without a hint of brett in the 2009, it exhibits an opaque purple color along with a big, sweet nose of creme de cassis, new saddle leather, spice box, and boysenberries. Made in a rich, broad, savory, juicy style with lots of succulence, but none of the masculinity and ruggedness often found in this offering, this wine is loaded with concentration and extract. The tannins are largely concealed by the remarkable intensity of fruit and density. It should be drinkable in 7-8 years, and last for 30-40. (Tasted two times.) Drink 2017-2057.
|Score: 92/94+||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (188), April 2010|
Tasted at the château and the UGC. The crop was picked between 23rd September and 29th September for the Merlot and 2nd October to 17th October for the Cabernet Sauvignon. A blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon and 32% Merlot, this Gruaud has a tightly wound nose of black cherries, a touch of black plum and black truffle, good definition and with time some more exotic aromas: hints of honey and a little espresso. The palate is medium-bodied, very linear on the entry but displaying very good definition, with notes of blackberry, a touch of raspberry, espresso, a little white pepper and a meaty character. It expands very well towards the finish, maintaining excellent definition and clarity, very good poise, a biscuit element inflecting the pure black fruits, an insistent but gentle grip and great persistency. Somehow the 1982 is coming to mind, and that is a great thing. Tasted March 2010.
|Score: 92/95||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2010|
Beautiful aromas of currant, black licorice and blueberry follow through to a full body, with chewy tannins and a long, juicy finish. Big wine. Could be better than the classic 2000.
|Score: 94/97||James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, April 2010|
Dark crimson. Interesting leathery, almost Syrah-like notes. Very neat and satisfying. Savoury. Just a little austere on the finish. Drying tannins on the end. Very sweet. Date tasted 1st April 2010. Drink 2016-2028.
|Score: 16.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2010|
This famous and historic Saint Julien 2nd growth is popular throughout the world and is usually released at the most reasonable price of all the so-called "super-seconds". The 82 hectare vineyard (one of the largest of the classed growths) produces a wine from 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot. Whilst other 2nd Growths (eg Ducru, Cos and Lascases) have gone for more concentration, big scores and higher prices, Gruaud seems to prefer to be a famous name giving value for money. 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot. A deep colour with lots of chewy ripe fruit. More generous than usual with layers of cherry, cassis and cedar. Very good for Gruaud and seems a step up from the 2005.
|Score: 16||Farr Vintners, April 2010|
There is a very attractive mix of fruits on the nose with cassis tending to dominate. The sweetness on the palate is very plum driven, the hint of herbal freshness relating more to the Cabernet in the blend. The richness on the mid palate is well balanced by a freshness towards the back. Drink 2020-2045.
|Score: 89/93||Derek Smedley MW, April 2010|
Gruaud-Larose's reputation as the most accessible of the major St Julien properties is well merited in 2009 because this is a deliciously approachable wine: scented and fragrant, with deep colour and smoky oak, plush cassis and plum fruit and fine-grained tannins. The wine has a minerally tightness at its core, which will enable it to age well in barrel and bottle. 15+ years.
|Score: 95||Tim Atkin MW, April 2010|
Dense purple red, rich, robust warm autumn fruits, smooth and succulent, a touch of exotic spice, fine balance and length. Drink 2015-30.
|Score: 17.5||Steven Spurrier, Decanter.com, April 2010|