Gruaud Larose 2020

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Tasting Notes and Scores


Neal Martin

The 2020 Gruaud Larose was cropped at 31hl/ha with one-third of the production in the Grand Vin, picked 14-29 September. The 13.18% alcohol is lower than recent vintages. It is quite tightly wound on the nose with blackberry, blueberry, iris petal, cedar and marine/seaweed aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly chalky tannins on the entry and modest depth. That marine element translates right to the end with a dash of black pepper on the finish. Tasted at the château.


Michael Schuster

(79% CS, 17% M, 4% CF; 35% harvest; 13.18% ABV; 95% new)
Dense, fine, minerally, poised, a very refined “gravel” aroma there, and subtly cedary; rich middleweight, fresh to crisp in acidity, very fine in dry tannin; close-grained, long across the palate, aromatically complex, but fundamentally crisp red-fruit in flavor, lean and linear, the underlying class is clear, but this year in an overall fairly dry, austere mold, clearly marked by the 95% new oak. The proportion of new wood here has gone from 40% in 2014, to 95% in (I gather) 2019 and this year. That’s quite some trajectory, and certainly against the trend. Fine wine, yes, but, on the basis of this sample, in a bit of a straitjacket, and certainly pretty long-term. Others have “tasted” it more positively, and Gruaud’s class has been increasingly evident over the past few years … so I’ll hang fire on this one.


Jancis Robinson

79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample.
Highest percentage yet of Cabernet in the blend. Fruit-driven and structured. Plenty of drive from the word go. Builds on the palate in persistent fashion, the refined tannins giving a long linear flow. Lovely fruit. Delicious now but has ageing potential. (JL)



Tasted by Jane Anson(at Primeur week tastings in Bordeaux, 01 May 2021)

Elegant yet driven with gentle power, nothing going overboard or trying too hard. This takes a beat, then it comes strongly - evident spice and flesh, full of raspberry, blueberry, blackcurrant pastille, fennel, hawthorn and liquorice. The tannins build up through the palate and press in on the final moments. Virginie Salette winemaker since 2017. A yield of 32hl/ha. Vinify at around 22-23°C, so an extremely low and slow extraction. Harvest was from September 14 to 29. A big shouldered St-Julien but with a wide nuance of flavours.

Drinking Window 2028 - 2042