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(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.
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