Larose de Gruaud, Saint-Julien, Bordeaux, 2006

During the Spring Portfolio Tasting Gala for one of my distributors, I came across David Launay, the Managing Director of Chateau Gruaud Larose.  Noticing the name of the property almost immediately, as we had at the time, a case of an earlier vintage in the cellar, I spoke shortly with David, tasted his wines, thought they were amazing, wrote some notes, and thanked him for participating in the tasting gala.  It was about a 2-3 minute exchange, due to the fact that we had about 3 hours to taste through 100 booths, with anywhere from 3 to 20 wines at each table (thank God we take the train every year), so I didn't have much time to speak with him.  Little did I know, however, that the luncheon I was invited to the following day by my sales rep was co-hosted by David.  His story was enlightening, and yes, listening to a Frenchman talk about his wines, in his accent, is really, really cool.

Chateau Gruaud-Larose
Photo courtesy of
Chateau Gruaud Larose produces both their top-tier, flagship label, and a second label, Larose de Gruaud, produced from their younger vines.  Gruaud Larose is a Second Grand Cru in the Bordeaux Classification system, but don't let that fool you.  The classifications are more based on price than on quality, and several Second Grands can stand very well against the Premier Grands, including our featured Chateau here.  Gruaud Larose has a history spanning 300 years in the St. Julien appellation, from founding families Gruaud and La Rose, to today's owners, the Merlaut family; its website is a wonderful dedication to its heritage.  Further information can be found courtesy of The Wine Doctor here.  The Estate's motto, proclaimed over 200 years ago, is still evident on the label today: "Le Vin des Rois, Le Roi des Vins," meaning "The Wine of Kings, The King of Wines."

While I am still keeping the flagship label in our cellar's futures program, waiting for the right time to release, the Larose de Gruaud has been flying off the racks.  It has been incredibly popular with our members because it is simply an excellent Bordeaux for the price... it's a juicy find.  I have seen in retail online for $29-$50, and would highly recommend it for any occasion.

The nose is very pleasant with black cherry and white pepper notes.  Then a multitude of flavors on the palate of cherry, raspberry, and plum, and almost an over-ripe strawberry, but in a good way.  It is incredibly round and luscious, even for a young Bordeaux, with a dry and clean finish.  It would be excellent with a filet mignon dressed in bordelaise sauce.


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