In the mid 17th century, Chevalier de Gruaud (also known as Abbé Gruaud) and Chevalier de La Rose succeeded one another as owners of a superb 82-hectare vineyard in Saint Julien.Their names were associated for the first time on a wine label 1781. The estate was divided in two due to inheritance difficulties in the 19th century. However, Désiré Cordier, who had already acquired part of the vineyards in 1917, reunited the estate in 1935. In the early 1980s, it belonged to a subsidiary of an institutional group which invested heavily in the cellars. The Merlaut family purchased Gruaud Larose in 1997.The vines, located in a single block on a deep rise of Garonne gravel, have been lovingly tended by Georges Pauli and his team since 1970 and the wine perfectly expresses its terroir. Now, more than ever, Gruaud Larose's quality is in keeping with its traditionally fine reputation, dating from even before the 1855 classification, which designated it a second growth.
Parker : 88 / 100
J. Suckling : 91 / 100
Wine Advocate-Parker :
The 2003 Gruaud Larose's dark plum/garnet color is followed by sweet aromas of damp earth, forest floor, herbs, espresso roast, cassis, licorice, and plums. Medium-bodied as well as surprisingly up-front and precocious, it possesses sweet tannin, very nice concentration, and loads of earthy/herbal characteristics intermixed with black fruits, and an attractive, but supple, evolved finish. Drink it over the next 12-15 years. It does not rank alongside the top St.-Juliens.