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Dale Williams


Compassionate Connoisseur




Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:32 pm


Dobbs Ferry, NY (NYC metro)

WTN: Gruaud 1970-2001 (well, really 1982-2001)

by Dale Williams » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:03 pm

Last night our Bordeaux group met for a Gruaud Larose vertical at Fabio Piccolo Fiore in midtown. A couple of people couldn’t make it, but Jay Miller (the good one) pinchhit. I have a cold but a sudafed dried me up enough I could smell a bit.

A few starter wines
1999 Matrot Meursault-Perrieres
I seemed to like this more than table, thought it was in a very good place. Mature but not tired (I’ve had bad premOx luck with Matrot, so felt lucky), a little beeswax and hazelnut over a pear and mineral core. Thanks Nano. B+/A-

NV Pierre Peters Rose Champagne
I liked this more after it had a couple hours of air. Chalk, strawberries, a little citrus peel. Nice length, but not as elegant as the blanc. B+

2004 Trimbach “Cuvee Frederic Emile” Riesling
This hasn’t been my favorite CFE, but this one showed well, if a bit tightly coiled. Good acids, white fruits, some petrol and pine needle. B+

We had some assorted appetizers (I loved the carpaccio, liked the crabmeat, liked mozzarella and pepper but could live without January tomatoes, the giant calamari needed another 2 minutes in fryer). We went on the main event, with a seat of the pants order.

1970 Ch. Gruaud Larose
Old fashioned Cordier bottle, but unfortunately madeirzied.

First flight

1985 Ch. Gruaud Larose
Lots of 1985s are showing well now, and this is a prime example. Lovely dark fruits, forest floor, tobacco. Balanced and elegant. Wins WOTN in group voting by a healthy margin. A-

1988 Ch. Gruaud Larose
Showed like an ‘88, a bit sturdy and clunky next to the ‘85, but actually quite a nice St. Julien in need of a steak. Still a bit of tannin, cassis and earth, B+

A trio of pasta - neither the lobster ravioli or gnocchi with pesto great with reds, veal and mushroom did ok.

1989 Ch. Gruaud Larose
Corked (I had double-decanted this at home, but missed, which I blame on a cold)

1990 Ch. Gruaud Larose
I had low expectations of this as a bottle at a vertical 6-8 years ago showed roasted and pruney. This did show quite ripe, but pulled back before pruney for my tastes, a pleasant broad-shouldered wine. B/B+

1995 Ch. Gruaud Larose
This was a little weird, with folks arguing over brett vs. VA. I found it a bit lifted with a hint of merde, but not extreme. Medium bodied, a little short. Not sure if bottle or wine. B-

1996 Ch. Gruaud Larose
Nice nose of cassis with a little barnyard and a lot of cedar. But thought a bit soft on palate, despite some tannin. Others liked more and it finished in 2nd place. B

My main was a pretty good chicken florentine if you avoided the sea of marsala sauce, others mostly had veal or steak.

1982 Ch. Gruaud Larose
I really enjoyed this, though I thought I’ve had better bottles recently. Blackcherry and blackcurrant, some pleasant herby notes, a lot of leather. A-

1986 Ch. Gruaud Larose
My WOTN in close voting, group’s 3rd. Lots of Cordier funk (of which I’m quite tolerant), rich cassis fruit, cigarbox, excellent length. A-

2000 Ch. Gruaud Larose
A nice bottle of California merlot. Round, soft, plenty of fruit. B-/C+

2001 Ch. Gruaud Larose
Medium bodied, minty/herby notes, dark fruits. B

Good group of people, some nice wines, I had fun.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent
wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a
party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of
objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
no avatar

Patrick Martin


Ultra geek




Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:28 am

Re: WTN: Gruaud 1970-2001 (well, really 1982-2001)

by Patrick Martin » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:47 am

Very interesting and helpful notes, Dale.

This vertical begs the oft asked question, WTF happened at Gruaud after 1990? 1996 "a bit soft on palate", 1995 "a bit short", 2000 "A nice bottle of California merlot"!!!!,

I own a lone bottle of 2000 Gruaud (never tried it) and I notice the asking price for it go up and up steadily each year-- maybe time to sell it?

That all said, I love the 83, 85, 86 Gruauds, and that 82 last September was pretty awesome. I also agree on the 88, solid but pedestrian (while the 88 Meyney has shown wonderfully over the last 4 years, though it may be fading now at least for WineBid-purchased bottles).

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