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Bill Spohn

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TN: 1975 Ch. Gruaud Larose

by Bill Spohn » Tue Sep 21, 2021 6:58 pm

1975 Ch. Gruaud Larose – I bought quite a bit of 1975 Bordeaux around 1990 when a collector was doing a cellar sell out. I tried a number of them early to gauge which type they were. Type A had huge tannins and there was considerable doubt that the underlying fruit (which was sometimes quite difficult to assess due to the harsh tannins).

Type B showed some signs of having sufficient fruit that there would be something there when the tannins died down.
I won with some wines, including Beychevelle and Branaire Ducru, which both settled down to be fairly well balanced and enjoyable wines, but others, like this wine, which I tried shortly after purchase and again about five years later, showed as excessively tannic dark wine with intense flavour but at the time without balance. When I tried it around 1995 it had great depth but also continuing great tannins and was still hard to read, so I stuffed it away in the cellar and regarded it as one of the 1975s that might in the end be a write off.

I still had a couple of bottles left and decided to pop one and see what had become of it. The wine was now lighter in colour, a dark garnet, the tannins had finally resolved and some currant and blackberry fruit was detectable along with some mushroom notes. There was fruit and a lot of tertiary development. The level was high shoulder (the bottle was the squat old style Cordier bottle – I think the last year they used it at Gruaud was 1978. Some smokiness and cedar developed in the nose with time but the fruit abated a tad after an hour.

If you have this wine it is now time to drink them. I expect there to be considerable bottle variation by now, but the better bottles should be enjoyable, which is something you couldn’t have said twenty years ago.

PS - the bottle I had was labelled as 1 pint, 8 fluid oz. volume!

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Dale Williams

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Re: TN: 1975 Ch. Gruaud Larose

by Dale Williams » Wed Sep 22, 2021 10:10 am

I think '75 Bdx has to be divided into Pomerol and everything else. Pomerols can be excellent. I think Graves/Margaux were a little less hard than northern Medocs. I agree that some of the northern Medocs (Beychevelle and Ducru-Beaucaillou spring to mind) have turned into nice wines, though I don't think any would be described as elegant. I think the one time I had the Gruaud is was pretty tough, glad it showed reasonably well considering.
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Mark Golodetz

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Re: TN: 1975 Ch. Gruaud Larose

by Mark Golodetz » Thu Sep 23, 2021 4:38 pm

Pichon Lalande is very good indeed.
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Bill Spohn

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Re: TN: 1975 Ch. Gruaud Larose

by Bill Spohn » Thu Sep 23, 2021 4:43 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:Pichon Lalande is very good indeed.


I have seen arguments for demotomg Mouton and adding one of the other clarets to the first growth status, and Pichon Lalande has been one of those suggested (if I were asked I'd probably nominate La Mission Haut Brion). The argument usually centres on consistency, but that is a slippery slope - if you' applied that back in the 70s, Margaux would have been a goner.

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