The 2016 Gruaud Larose is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc this year, picked between 29 September until 15 October (with the Petit Verdot) and matured in 80% new oak, the remainder one or two years old. The alcohol is a modest 13.02%. It has a generous bouquet with scents of blackberry, briary, a touch of sandalwood and tobacco, gaining more precision as it aerates in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, certainly one of the most finessed Gruaud Larose in recent years, with perfectly judged acidity. I love the focus here, a little understated at first but you cannot deny the intensity and precision on the finish. Moreover, this seems to be a slightly more detailed Gruaud, nuanced and long in the mouth. Excellent—and I suspect it might be a little more approachable than some of its peers.
95 Points Wine Advocate
A balanced, measured, incredibly tight delivery of the triumvirate of tannins, fruit and acidity. The architecture hits the level of the 2010, fairly unusual in a year where the tannins have such a deft brush stroke in the main. This is a great Gruaud that is going to run and run. Aged for 18 months in 80% new oak. As of 2017, half of the vineyard (approximately 40ha) is being worked biodynamically.
Barrel Sample. This wine is rich and juicy, with fine tannins that come as much from the fruit as from the wood aging. It shows great promise for positive development.
94 Wine Enthusiast
This famous and historic Saint Julien 2nd growth is popular throughout the world and is usually released at the most reasonable price of all the so-called "super-seconds". The 82 hectare vineyard is one of the largest of the classed growths. 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc in 2016. Significant smoky oak gives a nose of coffee, nutmeg and cassis. The palate is pure, fresh and clean with soft, ripe tannins allowing the elegance of the fruit to sine through. Smooth and long on the finish, this is a subtle, classically styled wine of great typicity.