Gruaud Larose - Winemaking, Best Wines, Tasting Notes (2021)

Anthony Zhang

Keen to discover if a bottle of Chateau Gruaud Larose would be perfect for your wine collection?

Chateau Gruaud Larose is one of the oldest wine estates in the Saint Julien appellation of the Medoc region. It is also one of the five Second Growths in the 1855 Classification of Bordeaux wine alongside Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou.

Its Grand Vin is a classic Saint Julien wine that’s a must-have in any wine collection.

What makes Gruaud Larose unique? How can you get your hands on a bottle of this fine wine?

This article will tell you everything you need to know - the history of the Chateau, the vineyard, winemaking techniques, and the top 10 Gruaud Larose wines for you to buy.

We’ll also tell you a way to invest in this wine and other collectibles, hassle-free.

Further reading

Get up-to-date on the fascinating World Of Wine Investment with our detailed article.
Also, check out some of the finest Super Tuscans - starting with the Magnificent Masseto, the Sultry Sassicaia, and the Stunning Ornellaia.

In This Article, We Cover:

  1. 1962 Chateau Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien
  2. 1945 Chateau Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien
  3. 1982 Chateau Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien
  4. 2000 Chateau Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien
  5. 2010 La Roseraie de Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien
  6. 1973 Chateau Gruaud Larose 'Larose de Gruaud', Saint Julien
  7. 2009 Chateau Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien
  8. 2002 Chateau Gruaud Larose 'Sarget de Gruaud Larose', Saint Julien

A Quick Intro To Gruaud Larose

Gruaud Larose

Chateau Gruaud Larose is based in the Saint Julien appellation of the Bordeaux region and is owned by the Merlaut family. It is situated on the left-bank of Medoc, near the Pauillac appellation.

This winery also has some famous neighbors, including Chateau Margaux, Chateau Leoville Poyferre, Chateau Branaire-Ducru, and Chateau Mouton Rothschild.

Gruaud Larose is one of the fifteen Deuxiemes Grand Cru Classe (Second Growths.)

It produces a stunning red wine with the same name, and a second wine, Sarget de Gruaud Larose. It uses Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot to create these unique blends.

Let’s take a look at how this Chateau got started.

A Brief History Of Gruaud Larose

History Of Gruaud Larose

Gruaud Larose’s history starts in 1725 when Abbot Gruaud bought land in Bordeaux to plant vines. The property was initially called Fond-Bedeau and was administered by two Gruauds - a magistrate and a priest.

When the magistrate passed away in 1778, his nephew Joseph Sebastian de La Rose inherited the estate and renamed it to “Gruaud La Rose” or “Gruaud Larose.”

Since there were no heirs to take over the estate, two families bought it at an auction in 1812. In 1867, control of the estate was split among the families, Chateau Gruaud-Larose-Faure and Chateau Gruaud-Larose Sarget (after Baron Sarget.)

Baron Sarget was responsible for building the chateau in 1875.

The wines were labeled as both Chateau Gruaud Larose Bethmann and Chateau Gruaud Larose Faure.

The Cordier family, owners of Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey and Chateau Talbot, bought Chateau Gruaud-Larose Sarget in 1917 and Chateau Gruaud-Larose-Faure in 1935.

Compagnie de Suez purchased it in 1983 and then sold it ten years later to Alcatel-Alsthom.

In 1997, the Taillan Group, headed by Jacques Merlaut (owner of Chateau Haut-Bages-Liberal), bought the Chateau.

It has been under the management of the Merlaut family since. The Merlaut family introduced sustainable development and organic methods to the Gruaud Larose vineyards.

The Gruaud Larose Vineyard

The Gruaud Larose Vineyard

The vineyard lies just southwest of the village of Beychevelle and enjoys the gravel banks that slope towards le Marais de Beychevelle (a marsh.) This vineyard is unique in that it is one of the largest in Bordeaux, with most of its vines in one single block.

The vineyard also has smaller parcels south of the appellation, close to Chateau Branaire Ducru and Chateau Talbot.

The 82 hectares of vineyard are currently planted with 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot. The Cabernet Sauvignon proportion has increased, and the Chateau plans to have at least 70% in the coming years.

The Gruaud Larose vineyard is split into two sections comprising 110 parcels that have the best terroir. The vines are around 46 years old, with some Cabernet Sauvignon varietal vines over 80 years of age.

Chateau Gruaud Larose’s terroir is a mixture of pebbles, clay, humus, and gravel. There is more clay at Gruaud Larose than any other St. Julien or Bordeaux vineyard, and it plays a significant role in shaping the unique wine characteristics.

Chateau Gruaud Larose was one of the first in the region to use organic methods to protect the fruit and follow homeopathic treatments to bring out the best in their grape varieties.

The Chateau is also one of the few Bordeaux estates to have a hail reduction canon. This canon sends out shock waves to break hailstones to protect the fruit and vines.

Starting with the 2019 vintage, under the watchful eye of oenologist Eric Boissenot, the Gruaud Larose team has been using biodynamic farming techniques.

Let’s take a quick look at the winemaking techniques of Gruaud Larose.

Winemaking Techniques Of Gruaud Larose

Winemaking Techniques Of Gruaud Larose

On average, Chateau Gruaud Larose produces 18,000 cases of wine annually. Depending on the vintage, winemaking at Gruaud Larose typically follows this procedure:

  • Malolactic fermentation takes place in oak tanks and cement vats.

  • Wine is vinified in a combination of oak vats and concrete vats.

  • Wine is aged in 85% new, French oak barrels for around 18 months. This also depends on the needs of the specific Bordeaux vintage.  

Ready to find out the perfect food pairings and how you serve your bottle of Chateau Gruaud Larose?

Best Food Pairings And How To Serve Chateau Gruaud Larose

Best Food Pairings And How To Serve Chateau Gruaud Larose

To get the best out of your Gruaud Larose Grand Cru wine, serve it at 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 degrees C) - this cool temperature will lift the wine and give it a fresh feel.

While Chateau Gruaud Larose is not a wine to be consumed in its youth, you can decant a young Larose for 2-4 hours to allow the wine to soften. Older vintages might need lesser decanter time, just enough to remove the sediment.

Younger vintages from Gruaud Larose are known for their high tannin levels. However, a few years of bottle age will allow the wine to develop charming complex characteristics.  

Pair this bottle of divine red wine with a classic meat dish (veal, pork, game, duck) with roasted vegetables. It is also a perfect pairing with Asian dishes, tuna, mushrooms, pasta, and good cheese.

Not sure which Gruaud Larose wine is for you?

The Best Wines From Chateau Gruaud Larose St. Julien (Including Tasting Notes And Prices)

Wines from the Saint Julien appellation are a real treat for any wine enthusiast, here are just some of our favorite vintages from Gruaud Larose.

1. 1962 Chateau Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien

1962 Chateau Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien

The 1962 vintage from Chateau Gruaud Larose still has a gorgeous ruby color and aromas of green pepper, and a hint of rich black fruit.

The fine tannins and bright acidity in this great wine leads you to a lengthy finish with roasted red fruit notes and earthy minerality.

Price of a 1962 Chateau Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien, France: $2089

2. 1945 Chateau Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien

1945 Chateau Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien

This 1945 vintage still holds its own with unique aromas of spicy cigar box, earth, cedar, and smoke. It even has a sweet palate with tasting notes of red fruit and spice.

Price of a 1945 Chateau Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien, France: $1486

3. 1982 Chateau Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien

1982 Chateau Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien

This Grand Cru wine has blended aromas of cigar box, smoke, cassis, herb, red fruit, and tobacco leaf. This full-bodied, rich and powerful wine has tasting notes of ripe fruit, earthy red fruit, tobacco, plum, and wet earth.

Price of a 1982 Chateau Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien, France: $485

4. 2000 Chateau Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien

2000 Chateau Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien

This Grand Cru Classe vintage has notes of tobacco, herb, cassis, and spice on the nose. Its full-bodied palate has flavors of cassis, earth, plum, and black fruit.

Price of a 2000 Chateau Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien, France: $185

5. 2010 La Roseraie de Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien

2010 La Roseraie de Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien

The 2010 vintage of La Roserie has a divine bouquet of black currant, licorice, and blueberries. You will experience espresso and spice tasting notes, a fine tannin level, and bright acidity on the palate.

Price of a 2010 La Roseraie de Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien, France: $163

6. 1973 Chateau Gruaud-Larose 'Larose de Gruaud', Saint-Julien

1973 Chateau Gruaud-Larose 'Larose de Gruaud', Saint-Julien

This old Bordeaux wine from the Gruaud-Larose collection still has aromas of tobacco leaf and spice.

You can still experience a fine tannin structure on the palate. And to top it all off, the lingering finish will have you tasting notes of sweet black currant and dark cherries.

Price of a 1973 Chateau Gruaud-Larose 'Larose de Gruaud', Saint Julien, France: $149

7. 2009 Chateau Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien

2009 Chateau Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien

This legendary vintage is what brought this estate back into the spotlight! This gorgeous vintage has aromas of licorice, coffee, cedar, earth, and cassis.

It has a full-bodied palate that leads you to an exciting finish with ripe fruit, mint, red fruit, and spicy finish.

Price of a 2009 Chateau Gruaud Larose, Saint Julien, France: $146

8. 2002 Chateau Gruaud-Larose 'Sarget de Gruaud Larose', Saint Julien

2002 Chateau Gruaud-Larose 'Sarget de Gruaud Larose', Saint Julien

The 2002 Sarget de Gruaud Larose has a charming nose that offers spicy, brown tobacco, roasted vegetables, and fruit notes. This second wine from Chateau Gruaud Larose has a round palate, great length, and a harmonious balance between the tannin and acidity levels.

Price of a 2002 Chateau Gruaud-Larose 'Sarget de Gruaud Larose', Saint Julien, France: $126

Should You Invest In Gruaud Larose?

Should You Invest In Gruaud Larose?

Chateau Gruaud Larose wines are for the patient wine enthusiast. The wines can be quite austere when opened in their youth - but with some time, they evolve and develop a remarkable complexity, finesse, and a truly elegant mid-palate of silky-smooth tannins.

12 years of bottle age is usually enough time for the flavors to develop, and this Grand Vin will reach peak maturity between 15 and 35 years after the vintage.

Some of the earlier vintages of Gruaud Larose had left the great wine critics underwhelmed - vintages from the 1990s only scored 82-89 points. However, Gruaud Larose experienced a turning point in 2009, when famed wine critic, Robert Parker, dubbed the legendary vintage as the finest since 1990 and awarded it 95 points.

The following year’s vintage, 2010, met with strong reviews and was voted by the trade as the second favorite wine in the value category (Liv-ex Annual En Primeur Survey.)

The 2011-2013 vintages also caught critic James Suckling’s eye. Suckling awarded them scores between 92 and 93, showing that Gruaud Larose is out of the shadows and on its way to greatness.

Price appreciation during January 2021 and February 2021 for Gruaud Larose wines also proves their reclaimed success.

  • The 1949 vintage saw an astonishing increase of 165%, going from $1358 to $3598, while the 1955 vintage saw a 144% increase from $575 to $1406.

  • The 1962 Gruaud Larose vintage grew by 620% from $230 to $1655.

Another boost in popularity came from discovering 12 bottles of Chateau Gruaud Larose from the 1872 wreck of the Marie-Therese in the Philippines in 1991. The bottles were relabeled at the Chateau and were auctioned at a 1991 Sotheby’s event for around $17,600.

Today the Gruaud Larose Grand Vin is one of the most sought-after wines, while the second wine, Sarget de Gruaud, is an excellent introduction to this Chateau.

But how do you know which vintage will provide the best returns for your investment style?

A wine investment platform like Vinovest is your best option to get the best out of your fine wine collection. Not only will the team of Master Sommeliers help you build your portfolio, but they’ll also help you predict the best time to sell.

Want to know how you can get started on this journey?

How To Easily Add Gruaud Larose Wines To Your Collection


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Benefits Of Working With Vinovest

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Vinovest has access to the finest wineries and trusted merchants worldwide, which allows you to buy your collectible wine without those pesky middleman fees.

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Own A Slice Of The Gruaud Larose Legacy

Own A Slice Of The Gruaud Larose Legacy

While the Chateau has seen its share of ups and downs, the wine it produces will forever be a great accompaniment to a great dinner party. These age worthy wines will also make a perfect addition to your wine collection.

Vinovest’s team of Master Sommeliers will make sure you get the best out of your wine collection by helping you choose the perfect wine.

Sign up today to start your collection of Bordeaux and other fine red and white wines.

Further reading

Step into the world of fabulous Red Wines in This Incredibly Useful Red Wine Guide!

Written by

Anthony Zhang

Anthony is a repeat entrepreneur who has previously founded and sold two companies, EnvoyNow and KnowYourVC. He has also held leadership positions at Blockfolio and is a board member at RateMyInvestor.