Oh! It’s not just German Riesling in my glass!
2000 Chateau Gruaud-Larose
A suprise in many ways. I must confess that this particular Chateau has never rocked my boat. Previously, I had never bought a single bottle myself but often been treated to a glass of various vintages - served blind - and the common impressions has almost always been that of a fairly "competent" Bordeaux, medium-bodied, some typical BX characters of cedar and saddle leather, nicely balanced but never really shooting off any rockets into the sky. My scoring has usually landed on a solid 87-89 points, which is of course a delicious wine but not really reaching the stars to be included among the really great wine experiences once a year of dinners and tastings are summarised at the end of the year. This is the first (and only) bottle of the Chateau I have bought myself and also the first time I tasted this particular vintage. I don't know if it's the vintage in question but the impressions delivered by the 2000 version of Gruaud-Larose wasn't at all similar to my previous experiences. On the nose, a truly beautiful perfume of black damp forest floor, black currants, frozen licorice, cedar and black cherries. Just the nose alone would merit a 96-97 score. Really beautiful scents coming out of the glass almost to the point of preventing you to take a sip because you want to remain with this wonderful sensory experience. And also, don't get me wrong - the perfume of these characteristics don't come out bursting, like someone kicking your door in like some SWAT team and rushing into the apartmet but rather in a very understated, elegant way. Too elegant and it would have been whispering too low, too high and the flavours would explode in your face like an Aussie Shiraz but one has found that perfect middle way - not too much, not too little. In Sweden it's called lagom. On the palate, the flavour profile repeats the initial perfumes from the glass, with some added dried herbs and Asian spices but the center of the stage is still that pitch dark blackness. Cool, cool, black fruits, again that black earthiness (try a walkabout in a dense pine forest on a damp, early morning, very concentrated and complex and rather full-bodied compared to the more medium-bodied vintages I have tasted previously. The tannins are certainly there but the wine feels very polished and very elegantly posed, like someone aristocratical gently walking across the floor without haste. So there is really in impressive integration between the various components here. Beautiful mineralic and pure in texture and with a lovely finish this is a winner. Compared to my previous experiences, this IS a wine to remember. A solid 93+ points today but I'll come back to it tomorrow to see if that (+) could be expanded.