Monday, 7 January 2013

Chateau Gruard Larose 1983: Supreme elegance

Perfect claret

 In a small wine shop hidden away in the UK countryside, I found a few bottles of Chateau Gruard Larose 1983 in their cellar.

For some reason the purchase price was less than £50 a bottle.

Having opened, decanted and drunk a bottle on Saturday with the good lady, I can tell you it's a genuine gem.

I wasn't sure if I should decant it, and found tasting it upon opening left me none the wiser.

In the end I did, using an aerator (overkill I think).

It must have changed four or five times in the glass over a few hours.

Upon first taste, I picked up a little acid, and some cedar notes, perhaps some tobacco, within this wonderfully balanced wine.

It tasted to me like a first or second growth mature aged claret should, with those classic St Julien notes. The finish was about ninety seconds.

After just a few minutes, it turned much much sharper and acid.

At that point I began to feel I had screwed up quite badly, and had ruined the wine.

Luckily, after another fifteen minutes or so it changed again, softening and began opening up with floral aromas, becoming almost quite a light and elegant wine.

Then it changed again, the aged nuances came back and all the best elements combined and the balance came through.

I've not experienced anything quite like all that before. But perhaps I was not paying sufficient attention.

After three hours in the decanter it was in its prime, and didn't then last long.

The nose came back out, the age was present but with plenty of fruit and the finish was shorter but sublime.

I don't normally write this many notes but given the experience, why not.

The wine scores about 92/100 from many critics. More on it and where to get some is here.

I will be treasuring my last two bottles of this, and likely buying more when I can.

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