Saint-Julien - Owned by the Taillan Group
Château Gruaud-Larose is a winery in the Saint-Julien appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. It is also the name of the red wine produced by this property. The wine produced here was classified as one of fifteen Deuxièmes Crus (Second Growths) in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.
The property has a younger history than most of its cohorts. Its origins date to 1725 and the knight Joseph Stanislas Gruaud. The property was called Fond-Bedeau, and was administered by two Gruauds; one a priest and the other a magistrate. The magistrate, the Chevalier du Gruaud, died in 1778 and his part of the property was deeded to Joseph Sebastian de La Rose, who renamed this property Gruaud-La Rose or Gruaud-Larose. This piece was classified as a Second Growth in 1855.
Control of the property was split among multiple descendants, but the property remained intact until 1867 when it was split into Château Gruaud-Larose-Sarget (after the Baron Sarget) and Château Gruaud-Larose-Faure (after Adrien Faure, who married one Sophie Bethmann, heiress to a portion of the estate).
The two châteaux were reunited by the Cordier family, who purchased the Sarget piece in 1917 and the Faure piece in 1935; the château became a centerpiece of the many Cordier properties along with Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey and Château Talbot.
In 1983 it was purchased by the Compagnie de Suez, and in 1993 by Alcatel-Alsthom, and in 1997 by the Taillan Group, headed by Jacques Merlaut, which owns a number of other properties, most notably Château Haut-Bages-Liberal.
Vineyards & production
The vineyards cover 82 hectares and are planted with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. It is the goal of the estate to eventually reach 70% Cabernet Sauvignon in the vineyard. The vineyard of Gruaud Larose is unique as they have one of the largest vineyards in Bordeaux with most of their vines one single block.
The notion of terroir binds geology and climate together. The largest concentration of Grand Cru Wines is in the Medoc, an area which benefits from a microclimate that is particularly favourable for the expression of the vine. The soil, by nature, limits water retentivity and the summer period, very hot and dry from July to September, is determinant for good ripening, a good maturity and the satisfactory transfer between the root system and the grape. East and West winds dry the grapes to keep them from perishing. Every year the heavens play a decisive role in wine making. Their influence on the success of the wine is different each year; no terroir, man or technique can alter the part they play.
Chateau Gruaud Larose is one of the few Bordeaux estates to maintain a hail reduction canon. The canon works by radar. When the radar detects hail, the canon fires, sending out shock waves which help break the oncoming hail stones into smaller pieces, protecting the vines.
Chateau Gruaud Larose on average produces close to 18,000 cases of Saint Julien wine each year. There is a second wine, Sarget de Gruaud Larose. The estate introduced the second wine starting with the 1981 vintage, called Sarget du Château Gruaud-Larose, or Larose de Gruaud. Very confusing, there seems to be a third label of this château's wine: La Roseraie de Gruaud Larose.