Bright medium red with a reddish-amber rim. Pungent notes of cinnamon, quinine and rosemary complicate red cherry on the enticing, aromatic nose. Juicy and fresh on the palate, showing good density to the red fruit, peppery plum and herb flavors. Offers very good texture and chewy but noble tannins, with precise mineral-tinged fruit flavors lingering nicely on the peppery, flinty finish. A real step up in concentration from the 1989, and unlike that vintage this will still improve with further bottle age, though it's drinking well now. Very well done. (ID)
Tasted in that well-known Bordeaux appellation called "Burgundy," the 1990 Château Gruaud Larose is a Saint Julien that has always flirted with funkiness. Here that came through quite strongly on this occasion, partly because it was juxtaposed against the purity of the 1990 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge. That does not detract from a thoroughly enjoyable wine. The nose shows just a touch of brettanomyces here, soft black fruit with melted tar, graphite, leather and game. The palate has a gaminess from start to finish, carrying the warmth of that summer into the glass, melted tannins with just a touch of dryness towards the finish. It is a pleasurable, if not intellectual Saint Julien to drink over the next 15 years. (NM)
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