The Majestic Chateau Gruad Larose
After lunch we drove straight to Gruaud Larose, a winery in the Saint-Julien appellation in Medox region of Bordeaux. It is one of the fifteen Second Growths in the original classification of 1855. The winery is originally from 1725 from knight Joseph Stanislas Gruaud. Since 1997, the Taillan Group owns it, headed by Jacques Merlaut, who also owns Chateau Haut Bages Liberal. It has a beautiful and traditional chateau, along with many flowers throughout the property. Patrick greeted us in a German/Austrian accent. He is married to a French woman and they now live in Bordeaux. He plans to go to Australia in October to further his study in agriculture.
He first took us to the tower, which is linked from the shop boutique. Then he switched on a button and the windows suddenly opened. They revealed a 360° view of the chateau. It was such a unique experience to see the property from that perspective. I also really enjoyed seeing rose bushes planted next to the vineyard. He told us about the type of grapes they grown and what makes them special. They have 82 hectares of land with 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, and 2% Malbec.
Then he showed us the vat room, which is similar to the one at Mouton Rothschild. According to Patrick, only two chateaus have it so far. It is a very modern chateau. Their wine aging cellar is also impressive. We saw two people working on some barrels and cleaning one. They also replace some wine that either evaporates or is absorbed into the barrel. The smell in the aging room was amazing! It smells like a wonderful perfume. Speaking of which, they also produce and sell their own perfumes, which cost 100€ each. We went next to a wine cellar, and he also showed us the private cellar with the oldest vintages—some of them are from 1825! It is incredible how many bottles they have that are way over 100 years old! It was nice of him to show us so much!
Lastly we went to the tasting room and we were treated like royalty! Alex had organized a private tasting, and we tried four wines: one from 1995, 2004, 2005, and 2007. All of them were red wines, and my favorite by far was the 2007. They also had some cottage cheese and sheep cheese and bread sticks to pair with the wines. I liked this visit a lot because he showed us the bedrooms and the dining room—fantastic! This is what I call a true tour because we really saw behind-the-scenes. We ended the visit by buying six of their wines, which cost about 700€. I really loved this chateau and was sad to leave it!
Alex complained that he was hungry at 8pm, so we drove to find the Saint Julien Restaurant with the black signboard. We both had fish, sturgeon and pollock fish for me. We loved both the appetizer and the main course. We had one bottle of white wine, but we didn’t finish it, so we brought it home. Before we left, the owner came and hugged me and I got a picture with him. He is also the chef and is very friendly. He speaks to every customer.