This saturated bluish-black/purple-colored wine seems at first closed and broodingly backward. In the mouth, it is dense, textured, full-bodied, pure, yet, at the same time, closed. This wine is large-sized, with high tannin but equally high extract and richness. The wine will require patience, and seems to me to be the best effort Gruaud Larose has put forth since their sumptuous 1990. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030.
Supple and smooth, this is a distinctly pretty Graves rouge, with ripe Cabernet and Merlot fruit gracefully layered over soft tannins. The voluptuous style of the 2009 vintage really plays to its strengths, and combines nicely with the château's excellent Graves terroir. The owner is Michel Boyer, whose daughter Catherine d'Halluin also makes outstanding wine at Château Clos Bourbon in the Premières Côtes de Bordeaux.
Owner Eric Perrin, of Château Carbonnieux, working with star consultant Denis Dubourdieu of the University of Bordeaux, has produced an unusually ripe and powerful red Graves in 2009, with excellent structure. The blend is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot and the wine displays pleasing aromas of super-ripe black fruit and blackcurrant flavor, nicely set off by subtle roasted notes of new oak.
Dubbed a "sleeper of the vintage" by Robert Parker, the 2009 Château L'Estang offers pure, nicely delineated flavors of red berry and cassis, gently layered over fine-grained tannins. Decidely stylish.