SAINT JULIEN, BORDEAUX, FRANCE
I first sampled the joys of Gruaud Larose in 2002. It was the 1970 vintage and since then I've wanted to drink nothing but 30 year old Bordeaux. Even though we are more than a dozen years on, I can still remember exactly how it tastes and just writing this makes me wish I had more of that lovely wine in my personal cellar!
Since then, I've had a love affair with Saint Julien. The second growths of Gruaud Larose (as well as Ducru Beaucaillou, Leoville las Cases and Leoville Barton) have peppered my tasting note books throughout the years and they have always been excellent value for money, but they do require time to age. Fortunately they have a very drinkable second wine that confusingly has two labels - Sarget de Gruaud Larose and Larose de Gruaud. Whatever the label, in less good years the Chateau will only bottle what it thinks is good enough to be its top wine, so you can pick up real bargains from the ropier years.