1975 Ch. Gruaud Larose – I bought quite a bit of 1975 Bordeaux around 1990 when a collector was doing a cellar sell out. I tried a number of them early to gauge which type they were. Type A had huge tannins and there was considerable doubt that the underlying fruit (which was sometimes quite difficult to assess due to the harsh tannins).

Type B showed some signs of having sufficient fruit that there would be something there when the tannins died down.
I won with some wines, including Beychevelle and Branaire Ducru, which both settled down to be fairly well balanced and enjoyable wines, but others, like this wine, which I tried shortly after purchase and again about five years later, showed as excessively tannic dark wine with intense flavour but at the time without balance. When I tried it around 1995 it had great depth but also continuing great tannins and was still hard to read, so I stuffed it away in the cellar and regarded it as one of the 1975s that might in the end be a write off.

I still had a couple of bottles left and decided to pop one and see what had become of it. The wine was now lighter in colour, a dark garnet, the tannins had finally resolved and some currant and blackberry fruit was detectable along with some mushroom notes. There was fruit and a lot of tertiary development. The level was high shoulder (the bottle was the squat old style Cordier bottle – I think the last year they used it at Gruaud was 1978. Some smokiness and cedar developed in the nose with time but the fruit abated a tad after an hour.

If you have this wine it is now time to drink them. I expect there to be considerable bottle variation by now, but the better bottles should be enjoyable, which is something you couldn’t have said twenty years ago.