Jean Merlaut, Chateau Gruaud Larose : « I do not want this moment of pleasure to be overshadowed by the price. »

(More wine news on www.vitabella.fr) As announced by Decanter magazine, Chateau Gruaud Larose, "a second-growth and the highest-profile property to declare its price in the slowest en primeur campaign for at least ten years" has released its price for the 2010 vintage on Tuesday 7 June. "Le Vin des Rois, Le Roi des Vins", as defined by Abbe Gruaud in the 18th century, has indeed a special place in the heart of wine lovers who look for Saint Julien with an extraordinary aging potential. Jean Merlaut, owner of Chateau Gruaud Larose, discusses the 2010 En Primeur campaign.

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Could you tell us more about the 2010 En Primeur campaign for chateau Gruaud Larose?

Jean Merlaut: ""The 2010 vintage of Chateau Gruaud Larose has been proposed en Primeur to international buyers on June 7th and I can already tell you that it is a success for several reasons. Firstly, the entire Gruaud Larose team considers that this 2010 vintage is exceptional. Its quality is a continuation of the recent vintages we have done. We must recognize that the work done in the vineyards and the rigorous selection of grapes has given outstanding results. I look forward to tasting this 2010 in hundred years as we do from time to time with our older vintages..."

What is your view on this 2010 En Primeur campaign for Gruaud Larose wines?

JM: "The En Primeur campaign for our wines is doing very well for several reasons. First, the 2010 vintage at Chateau Gruaud Larose comes in small volume. There are 30% cases missing compared to an average year, due to a small crop in 2010. Concentration was excellent but grapes gave very little juice. It's hard for us not to offer more wines to the market but this is actually the case for 2010. But at no point, I wanted to increase the price of our wines because of this loss. Every year, all our efforts combine to give pleasure to wine lovers and I do not want this moment of pleasure to be overshadowed by the price. I always wanted Chateau Gruaud Larose to be an exceptional wine at an acceptable price. By "acceptable", I mean first acceptable for the people, particularly in Europe and the United States, who have always bought Gruaud Larose bottles for their cellars and who open them regularly. By this term "acceptable", I also mean I want to give to the largest number of fine wine lovers in the world a chance to open a bottle of Gruaud Larose and appreciate it. For me, this is the definition of what a great wine should be."

At what price was it released?

JM: "At 45 euros, up 15% on last year, you would agree that Gruaud Larose 2010 was released at a decent price. At this price, I know that the cellars in France, England, Germany, Belgium and in the United States, where Gruaud Larose was always prominently displayed, will continue to receive some of our 2010 wines. And it is also true for the "new cellars", including those in China. In this region, Gruaud Larose is successful and buyers are particularly fond of our old vintages."

What conclusion could you draw from this excellent 2010 En Primeur Campaign?

JM: "As a conclusion, I would simply point out that not only the exceptional wine but also our second wine, Sarget de Gruaud Larose, were successful. At 12 euros per bottle, I let you imagine the success met by this second wine. With the qualitative efforts that were made over the last twenty years, Sarget de Gruaud Larose has reached in 2010 the level of quality of the Gruaud Larose wines made twenty years ago. So Gruaud Larose as well as Sarget de Gruaud Larose will continue to be appreciated, which makes us happy every day at Chateau Gruaud Larose."

(More wine news on www.vitabella.fr)