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The Gruaud Larose terroir is truly remarkable and unique. It is a single vineyard of 80 hectares with gravels from the Gironde estuary, dating from the Mindel Ist and Mindel IInd (about 700 000 years ago), and that in some places are over 18 feet deep. The soil is very poor and sandy, and therefore does not hold water. Drainage is one of the major concerns of a conscientious vine-grower.
It is also an important factor at Gruaud Larose where nineteenth-century underground pottery drains have been found. The natural draining system due to the poor quality of soils, from the hot and dry summers, and mostly from their position on the highest plateau of Saint-Julien - 18 metres high from the sea level -, constantly exposed to the north and west winds, favour both soil and optimum maturity for grapes. In fact, Nature has given here a magical aspect to this unique estate vineyard.
Bordeaux: After four miserable vintages came the hot vintage of 1975 which briefly put Bordeaux wines in the spotlight once again. The unstable temperature of September turned into good weather for the harvest. The grapes were high in sugar, but many reds, especially those made from Cabernet Sauvignon, lacked phenolic ripeness. This resulted in masculine and even aggressive reds with austere and even harsh tannins.
Wines from Graves and Pomerol turned out to be the most delicious this year. La Mission Haut-Brion and Lafleur-Pétrus stand out as the best, with Trotanoy right after them. Pétrus turned out to be very exceptional with a more aggressive and full-bodied style than usual. The Lafite-Rothschild at the reasonable price of 300 euros is the first Lafite seventies which gives a promise of improvement. On the other hand, Haut-Brion, considered very good, turned out to be a slight disappointment.
For dry whites, it was exceptional and Sauternes was an excellent vintage. The best Sauternes experiences were Yquem, Coutet, Gilette and Suduiraut.