I tasted 2011 and 2012 in a roll in Hong Kong(Hong Kong Regent?). From memory, 2011 is lovely in a light, fresh style for juicy, elegant wines. 2012 is friendlier, slightly riper and fruitier.
After 10+ years, 2011 had much to live up to, and they do. Under the shadow of 2009 and 2010, which were about power and richness, the 2011s, in this case, are more on structure(Gloria, Kirwan), brightness(Lagrange) and perfume(d'Issan, Pape Clement). Indeed, 2011 is attractive earlier than its older counterparts and is of excellent value. Compared to the 2012s, 2011s are silkier. Unfortunately, even though the character of the vintage allowed for these more accessible wines they should, some producers opted instead for more power than finesse, a mistake in this problematic vintage.
Medium ruby, medium garnet rim. Full spectrum of the nose. Fruitside: drier Blackcurrant, plums, olives; fully developed secondary tones of leather, smoke, wet stone, and earth; tertiary tones of cedar and tobacco. Quite complex. Palace reflects the same, with fewer fresh fruit and spices. Rich, medium-bodied, with lifted acidity. It is rare to find this full range of tones with wine at this price level. Bottle-decant suggested—some sediments.
RP92. Neal Martin wrote, 'This is the most impressive Gruaud-Larose since 1990. The wine is saturated purple and has a knock-out nose of jammy blackberries, cassis, earth, and vanillin. Rich in the mouth, with outstanding purity, super extraction, and well-integrated tannin, this wine has low acidity but more delineation than many of the bigger-styled wines of the vintage. Some chocolate and cassis flavours linger for over 30 seconds on the palate of this impressively-endowed, medium to full-bodied, outstanding Gruaud Larose. Moreover, unlike many vintages of Gruaud Larose, 1997 will drink superbly when young.' Edited.
All three vintages are unmistakably Michel-Roland Parker wine: Rhone-like, powerful and full-bodied. ABV in the higher range of 14 to 14.5%. New oak. The composition is mostly 90% Merlot, with the rest shared by Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. All vintages are opaque with tight purple rims. The taste profile is chocolate, graphite, blackberry, blueberry, cassis, inky, and massive with extended fruit length.
Awarded 96 points RP, 2000 understandably is better integrated than fruit, extract, and richness outweigh the wine’s structure. Anson says the north-facing orientation gives good acidities; JR also supported this. Vinous says it has developed the missed charm and has a certain elegance. Jeb Dunnuck talked about the balance; JS on the power; WE on the freshness, admitting high ABV content; WS on the harmony. Awarded RP95, 2011, fresher and has more structure than 2000. Granted 94RP and other 95 points, 2013 is spicy, full-bodied, atypically rich, and concentrated. Underlying the fruit palate is a fine chalkiness. All commentators view 2013 favourably on fruit, structure, nice acidity and certain edginess.
All good in their peculiar big way.