A double magnum is a large bottle format that holds 3000ml of wine, which is the equivalent of 4 regular bottles. 2003 Bordeaux, especially those from top-tier châteaux like Gruaud Larose (a well performing 2nd Growth, 1855 Classification, St-Julien), are far from mature, but, with aeration, can be quite enjoyable to drink now.
The wine presented typical cool aromas of fresh, dew-flecked grass, white grapefruit with light touches of gooseberry and citrus - all of which had a subtly charming white mineral lilt to them. These were crisply/dryly mirrored in the mouth with vaguely steely character in a body halfway between light and medium. Good acidity. Very nice purity and balance - nothing like the many aggressively exuberant and overly grassy sauvignon blancs from New Zealand.
~ oOo ~
Since there was no decanter large enough to hold all the wine, we made do by immediately opening the bottle and pouring out glasses for everyone at the beginning of the lunch. The reasons behind this were that our wine would breathe in the glass while we had our white and appetizers, and, in the meantime, the bottle itself would act as a decanter for the rest of the wine.
By the end of lunch, we were practically the last table left, so Marc joined us for half a glass and I made sure to tell him how very hearty, warm and comforting his cassoulet was. I particularly loved the melt-in-your mouth slice of braised pork belly in it, as well as the sausage. The beans were soft, earthy and very flavorful. I will will definitely be back for more.
My last half glass of red presented a shy-of-full-bodied liquid of roasted-ripe black fruit, cassis, dusty cocoa, moderate toasty oak, bit of licorice, touches of espresso and leather, underlying dark minerality, with cedar kicking in towards the back and in the finish. Nice middle, but not much of a crescendo - it just chugs along the tongue, tapering towards the throat. The alcohol, though still youthfully eager, had subsided considerably; a wine typical of the hot vintage.
A few more jokes and funny stories flew, bringing to an end a moderately boozy but very pleasant Thursday lunch. Again, thanks to the Stockbroker for giving us the opportunity to try out (in such great quantity) this young classed growth.