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Bordeaux 2016: Château Montrose

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

Château Montrose has been on a roll for the past decade. Legendary wines have been made here in 2009, 2010 and 2014. 2016 continues this run of form at this leading St Estèphe property. The vineyard position here, adjacent to the Gironde, brings to mind Château Latour in Pauillac, and Château Léoville-Las-Cases and Château Ducru-Beaucaillou in St Julien, although Montrose’s aspect in St Estèphe is somewhat more elevated than these other great sites. 2016 Montrose shares characteristics with both the 2010 and 2014 here in my book. It is a wine laden with cassis and blackcurrant fruit and exhibits wonderful purity. La Dame de Montrose has lashings of plum and black cherry aromatics along with some graphite tones. Château Tronquoy-Lalande, junior to both of these wines, from an entirely different terroir, looks to be exceptional value in 2016. It has produced a wine loaded with fruit, bounce and life. Perhaps it’s the best yet from this property?

At Château Tronquoy-Lalande flowering occurred between 6-8 June and, despite the wet spring, fine weather dominated from mid June onwards. Two rain showers on September 13 really helped the final ripening which has been arrested somewhat by the summer drought. Harvest started on 27 September and finished on October 15. Wonderful wine has been produced here in 2016. The same growing season was observed at Château Montrose. The vintage was fractionally earlier, starting 23 September and finishing on October 14. For once Montrose wasn’t the last property in Bordeaux to pick! The property compares 2016 qualitatively to 2014 and 2015. For me it’s more of a 2010 and 2014 cross. Great stuff. It also provides further evidence that, as in 2014, 2016 is a vintage where the very top notes are being sung in St Estèphe.

The following wines were tasted back in April, 2017 at Montrose. Hope you find the notes useful.

Château Tronquoy-Lalande, St Estèphe, 2016

Deeply coloured; opaque; colour tight to the rim; lovely aromatics; packed with ripe juicy cherry fruit; some graphite too; this is very pretty and bursting with fruit; sweet attack; ripe fruit; very generous; lovely texture; a beauty; cherry some spicy plum; layers of flavour and fruit; has life and bounce too; really satisfying; well handled extraction; lashings of fruit; plenty of length; exciting Tronquoy. Best Tronquoy I’ve had at primeurs I reckon. Loaded with fruit but with plenty of zap and life. [58% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 14% alc]. Tasted 3/4/17. Drink 2022-2030. 92-93+

La Dame de Montrose, St Estèphe, 2016

Deep and dark; arterial here; earthy purole; colour tight to the edge; more plum fruits; perhaps more subtle than the Tronquoy’s bouncy style – more demure but still waters run deep; lovely fragrant perfume; complexity; graphite notes too; very focused; some wood noted on the palate; just picking up a fraction; but plenty of lashings of fruit; quite well structured with texture; [52% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 13.5% alc]. Tasted 3/4/17. Drink 2023-2030. 93-95

Château Montrose, Grand Cru Classé, St Estèphe, 2016

Arterial; very dense and deep; impenetrable; profoundly deep; lovely purity; very very deep indeed; profound beauty here; layers and layers aromatically; goes on and on on the nose; full entry; some wood; lots of fruit; lashings of cassis, blackcurrant and plum fruit; laden but pure and polished; supple quality to the profile; so full but with real zip and freshness too; deliciousness to the wines. Really great extract. This wine is extraordinary. Impressive stuff. Different to ’10, more like ‘14 but will give both a run for their money. A quietly epic Montrose. [68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 13.3% alc]. Tasted 3/4/17. Drink 2026-2046. 98-100

Exceptional Tronquoy-Lalande in 2016


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