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Château Montrose


Address: 33180 St Estèphe

Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 59 30 12

Dense and masculine wines with profound intensity in the best vintages and quite terrifying [ripe] tannin levels make second growth Château Montrose St Estèphe’s Château Latour. The estate is a modern day first growth that sits on high up overlooking the Gironde river. For 110 years the property was in the hands of the Charmolue family but in 2006 the estate was sold and former Haut-Brion director Jean-Bernard Delmas took charge. Recently Hervé Berland, formerly of Mouton-Rothschild, replaced him. Second wine La Dame de Montrose has lots of meaty St Estèphe character. The 2010 is terrific and 2012 is a triumph of terroir and technical skill.

Vineyard/Terroir: 64 hectares planted with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.

Winemaking/Elévage: twenty to twenty five day ferment and maceration in temperature controlled tanks followed by ageing for eighteen months with 50-70% new oak

Tasting notes:

  • 2015 Deep and arterial; colour right up to the rim; vibrant purple; lovely lush qualities; deep – very deep indeed; legs; black fruits – ripe black cherries; some smoke – but remarkable purity; very layered; [volume seriously turned up in this wine]; pretty profound stuff; very full – certainly – round too; lots of matter and extract but not extracted; powerful. 65% new oak. Lovely wine – almost the equal qualitatively of 2014 [but stylistically very contrasting reflecting the very different growing season]. Lovely grip and length. [67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2025-2045. Tasted at Montrose 4/4/16. 95-97
  • 2014 Deep and extracted look; very opaque; tight to the rim; freshness; purple hues; very focused and layered on the nose; really concentrated; perfumed and pretty blackcurrant and cassis tones; very pure and attractive; little more wood evident on the palate but lots of elements; super extract and depth; layer upon layer of fruit; terrific concentration and power here; quite epic. Glossy and caressing. Magnificent wine. Has the whiff of immortality about it. On par with 2010 for me. [61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, 13.7% alc, 47% of production, 60% new oak.]. Drink 2023-2040. Tasted at Montrose 30 March, 2015. 96-98+
  • 2013 Deep and saturated; lively and vibrant at the edge; blackcurrants and expensive oak aromas; quite closed on the day but depth apparent; some cassis and clean, fresh blackcurrant tones on aeration; dense and chewy palate which needs to settle; boldly structured with lots of grip and acidity. Sappy finish with quite a bit of chew. Feels long term effort if rather serious and lacking in immediate charm. [68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 13% alc, 60% of production]. Drink 2020-2035. 90-92
  • 2012 Deep and dense looking; very dark and saturated; tight to the edge; vibrant meniscus; strong nose; full and deep; feels pretty profound for 2012; great depth; little new oak resin at the back; dense; big structure and lots of material here; chew and real density; somewhat taken aback at the lashings of fruit and material; lots of chew and density; and lots of length. Pretty big wine. Real success. Seems late picked Cabernet has triumphed here. 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 13.2% alc. 53% of production. Tasted at Chateau Montrose Monday April 8, 2013. 94-96 drink 2020-2040
  • 2011 Saturated looking; tight to rim; black cherry fruit, deep but a little dumb initially; certainly not quite as knockout as 2010 was at the same stage; brooding; aeration reveals black cherry and eau-de-vie notes but there are tightly wound layers here; nice entry, big and tannic – waves of fruit here; feels a little monolithic but nicely handled. Lots and lots of tannin – a boat load – but refined and seemingly not dry. This needs time though and pretty epic in scale for the vintage. More overtly tannic than 2010 but its extra alcohol would have given additional sweetness. This weighs in at 12.8-13 degrees. 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Tasted at Montrose 2/4/12 94-96 Tasted at the chateau Apr ‘12 Drink 2020-2040
  • 2010 Deep and saturated looking; inky blackcurrants; some lead pencil notes; opens up slowly to reveal layer upon layer of blackcurrant fruit; remarkably intense; palate initially creamy and very full; lots of extract and ‘matter’; wow! Tannins very nicely handled; volume and concentration here; backward though at present shows its great potential. Very long, spicy finish. Needs eight years minimum and will last for fifty surely? Drink 2022-2060. 98+ Tasted MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and dark, saturated black colour, right up to the rim; very deep wine with freshness here, some graphite but pure blackcurrant, and pronounced black cherry, creamy notes too; deep and quite ‘cool’, both in terms of freshness and in fashion! Quite terrific nose; very attractive and very deep; palate ripe entry, dense and concentrated but not overdone; lovely seductive quality; fresh and intense; blackcurrant and cherry on the palate; intense and precise. This is terrific stuff. Lovely wine. Such aromatic freshness and intensity with density. Tannins superbly ripe. 96-100/100 [53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, 13.7% alc]. Tasted at the Chateau 8th April 2011. Drink 2020-2050
  • 2009 Deep and saturated; very full and deep; brooding and undeveloped; very intense and big clearly; dense; lovely blackcurrant fruit on the palate; some graphite; terrific and extremely classical. Chew to the tannin but has very good ripeness. This wine demands a fair bit of time in bottle but a terrific wine. Every inch a first growth. Great length. Not remotely tiring. Drink 2019-2050. 98+ MW Institute Nov ’13.
  • 2008 Dark and brooding; deep colour; closed and dumb on the nose; quite bold palate with blackcurrant notes; lots of chew and tannin [ripe enough]; nice length here but very backward and shut down. Be interesting to see how this develops. Calon-Ségur and Cos d’Estournel are more flattering now. 90+ MW Institute Nov ‘12 Drink 2020-2030
  • 2007 Deep and dense looking; still youthful at the edge; strong minerality; little unyielding but lots of cool Cabernet fruit; some leaf and lift on aeration; layers revealed; palate pretty dense and structured as you’d expect and feels a little austere on the finish. Lots of structure and grip but density here too. Very good but pretty backward effort. 90+/100 MW Institute Nov ‘11 Drink 2017-2030
  • 1996 Dark with some red; meaty savoury nose, very masculine. Broad, chewy masculine palate, again with smoked meats and roasted notes to the palate, evolved but still with considerable [ripe] tannin remaining. Big and beefy. 93+/100 Oct ‘07 Drink now – 2030
  • 1975 Brown at edge; mahogany  – fully mature colour; lifted old nose with some sweetness and tobacco; palate still with chunky blackcurrant fruit and some tar and extract; still some tannin at the end. Past its best but holding on. 86/100 Sept ‘04
La Dame de Montrose
  • 2015 Deep and attractive; opaque at centre; lovely creamy cherry notes; very exciting; very plush indeed; round palate; plenty of weight but also the elements held up in the air by freshness and acidity; a wine on tiptoes; minerality on the finish; stones; nice sap on the finish. [55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 13.4% alc]. Drink 2023-2030. Tasted at Montrose 4/4/16. 90-92+
  • 2014 Deep and dark; black cherry and plum tones; lots of fruit and freshness; kirsch and summer compote; lots going on aromatically which suggests a very positive future; some stalky blackcurrant fruit tones too; caressing and positive palate; plenty of matter but round and enveloping tannins; Merlot more dominant on the palate; grip and chew on the finish. [50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 14% alc, 37% of production]. Drink 2019-2028. Tasted at Montrose 30 March, 2015. 91-93
  • 2013 Mid depth; little looser at the edge than Montrose itself; legs; lots of fruit on the nose, red fruits – raspberries and redcurrants – also some sweet cherry tones; warmer and more overt than Tronquoy-Lalande; lots of fruit and material; some sweetness; acidity and structure evident – structure more obvious than usual. Finishes with grip and chew. Structured and grippy La Dame. [69% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 13% alc, 28% of production]. Drink 2018-2028. 86-88
  • 2012 Thick and dense in the glass; very vibrant edge; colour tight to the rim; lots of black cherry fruit; quite lush but fresh too; pretty deep and quite polished; and a sweetness at the edge; some smoke and graphite too; lots of fruit on the palate; black cherry, blackcurrant; density but tannin not dry [but present]. Lots of richness. Nice length. Chew on the finish. Great effort. Tasted at Chateau Montrose Monday April 8, 2013. 76% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon. 29% of production. Tasted at Chateau Montrose Monday April 8, 2013. 90-92+ Drink 2018-2030
  • 2011 Saturated colour; cassis and blackcurrant; dark cherry and bitter chocolate notes; feels pretty sturdy; quite deep and lots of sour cherry aromas; nice palate, lots and lots of fruit on the palate; tannin and acid too; chewy but feels refined. Grippy and dense wine. Tannin does need to resolve but it’s not dry. Pretty big wine, big tannin and reasonable length. 72% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Sauvignon [the mirror opposite of the grand vin]. 12.8% alc Tasted at Montrose 2/4/12 89-91 Drink 2018-2025+
  • 2010 Deep and dark, black at centre; lots of dark cherry fruit; minerality here, deep but feels fresh; creamy black cherry; some violets too; good balance on the palate, well done and not over-the-top; seductive, also some grip but tannins have a softness and ripeness. Excellent effort 92-94+/100 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot 13.8 alc]. Tasted at Chateau Montrose 8th April 2011. Drink 2020-2030+

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