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Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Montrose’

Bordeaux 2018: MW Institute St Estèphe Tasting

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

In a warm year St Estèphe is always going to do well. The percentage of clay soils really helps deal with drought and heat extremes, and the proximity of the Gironde river helps ameliorate hot temperature. There is no doubt that this appellation has produced some of the best wines of the vintage. Only four wines from the appellation were shown at the MW Institute’s 2018 Bordeaux tasting [way back at the end of 2022], but they did show two of the possible wines of the vintage. Château Cos d’Estournel is wonderful, full of finesse and poise. It’s currently quite tight and needs some more time, but this is a very refined and polished effort. Château Montrose is monumental. It is beautifully pure and close to perfection. Although the prodigious Château Calon Ségur wasn’t on show at the MW Institute’s 2018 tasting, I’ve been struck by the magical quality of that wine several times. I’ve also recently tasted Château Meyney which has lots of extract and tannin. It needs time but is very impressive.

Bordeaux 2016 MW Tasting: St Estèphe

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

Five wines from St Estèphe were shown by the MW Institute in December 2021. Château Montrose [pictured left a few years ago during primeurs] and Château Calon Ségur are both knockout, but contrasting. Calon Ségur is flamboyant with opulent aromatics. The wine is plush on the palate but the sweet fruit hides a considerable structure. It’s a case of the iron fist in the velvet glove. Montrose by contrast is all brooding power and depth, with layer upon layer of concentrated blackcurrant and cassis fruit. Château Cos d’Estournel is beautifully pure with lots of energy and life. It will also be a great wine. Behind these three estates that dominate the appellation, Château Lafon Rochet has produced a structured, solid St Estèphe that needs a bit more time. Château Cos Labory has attractive freshness but doesn’t have the depth of the others.

Bordeaux 2016: MW Institute Tasting

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

It’s taken me a while to post these notes on seventy-three wines from the MW Institute’s horizontal 2016 Bordeaux tasting held at the very end of 2021. Looking back on the notes I’m reminded quite what a unique vintage this is. In a decade with at least three other contenders to greatness [2010, 2018 and 2019 – with 2015 also very good] what really impresses in 2016 is the breadth of quality across all Bordeaux’s red appellations and the balance in the wines. They have ripe fruit, juicy acidities and great textures. They are extremely moreish. There’s not the over-extraction that was more common in 2010, nor the exaggerated ripeness of some 2018s, nor the hefty alcohols you can find in the 2019s [though ’19 is a truly wonderful vintage]. Many of these ’16s are well under 14% [with exceptions in St Emilion and Pomerol]. It makes this a Bordeaux vintage to drink without fearing a blinding headache. That said many of the wines have retreated into their shells a fair bit since bottling. You will want to wait to broach wine from Pauillac, St Julien and definitely St Estèphe. Many in St Emilion and Pomerol are now starting to drink well, along with the top wines from Pessac-Léognan. Still there’s no hurry at all really as these wines are so well balanced and fresh. So, what were picks of the MW tasting?

Bordeaux 2018: Remaining Notes [and on some ’17s, ’16s & 15s]

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

Finally notes taken on wines tasted at the Bordeaux Grand Cru Classé tasting in London last year. While the majority of these were 2018s that I’d missed during primeurs week, it was also a good opportunity to look at other recent vintages. In Margaux, Château Rauzan Ségla had made a sublime wine in 2018, so too Château Branaire-Ducru and Château Léoville Poyferré in St Julien. In Pauillac, Château Pontet Canet was astonishing, paralleled in different ways by extraordinary wines at Château Montrose in St Estèphe and Château Smith Haut Lafitte in Pessac-Léognan.

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