St Estèphe has done well in 2010 and has produced big, strong and dense wines. Certainly this isn’t a vintage for early drinking and there is not the succulence of 2009 in the best wines this year. There is richness but it’s shown more in strength rather than in opulence. There is also noticeable grip on the palates amongst the wines along with plenty of dense tannin and high-ish alcohols. The wines will be long lived and will need time in bottle. This reflects the overall vintage conditions and partly Merlot’s reduced yield. The variety was affected by coulure because of unsettled weather during flowering, a problem that hasn’t so much affected quality but has reduced the quantity of Merlot in some blends.
Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Montrose’
Last year Chateau Montrose acquired 20 hectares of vines from Chateau Phélan Ségur, vineyards adjoining Montrose but which were in fact once part of the estate in the 19th century. This has, in effect, reunited Montrose into one single 90 hectare vineyard surrounding the chateau and the chais. It’s a beautiful spot, quiet and tranquil, looking down out across the Gironde, a much more reclusive place than that of Chateau Cos d’Estournel which grabs your attention on the D2 road that first brings you into the St Estephe appellation. For me Montrose this year just has the edge over Cos. There is something extraordinary about Montrose 2010 to my palate. It has really vibrant, fresh aromatic qualities and wonderful concentration.
OK, so you’d expect to come away inspired by a trip to Chateau Margaux having spent an hour or so with the marvelously enthusiastic Paul Pontallier. You’d also expect to have a more profound sense of the natural beauty and deceptive simplicity of fine winemaking after spending some time with Alfred Tesseron at Chateau Pontet Canet. And you’d have to be made of stone not to be awe inspired by the new chais assembled by Jean-Guillaume Prats at Chateau Cos d’Estournel or the quality of his controversial 2009 grand vin whatever your verdict. But would you really expect to be all fired up after a visit to Chateau Grand-Puy Ducasse? Probably not, but that’s just what happened to me after I’d spent an afternoon there. I’ll explain more later but first some background.