Chateau Montrose (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2005
Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
The 1996 vintage of this wine was ranked #8 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 1999
Color: Dense, deep, almost black The nose is still closed: black fruits, spices, chocolate. Complex palate, long, rich, powerful, cherry, cocoa, licorice, tobacco brown, prune This is a very big wine, full and very structured, with nice length, the tannins are very robust, with great aging potential.
The Wine Advocate - "In 2005, a very serious drought year stressed most vineyards in Bordeaux, which are all dry-farmed. The volume of rainfall was less than half the average of the previous 30 years. The clay subsoils at Montrose have always played a major role in not only dry years, but also in extremely hot ones, such as 2003, as they retain more moisture. The grapes were harvested between September 23 and October 9. This is a very powerful, full-bodied wine that is quite tannic, but the tannins are relatively velvety. The wine is rich, complex, majestic, multi-dimensional and also avoids any of the austerity that some 2005s possess. It has done quite well in its bottle evolution and should turn out to be a great Montrose, capable of lasting 30 to 50 years."
James Suckling - "Loads of spice, berry, meat, cloves and chocolate on the nose. Full body with soft, silky tannins and lots of rich fruit. Still chewy. This is just starting to open now. It was decanted three hours in advance in this tasting. I would still leave it."
Wine Spectator - "Black licorice and blackberry aromas, with hints of mineral, lead to a full-bodied palate. Very chewy, with loads of tannins, yet this follows through with beautifully ripe fruit, mineral and mint. Fascinating. Best after 2012."
International Wine Cellar - "Good bright ruby-red. Very ripe aromas of plum, flint and nutty oak. Large-scaled, rich and explosive, offering impressive volume and a sensation of power. The ripeness here verges on syrupy and this lush, round wine may well need a decade to lose some of its baby fat and assume its adult shape. The big, ripe tannins coat the teeth.
Wine & Spirits - "This is so big it is blinding, a storm of mineral tannin and plum-skin extract. The volume is turned up high, and even as the tannic noise factor begins to diminish with days of air, the wine is still closed tight. The comportment of its power shows this to be a wine from a great terroir; the property, in fact, has some parallels to Latour, with its similarly shaped gravel promontory above the Gironde. Montrose consistently grows one of the staunchest, long-lived wines of the Médoc and though accommodations have been made in recent years to soften it, the tannic index in February 2006 read at 82, a force to reckon with over the decades to come."
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Chateau Montrose Winery
At Château Montrose, the terroir's potential is optimised on the basis of a very simple winemaking philosophy, summarised by Jean Bernard Delmas as follows: "wine is made in the vines and not in the winery." In other words, fine wine can only be made with good grapes. The finest terroir and best vineyard plots on the estate were identified many years ago. Vineyard work and winemaking methods are guided by a global,common-sense approach to the soil/vine/climate system.
Château Montrose overlooks the Gironde Estuary. In fact, the proximity of this vast body of water (called locally "The River") is a major advantage. The estuary is responsible for maintaining a mild microclimate and toning down extremes of temperature. Helped by the presence of nearby marshes, it provides remarkable air conditioning in the summer while also compensating for the rigours of the winter.
The large gravel found throughout the estate’s topsoil originated in mountains in the Massif Central and the Pyrenes. These pebbles absorb the sun’s heat during the daytime and release it at night. This is an important way of improving the maturity of the grape. View all Chateau Montrose Wines
About St. EstepheView a map of St. Estephe wineries (saint ess-TEFF)
St.-Estèphe is the northernmost of the 4 communes hugging the Dordogne river in the Northern Haut-Médoc area of Bordeaux. While the appellation has no premier crus (first growths) of its own, it's southernmost chateau, Cos d'Estournel, is a highly acclaimed second growth, geographically separated from the famed Lafite-Rothschild in Pauillac by only a stream. Many believe Cos d'Estournel consistently produces wine of a first growth level.
Notable FactsWine from St-Estèphe typically matures more slowly than its southern counterparts. The soil is heavy and rich with clay, leading to wines with firm, muscular tannins and high acidity. Dark and opaque in color, the wines can be a bit austere in their youth, though most get softer as they age. Cabernet Sauvignon is the primary grape in most of the region's blends, although Merlot is important in helping to soften the wines. In volume, St-Estèphe creates the most wines of the top four Haut-Médoc communes. There are quite a few Cru Bourgeois properties, which are more approachable when young and, even better, lower in price. To get a feel for St-Estèphe, look for Cru Bourgeois like Chateau Haut-Beauséjour.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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