Chateau Montrose (Futures Pre-sale) 2010
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
The Wine Advocate - "JeThe 2010 Montrose is a fabulous wine, and I was leaning toward giving it a three-digit score, which it may ultimately merit after it resolves some of its very sweet tannin. It is not as soft or flamboyant as the 2009, but it is a great classic, coming in at 13.9% natural alcohol. Representing 64% of the total production, the final blend is 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot (which is one percent different than the barrel sample blends that were presented). Inky bluish/purple in color, with classic blueberry, black currant, crushed rock and floral notes, hints of graphite, and lots of wild mountain berry fruit, this wine is extravagantly rich, has very sweet but noticeable tannin, laser-like precision, a massive, full-bodied mouthfeel and a finish of close to 50+ seconds. This remarkable wine will probably tighten up somewhat in the bottle, and need most of a decade to shed some tannin and its rather grapy, primary personality. The finish blew me away, and the overall power, richness and balance of this wine are virtually perfect. Look for it to drink well for half a century or more."
Wine Spectator - "Rock solid, displaying a dense core of plum, steeped currant and braised fig fruit, with racy charcoal and ganache notes. Intensely chalky, offering flesh and refinement to match the bracing minerality, this shows hints of grilled savory, iron, warm paving stone and bitter orange on the riveting finish. Should age very slowly. Best from 2019 through 2038."
Wine Enthusiast - "This is such an elegant wine that has all the structure of the vintage. Surrounding the tannins, the wine is sweet and ripe, with smokiness from the wood. It's powerful, elegant and sophisticated with a strong sense of poise. The tannins promise long-term aging. Cellar Selection."
James Suckling - " perfumed and pure Montrose, with lots of currants, berries and spices that evolve to chocolate and light coffee. Full body, with super racy tannins and bright and clean finish. Very fine and structured. A balance and freshness to it all as well as beautiful form and tension."
International Wine Cellar - "Range: 91-94 (a blend of 53% cabernet sauvignon, 37% merlot, 9% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot) Deep inky-purple colour. Enticing aromas of pure floral blackberry, blueberry and minerals. Enters big, dense and suave, showing rich, almost viscous red and black fruit flavors complicated by dried herbs, tobacco, and minerals. The very long finish showcases some youthfully chewy tannins that could use a bit more polish. This large-scale Montrose is a bit chunky at present and quite backward; it will need plenty of time in the cellar but should prove to be very ageworthy (30+ years), although it's not nearly as thrilling as the splendid 2009 made here. The harvest at Montrose took place from September 27 to October 15, and the wine avoids any hint of overripeness, but flowering was somewhat uneven. Incidentally, Montrose bought a parcel of vines from Phelan-Segur last year, and this year one-third of the grapes from those 22 hectares went into the grand vin This explains the slight increase in the percentages of cabernet franc and merlot in the final blend, as these varieties were well represented in the purchased hectares. "
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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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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.