Chateau Montrose (scuffed labels) 2004
Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
Although the 2004 Montrose reveals dry, hard tannin, it comes across as a classically structured, backward effort with an opaque purple color as well as notes of black raspberries, flowers, cassis, and a hint of new wood. Made in a structured, masculine style, it is not a huge wine by Montrose's standards.
Wine Spectator - "Dark-colored, with beautiful spice, blackberry and licorice aromas. Full-bodied, round and velvety, with wonderful balance and a long, long finish. This is a Montrose that caresses your palate. Best after 2011. 26,665 cases made."
The Wine Advocate - "An impressive effort for the vintage, the 2004 Montrose possesses a deep ruby/purple-tinged color as well as a sweet nose of black fruits intermixed with notions of smoke, cold steel, earth, and subtle background wood. With excellent texture, a sweet ripeness, medium to full body, and moderate tannin, it should drink well for 15+ years."
International Wine Cellar - "Deep, bright ruby-red. Sexy, ripe aromas of currant, black plum, raspberry, smoked meat, mocha, jasmine, black olive and earth. Smooth in texture but vinous and bright, with a penetrating character to the flavors of plum, currant, mocha and tobacco. Finishes bright and fresh, with dusty, tactile tannins and a classic St. Estephe medicinal note. This tightened up with aeration."
Wine & Spirits - "This is a modern take on Montrose, which for years had been one of the stodgiest of the great Médocs. The wine has the intensity this vineyard often gives, black as indigo ink and concentrated, but without excess weight. Instead of stolid, the tannins feel luscious and sweet, riper and softer than the classical profile of Montrose. The complexity and foresty freshness is there to develop over the course of a decade or more."
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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.
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