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Dense purple color, 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.
Blend: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 3,5% Cabernet Franc, 0.5% Petit Verdot
Tasted at the vertical in London, the 2005 Montrose came and delivered the goods. This was the best example of the 2005 that I have tasted, perhaps a wine that is going to prove that, the longer wine lovers can resist temptation. It is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 3.5% Cabernet Franc and .5% Petit Verdot picked between 23 September and 9 October. The bouquet is extremely detailed, displaying more red berry fruit compared to the 2010 Montrose that leans towards black. Graphite and cedar emerge with time, even an unusual floral scent that is uncommon with respect to this property, whilst all the time retaining fantastic focus and delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with a ferrous tincture on the entry. There are the first signs of secondary notes (dried leaves and bay leaf), but it is the tannic backbone and the precision that really defines this Montrose at the moment. For certain, it is masculine and structured, yet it has enormous potential, perhaps more than was suggested when it was first released? This is for the long term, but you know that already. Tasted June 2016.
This continues to be very tight yet I loved drinking it the other night at dinner. Loads of spices, berries, 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 up now. Drink or hold.
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.
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.
Rating: 93(+) Points
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.
An extensive renovation program with very strict environmental objectives has been carried out at the estate since it was acquired by Martin and Olivier Bouygues in 2006, reflecting the new owners’ determination to perpetuate the quality of the wine and make Château Montrose a model of skilled winemaking and sustainable development.
Under the direction of Hervé Berland since 2012, the estate has 68 employees in the vineyard and winery, all of whom share the same philosophy: respect for the terroir and a constant quest for excellence. That philosophy is manifested in meticulous vineyard practices, very precise parcel selection and use of only the best grapes to make the premium wine, Château Montrose.
The other qualities are used to make the second wine, La Dame de Montrose, and the third wine, Le Saint-Estèphe de Montrose.
One of the most important wine regions of the world both qualitatively and quantitatively...
One of the most important wine regions of the world both qualitatively and quantitatively, Bordeaux is a powerhouse producer of wines of all colors, sweetness levels, and price points. Separated from the Atlantic ocean by a coastal pine forest, the mostly flat region has a mild maritime climate marked by cool wet winters and a warm, damp growing season, though annual differences vary enough to make vintage variation quite significant. Unpredictable weather at harvest time may negatively impact the ability of cornerstone variety Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen fully, while humid conditions can encourage the spread of rot and disease (although in the case of the region’s sweet white wines, “noble” rot known as botrytis is highly desirable). The Gironde estuary is a defining feature of Bordeaux, splitting the region into the Left Bank and the Right Bank. The vast Entre-Deux-Mers appellation lies in between.
The Left Bank, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, contains the Médoc, Graves, and Sauternes, as well as most of the region’s most famous chateaux. Here, Merlot is commonly planted as an insurance policy in case Cabernet fails to fully ripen in difficult years. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec may also be used in blends. This tends to be the more structured and age-worthy side of Bordeaux. Merlot is the principal variety of the Right Bank, with Cabernet Franc as its primary sidekick, with the other three varieties available for blending. The key appellations here include St. Emilion and Pomerol, whose wines are often plush, supple, and more imminently ready for drinking. Dry and sweet white wines are produced throughout the region from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and sometimes Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris. Some of the finest dry whites can be found in the the Graves sub-appellation of Pessac-Léognan, while Sauternes is undisputedly the gold standard for sweet wines. Small amounts of rosé and sparkling wine are made in Bordeaux as well.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine...
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.
In the Glass
Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.
Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.