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Chateau Montrose 2012

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
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13.5% ABV
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The wine is a deep, dazzling purple. Initially rather closed, the nose opens with airing to reveal elegant fresh fruit, blackcurrant bud and eucalyptus aromas. A fresh, clean attack leads into a full, powerful and silky mid-palate, building to an incredibly long finish on notes of brioche and liquorice. An intense and stylish vintage to come back to in a few years’ time.

Blend: 57% Cabernet sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
Produced in the magnificent new cellars at Montrose, this big, tannic wine is powerful and concentrated. It has something of the classic severity of a wine from this estate, but that’s mitigated by the ripe, generous blackberry fruitiness and the final freshness of a 2012. A great success, to drink from 2022. Cellar Selection.
JS 94
James Suckling
Fascinating aromas of blackberries with cacao and buttery notes. This is a full-bodied red combining well-rounded tannins, lovely acidity and a mouth-watering finish. Yet turns firm and powerful. Drink in 2020.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Tasted at the château, the 2012 Montrose is a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot picked between 24 September and 20 October. It underwent a particularly long maceration period between 26 and 28 days. It offers more fruit intensity than the 2011 Montrose with blackberry, raspberry and bilberry scents, quite backward and primal yet well defined. The aromatics almost mock you because returning after ten minutes, there are glimpses of underlying dried herb and mineral notes. The palate is medium-bodied, intense and very focused, clearly with more depth and sinew than the 2011, yet displaying impressive precision and energy on the finish, which bodes well for the long-term. Tasted September 2016.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Features lively and pure blackberry, fig and plum fruit, lined with enticing singed mesquite, bramble and tar accents. The muscular, tarry finish shows a twinge of austere chalkiness, but there's ample flesh for balance. Best from 2017 through 2025.
JD 92
Jeb Dunnuck
A backward, masculine and inky colored effort that offers lots of dark, dark fruits, graphite, crushed rock and charred meats, the 2012 is medium to full-bodied, fresh and lively on the palate, with good acidity, plenty of tannin, yet moderate density and extract. Still, this is a beautiful wine that will reward 4-5 years of cellaring and drink nicely over the following two decades or more.
Rating: 92+
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Chateau Montrose

Chateau Montrose

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Chateau Montrose, St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
Video of winery
Established as a Second Growth in the 1855 classification, Château Montrose enjoys an exceptional geographical situation in Saint-Estèphe, facing the Gironde estuary. Its 95-hectare (235-acre) vineyard thus benefits from the moderating influence of the vast water mass nearby during very hot summers and harsh winters. The vineyard is in a single sweep, a rare and priceless advantage in the region. The soil, consisting of deep gravel over clay, favours natural drainage and ensures that the vines benefit from a slow and regular water supply from the water reserves in the subsoil.

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.

St. Estephe

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Deeply colored, concentrated, and distinctive, St. Estephe is the go-to for great, age-worthy and reliable Bordeaux reds. Separated from Pauillac merely by a stream, St. Estephe is the farthest northwest of the highest classed villages of the Haut Medoc and is therefore subject to the most intense maritime influence of the Atlantic.

St. Estephe soils are rich in gravel like all of the best sites of the Haut Medoc but here the formation of gravel over clay creates a cooler atmosphere for its vines compared to those in the villages farther downstream. This results in delayed ripening and wines with higher acidity compared to the other villages.

While they can seem a bit austere when young, St. Estephe reds prove to live very long in the cellar. Traitionally dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, many producers now add a significant proportion of Merlot to the blend, which will soften any sharp edges of the more tannic, Cabernet.

The St. Estephe village contains two second growths, Chateau Montrose and Cos d’Estournel.

Bordeaux Blends

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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 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 lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally 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.

Perfect Pairings

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.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

WTC143422_2012 Item# 143422