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Chateau Montrose 2015

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Winemaker Notes

Structured and tannic but with all the elegance and refinement of a Grand Cru Classé, with time it develops a delicate and complex bouquet. Matured for 18 months in 60% new oak barrels, the premium wine accounts on average for 55% of the estate’s total production.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 98
James Suckling
Intensity and clarity of fruit is so insane. Blackberries, spices such as cloves, blueberries, sandalwood and dried lavender. Full body and such a beautiful, dense center palate with perfectly polished tannins. Extremely long and beautiful. One of the best young Montroses in a long, long time. Drink in 2024.
WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
This sumptuous, powerful wine has a great sense of structure and tannins. It is also overwhelmingly dense with black fruits and swathes of rich black currants. In this vintage, even more Cabernet Sauvignon than usual in the blend has given a ripe wine set for a far-distant future. Drink from 2026.
D 96
Decanter
Deep florality and wonderful black fruit. Surprisingly smooth and silky at first then the classic firmness becomes plain towards the finish. It has more natural richness than most in 2015 – a superbly made wine from a great terroir.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Montrose opens with broody black fruits, menthol and anise notes with a core of cassis, blueberries and mulberries plus a touch of cedar chest. The medium-bodied mouth is firm and chewy with a good core of muscular fruit and a long, earthy finish.
JD 95
Jeb Dunnuck
Another wine I was able to taste on multiple occasions, the 2015 Montrose is a certainly the wine of Saint-Estèphe in 2015. Notes of cassis, damp earth, violets, and graphite/lead pencil notes all flow to a beautifully pure, elegant and multi-dimensional 2015 that has fine, polished tannin, perfect balance, and a great finish. The 2015 is a blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, all of which was brought up in 65% new oak. This isn’t a blockbuster yet is pure class all the way. It will be better in 4-5 years and keep for 2-3 decades.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Fleshy for the vintage, with good plum and dark currant fruit lined with ample tobacco, warm paving stone, bay leaf and alder notes on the slightly dusty finish. Not a charmer, but this is integrated and shows range and depth for the vintage. Best from 2020 through 2035.
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Chateau Montrose

Chateau Montrose

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Chateau Montrose, France
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Established as a Second Growth in the 1855 classification, Chateau 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 Chateau 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, Chateau Montrose.

The other qualities are used to make the second wine, La Dame de Montrose, and the third wine, Le Saint-Estèphe de Montrose.

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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.

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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.

JOTF153446_2015 Item# 153446