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Flat front label of wineFront shot of wine bottle

Chateau Montrose 2016

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  • D97
  • WS96
750ML / 13.5% ABV
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750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JD 100
Jeb Dunnuck
Unquestionably one of the top 2-3 wines of the vintage, the 2016 Château Montrose is a monument in the making. Checking in as a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 7% Cabernet Franc raised in 60% new French oak (the balance was in once-used barrels) and representing a tiny 36% of the production, this deep purple-colored 2016 possesses powerful, incredibly classic Saint-Estephe notes of creme de cassis, graphite, damp earth, lead pencil shavings, and burning embers. With a powerful, full-bodied style on the palate, a huge mid-palate, lots of underlying structure and tannic grip, and perfect balance, this magical wine will need upwards of a decade or cellaring and keep for 40-50 years.
RP 99
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2016 Montrose is a little youthfully shy to begin, but with coaxing, it unfurls to reveal the most beguiling scents of wilted roses, oolong tea, crushed rocks, wild sage, star anise and candied violets over a wonderfully pristine, well-defined core of crushed blackcurrants, black raspberries and kirsch plus wafts of pencil lead and wood smoke. The taut, muscular, medium to full-bodied palate straddles jaw-dropping intensity and finesse superbly, featuring a solid backbone of ripe tannins and giving a firm frame right through the incredibly long, exquisitely nuanced finish.
JS 98
James Suckling
The floral and fresh aromas to this are mesmerizing. Roses and lilacs galore. The pure cab aromas coming from the glass – blackcurrants and blackberries – are so memorable. Full-bodied, deep and profound. The ultra-fine tannins on the palate are so polished and fine-grained. The finish goes on for minutes with subtle yet superb fruit. It’s all about precision and form here. A modern classic for Montrose. Better after 2026.
WE 97
Wine Enthusiast
While this wine’s tannins are powerful. they are buried in a surprisingly soft texture of rich black fruits. With both structure and ripe blackberry flavors, the wine is already balanced. A juicy aftertaste lifts the tannins, pushing the wine into greatness. Drink from 2025.
Cellar Selection
D 97
Decanter
Lightly smoky damson scents are joined by coffee and violet edging. There's a touch of modern sweetness that's extremely well done, alongside a shot of freshness and fairly high acidity. They have really worked the tannins in this vintage to ensure they are deep but flexible. Just five minutes in the glass and things deepen, widen and open up; the density and precision clear to see. Harvested 23 September to 14 October, and bottled in July 2018.
WS 96
Wine Spectator
Very pure, with lilac, violet, cassis, bitter cherry and damson plum notes streaming through in lockstep right from the start. A fine chalky underpinning gives the finish a sleek and racy edge. A beautifully precise wine, with a lot in reserve, that could benefit from a little added weight in the cellar. Best from 2025 through 2040.
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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.

GNF202476_2016 Item# 202476