Château Montrose, 2ème Cru Classé, St Estèphe, 2018

  Château Montrose

There have been so many exceptional wines produced at Montrose over the last decade. Even after Nicolas Glumineau left the team, they have continued on an upward trajectory. For us the reference point is the sublime 2016. This is a wine that had it all: power, depth and something quite ethereal, a detail and fine boned structure that we hadn't detected before. The attention to detail and meticulous approach to every aspect of production is clearly paying dividends. The team has successfully harnessed the power of this terroir and expressed it in a more refined and elegant fashion. The grand vin is exactly that. Produced from 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, this is one of the most profound and concentrated wines of the vintage. When we met with Hervé Berland earlier in the year he was clearly delighted with the quality but explained that yields were a paltry 21 hl/ha, which in part explains the concentration. Berries were 20% smaller than average with thick skins and little juice inside. 'Concentrated juices of exceptional richness'. The bouquet is a seductive mix of black fruit, Asian spices, black tea, nori, griotte liqueur, cut flowers and deep graphite. Sumptuous, but taut fruit flows over the palate; this has huge concentration and length, possibly the most profound wine we tasted all week. There is real gravitas and sophistication here. A multidimensional, layered palate of creamy dark fruit, decadent raspberry and complex minerals leads to a hugely impressive, starry finish that goes on and on. These tannins are epic. They grip the mouth with authority painting a nuanced and lingering image. This captures the detail and precision of the 2016 Montrose with a more massive and concentrated style of 2018. An astonishing Montrose.

Contains Sulphites.

About Château Montrose

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 benefits from the moderating influence of the vast water mass nearby during the 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 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 an exemplary model of skilled wine-making 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, precise parcel selection and use of only the best grapes to make the premium wine, Château Montrose.

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

Appellation: St Estèphe

A part of St-Estèphe is separated from Pauillac's Lafite only by a stream.Though St-Estèphe contains some gravel, it is largely renowned for the high clay content of its soils compared with other vineyards on the left bank. These wetter cooler soils favour the Merlot, hence the relatively large proportion of plantings compared neighbouring communes, though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates. The cool soils means the grapes are later ripeing and tend to have high acidities, archetypal St Estèphe is a strong-willed, tannic structured wine to be laid down. The stars of St-Estèphe are Montrose, Cos d’Estournel and Calon-Segur, whilst Haut Marbuzet and Lafon Rochet have been producing excellent value wines over the last few years.

Grape Blend: Cab. Sauvignon | Merlot | Petit Verdot | Cab. Franc

A less widely utilised combination of the six permitted Bordeaux grapes (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot & Carmenere).