As the chateau's fiche technique says, with 'snow, drought, heat waves, hail... The Medoc vineyards (and particularly those in St Estephe) were spared no extremes of weather during 2011... Incessant attention and unrelenting efforts were required to ensure that the grapes reached full maturity... in the cellar, the vinification of each cuvee was carefully monitored and controlled in order to extract ripe, precise and very silky tannins'. Yields were only 35hl/ha and the final blend will comprise 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. The hard work and precision during the vinification is evident when tasting; at first, brooding, impenetrable and deeply mineral, this opens out to give hints of flowers, earth and pretty berry fruits. On the palate, there is a mass of gravelly dark fruit and masses of dry extract. The tannic structure is impressive - quite drying, but there is sufficient fruit to carry this big framed wine. Another excellent vintage at Montrose.
Chateau Montrose is one of the youngest estates in the 1855 classification. In fact at the end of the 18th century the land was covered in heather. The land was sold by the Segur family to the Dumoulin family in 1778. By 1815 Etienne Theodore Jnr had removed the heather and had started planting vines. By 1920, Dumoulin had built the modest Chateau that stands there today.
The present owners are the Bouygues brothers. After purchasing the estate in 2006, they enlisted the help of Jean-Bernard Delmas, formally of Haut Brion and more recently, Herve Berland of Mouton Rothschild. This is an estate with great terroir and with lofty ambitions. There have been many exceptional wines over the years, but the 2010, 2009, 2003, 1990, 1989, 1959, 1947, 1945 and 1929 are perhaps the most decorated. The estate always performs well in hotter vintages and has a reputation for producing wines that will age for many decades.
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.