2010 2ème Cru Classé Saint Estèphe

Grapes Cab Sauv, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cab Franc
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Saint Estèphe
Classification 2ème Cru Classé
ABV 13.7%

Massive, black, serious, good acidity; really dense and powerful. Black fruit expression, cassis and black plum, and intense too - the acidity making it almost frighteningly powerful and long. The focus and sheer size are impressive - again the idea of the teetering balance of extract and acidity of 1996 comes to mind, and again the progress made in tannin management (or perhaps it's just the ripeness this year) makes one realise this is another level of suppleness and sophistication.

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Dense and dark, with a massive core of roasted fig, blackberry, espresso and bittersweet cocoa flavors followed by rapier tannins that drive through the finish. This has both richness and austerity. When it all comes together fully, this should be a superb wine.
95 - 98/100

This is really integrated and polished, with a full body and super layers of cashmere-like tannins. Goes on and on. 53 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 37 percent Merlot, 9 percent Cabernet Franc and 1 percent Petit Verdot.
95 - 96/100

Tasted at the Château, Montrose is a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot picked between from 27th September through to 15th October, cropped at 45hl/ha. It has 13.8% alcohol with a pH 3.65. The bouquet is tightly wound at first, pure blackberry, dark cherries, just a touch of coca with very good vigour. Very juicy, quite saturated with a very dense, impenetrable finish. Sinewy, structured and masculine, with a slight saline touch on the aftertaste. This is a great Montrose that will one day be fascinating to compare against the 2009. 2020-2050.
96 - 98/100

This is 64% of production, and the assemblage is 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. The alcohol is 13.8%. This particular barrel sample has a very dark, crimson-black hue with a thin crimson rim. The first point of impact is on the nose, which is just delightful, the very dark fruit taking on a perfumed and very floral character, with a little pencil lead too, laced with little notes of soot suggesting an undercurrent of tannin. A great purity here, despite the fine concentration so evident. Following on in the same vein the palate is beautifully harmonious, the polished and sweet layer of fruit filling the mouth, the tannins beautifully covered by this uppermost of many layers, only appearing very slowly from beneath the fruit of the sample with a defined, grainy, subtly soot-stained character. This is, remarkably for Montrose, almost seductive in its composition. In fact it is very seductive! Yet beneath it all, perfectly integrated within the substance of the wine, there is structure, provided by some intense, firm, cokey but very finely grained tannins. This could be, given time, superb. A great success!

Elegant, quite reserved fruit, quite discreet now, will gain in length, but less exciting than 2009. Drink 2020-35.

53% Cabernet Sauvignon (75% last year! And expected to increase), 37% Merlot, 9% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot. 64% of total production and remarkable for the unusually high proportion of Merlot in the grand vin blend – because of the purchase of vineyard from Phelan Ségur last year (did this help the Phelan purchase of restaurant Taillevent in Paris?) Very deep crimson. Quite different from most of these northern Médoc wines – much rounder and less fresh (presumably because of the Merlot). Very different from classical austere Montroses but soft and charming. As a wine, it is extremely well made with just a little furriness on the finish. As a Montrose it’s a bit disconcerting but my mark ignores this. Rather unusual lack of freshness. Just a bit plodding, astringent and sweet on the end. 2020-2034

Jean Delmas believes this is one of the all-time great wines of Montrose, comparable to the 2009, 1990, 1989, 1959, 1947, 1945 and 1929. The 2010 harvest took place between September 27 and October 15, and the final blend is 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot that achieved 13.75% natural alcohol, a fraction above the 2009's 13.7%. Somewhat reminiscent of the 1989, only even inkier and richer, the 2010 boasts a dense purple color along with glorious aromatics of blueberries, boysenberries, black currants and a crushed chalk-like minerality. The tannins are less intrusive than I would have suspected for such a young Montrose, but they are unquestionably ripe and well-integrated. Deep, full-bodied and massive, this beauty should be at its finest between 2018-2050. 2018-2050
96 - 99+

The acquisition of some vineyards from Phélan-Ségur has boosted the Merlot quotient of this, the most tannic of Saint Estèphes, but this is still a very firm, backward wine. Essence of Saint Estèphe: dark, brooding, concentrated with amazing, roasted intensity, glycerol-saturated fruit and tannin levels that wouldn’t look out of place in Barolo. A true vin de garde. 25+ years.


St Estèphe Deuxième cru 1855 Wine production St Estèphe developed much later than further south in the Haut-Médoc - indeed, the vineyards of Château Montrose were not planted until 1815, when it was then part of the Calon-Ségur estate. Only 40 years later, not only had Montrose seperated from its parent, it had surpassed it, being one of only two St Estèphe estates to be awarded 2nd Growth status in the 1855 classification. Montrose sits nearer the river than Cos d'Estournel on classic Haut-Médoc gravel soil - the last outcrop as you head north. The 65ha of vines are 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The Grand Vin spends 18 months in wood (70% new). A second wine was introduced in 1983 - La Dame de Montrose - aged in wood for 12 months (20% new). Montrose is a noted performer in weaker vintages, possibly because of a generous micro-climate which allows slightly earlier picking than most of the Haut-Médoc. The wines age brilliantly.

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