1996 2ème Cru Classé Saint Estèphe
|Grapes||Merlot, Cab Sauv, Cab Franc|
|Classification||2ème Cru Classé|
Deeper even than the Dame in colour, with more blackberry sweet fruit filling out the nose. Cassis depth. Palate is more closed than the Dame, but also more harmonious. Very tannic, but fat and ripe too. Given the sheer volume of the wine, the freshness of the fruit flavours, the crispness of definition is altogether remarkable. L&S (Mar 2005)
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Tasted at the vertical in London, I have instead used the tasting note from a bottle opened at the property when I visited just a couple of weeks later. The 1996 Montrose is a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot picked between 23 September and 6 October. It was served alongside the 1986 Montrose, however, this is a far better wine and reconfirms Robert Parker's remarks at his own vertical at the property in 2014. For me, it is that loamy character that defines the nose—freshly tilled, damp soil that tinctures the black fruit —that takes you straight to this particular château. This is classic through and through and very well defined. The palate is wonderful with very fine delineation, pitch-perfect acidity, touches of graphite infusing the red and black fruit that dovetails into a very pretty, floral finish. This is clearly one of the great wines of the 1996 vintage and I would be stocking up as much as I could, because it will give 30-40 years of pleasure. Tasted July 2016. Drinking range: 2018 - 2055 Rating: 96-96 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com (Jun 2017)
This was a very strong year for the Medoc, as opposed to Graves and the Right Bank. The vintage has a very irregular reputation, but not so much for the Cabernet Sauvignon grape in the Medoc. Harvest occurred September 23 and finished October 6, a relatively short period, even at a large estate such as Montrose. The wine has sweeter tannins than the 1995, but doesn’t have quite the ripeness noticeable in 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2010. This wine is the classic, or more traditional style of Montrose, with dusty loamy soil notes intermixed with blackcurrant and blackberry fruit. Licorice, underbrush and floral notes were all present in this wine, which has good acidity and is not far from entering its plateau of full maturity. This was a year where Montrose used a lot of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend – 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Rating: 95-95 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (Aug 2014)
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