2011 2ème Cru Classé Saint Estèphe

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

63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. Silky red fruit. Fine. Still closed but there's real class here. Silky fine but the tannins are powerful and leave the mouth squeaky taut. Very driven, powerful Cabernet, taut and very fine, exuberantly purple and concentrated. Rating: 94 L&S (Apr 2012)

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A strong effort, the 2011 Montrose exhibits a dense ruby/purple color in addition to abundant black currant and boysenberry fruit notes intermixed with white chocolate, damp earth, truffle and camphor. Medium to full-bodied with sweet tannin and impressive concentration, this blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot hit nearly 13% natural alcohol (relatively high in Bordeaux, but lower than the 13.2% in 2009 and 13.8% in 2010). The 2011 should drink well for 15 or more years. 2012 - 2027 Rating: 91-93 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, (Apr 2012)

A blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot cropped between 2nd and 27th September at 35hl/ha, the 2011 Montrose has a lighter nose than the 2010 when tasted last year, but that is to be expected. My sample in March exhibited scents of blackberry, dark chocolate and pencil lead whilst returning to the property two weeks later, there is an animally element to the aromatics, even hints of clove. The palate is medium-bodied with dusty tannins on the entry, though they appear a rounder two weeks later. It is struck through by its crisp acidity and yet it remains an introspective, masculine Montrose with an unreserved graphite, tertiary finish. In 2011, I find this Montrose to be well crafted and yet somehow, difficult to love. Rating: 89-91 Neal Martin, (Apr 2012)

Average yield for the entire estate was 35 hl/ha. Cabernet Sauvignon 63%, Merlot 22%, Cabernet Franc 12%, Petit Verdot 3%. Oh my goodness, there seems such wonderful purity here to the fruit here on the nose; it feels dark and concentrated, but perfectly poised, showing none of the grainy, meaty, charcoaly elements seen in so many other wines. The palate shows a remarkably easy softness at first, but this gently polished layer of fruit is deceiving as there is a seam of grip and shapely tannins within it that gives it a very fine texture. It all comes together to give the wine a beautifully relaxed and effortless style on the palate, the tannins showing an elegant and finessed character, rich but precise and very cool. This is a very stylish, deceptively easy to taste, but this is no lightweight despite that. With time in the glass it becomes even more fragrant with time, showing great acidity and exotic tones to the fruit. A superb effort from Jean-Bernard Delmas and his team here, in what I believe is Jean-Bernard's final vintage. Rating: 17-18 Chris Kissack, (Apr 2012)

Château Montrose

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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