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CHÂTEAU MONTROSE

2016 2ème Cru Classé Saint Estèphe

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

68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc. Tasted at the château. The nose is really quite woody but there's plenty of fruit concentration to prevent this becoming austere. Rather dramatic purple fruit - blue-hued damsons and mulberries among the rich red cassis. There is so much concentration on the palate that you barely notice all that oak. More obvious are the tannins which build gradually gathering all that sweet fruit with them. Everything is kept fresh by the same zippy acidity we saw in the 'Dame'. For a big wine this has an amazing crystalline purity. It is lithe and very very long. I was still tasting it in the car park afterwards. Drinking range: 2030 - 2055 Rating: 94-95 L&S (Apr 2017)

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Unquestionably one of the top 2-3 wines of the vintage, the 2016 Château Montrose is a monument in the making. Checking in as a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 7% Cabernet Franc raised in 60% new French oak (the balance was in once-used barrels) and representing a tiny 36% of the production, this deep purple-colored 2016 possesses powerful, incredibly classic Saint-Estephe notes of creme de cassis, graphite, damp earth, lead pencil shavings, and burning embers. With a powerful, full-bodied style on the palate, a huge mid-palate, lots of underlying structure and tannic grip, and perfect balance, this magical wine will need upwards of a decade or cellaring and keep for 40-50 years. Drinking range: 2029 - 2079 Rating: 100 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com(Feb 2019)

The 2016 Montrose is a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc (no Petit Verdot this year) picked between 23 September to 14 October and matured in 60% new oak. It has a very sophisticated bouquet with blackberry, briary, a touch of blue fruit and violets. Sometimes this Saint Estèphe can be a little broody at en primeur, but this certainly is more expressive, maintaining very fine delineation and precision, unfolding with each swirl of the glass and revealing a hidden graphite/marine influence. The palate is very fresh on the entry. The first facet of this wine that strikes you is the freshness that lasts from start to finish. This is an animated, vivacious Montrose that starts in almost understated fashion yet builds in the mouth towards what is almost a sensual finish, not a descriptor often applied to Montrose. It is a disarmingly and hauntingly beautiful 2016, extremely long and the aftertaste lasting two or three minutes. NB This is one example where I felt my second visit, over a fortnight after the first, revealed a wine with much greater potential, and I therefore raised my banded score accordingly. Drinking range: 2026 - 2060 Rating: 97-99 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com(Apr 2017)

Gravel and then clay (rather than mixed as in Tronquoy). 9 ha organic and 6 ha biodynamic. They intend to be fully organic in five years. 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc. Very dark blackish crimson. Great, fresh, minerally savour on the nose. Lots of intensity initially. Sweet start – quite a surprise in a way – and then lots of structure. Doesn't quite hang together yet but there is masses of potential. Sweet, fresh ink. Good raciness. Quite muscular but not at all heavy. An edge of acidity is evident without the strong stoniness of St-Estèphe. Just a little bit stringy on the end. Lots of life and freshness (clays help). Pretty glamorous. Drinking range: 2028 - 2048 Rating: 18 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2017)

A solid and tight Montrose with a linear structure of ripe tannins that gives wonderful length and energy. Full-bodied, yet reserved and toned. Stone and mineral character underneath is impressive. Beautiful center palate. The class and focus are marvelous. Better than 2015. This is what Montrose is all about. Rating: 97-98 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Apr 2017)

In many ways this is a Bordeaux vintage for lovers of great Burgundy - it has the depth and intensity but also a floral, fragrant edge to it; something that is encapsulated perfectly in the classicism of Montrose. This needs some time in the glass as its structure is long and straight, true to the signature of the property. It shows clear depth and precision, and gorgeously placed spice with the sweetness of the black cherry and wild fig stealing in along the side of the palate. The young vines suffered at Montrose because the estate has lots of gravelly, well drained soils, but the proximity to the river provided cooling nights and you can feel far more waves of vibrant freshness than in the 2015 vintage, even with the same tannin index of 80IPT (compared to 70IPT in 2014). An excellent wine which represents 37% of overall production. 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc. Drinking range: 2027 - 2050 Rating: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter(Apr 2017)

The 2016 Montrose is a wine of remarkable depth, density and power. Large-scale and ample in all dimensions, the 2016 hits the palate with a serious richness. Today, the 2016 comes across as incredibly youthful and primary. There is not much in the way of bouquet at this stage. Instead, the 2016 impresses with its power, drive and exceptionally persistent finish. It is a remarkable wine in every way, but won't be ready to drink anytime soon. Rating: 93-96 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com(Apr 2017)

One of the wines that should carry a sign saying “come back in a decade”, this is a dark, brooding, seriously backward Montrose with masses of sturdy tannins, super concentrated damson and dark berry fruit and a patina of aromatic oak. Drinking range: 2026 - 2036 Rating: 96 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(Apr 2017)

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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