For years Montrose has been in the shadow of its more decadent, flashy neighbour, Cos d'Estournel.Quietly confident, it is a brilliant performer in notably dry, sunny vintages due to its dense clay soil that allows the vines to remain hydrated. In 2003, this was particularly true as many deemed it wine of the vintage.Comprising 77% of the château's 2005 production, this Cabernet Sauvignon dominated, full-bodiedwine is opaque and dense with broad, chewy tannins and lots of plump, ultra ripe and dark berry fruit. In the château's view the 2005 is as exceptional as their 2003. Drink 2015-2030+.
The 2005 Montrose has a saturated purple color. As backward as one would expect of a St.-Estèphe, it offers notes of sweet blackcurrant and black cherry fruit, earth, graphite and spice. It is medium to full-bodied, moderately tannic, and still a decade away from prime-time drinkability. This 30+ year wine is clearly outstanding, but not one of the vintage’s most prodigious efforts. Drink 2025-2035
In 2005, a very serious drought year stressed most vineyards in Bordeaux, which are all dry-farmed. The volume of rainfall was less than half the average of the previous 30 years. The clay subsoils at Montrose have always played a major role in not only dry years, but also in extremely hot ones, such as 2003, as they retain more moisture. The grapes were harvested between September 23 and October 9. This is a very powerful, full-bodied wine that is quite tannic, but the tannins are relatively velvety. The wine is rich, complex, majestic, multi-dimensional and also avoids any of the austerity that some 2005s possess. It has done quite well in its bottle evolution and should turn out to be a great Montrose, capable of lasting 30 to 50 years.
The 2005 Montrose is an exceptionally tannic, broodingly backward offering displaying a dense ruby/purple color along with a provocative perfume of crushed rocks, flowers, cassis, black raspberries, and blueberries. It continues to add weight and richness, good traits considering the substantial, forbiddingly high tannin levels and zesty acidity. If you are over the age of fifty, this backward, powerful wine will probably be more enjoyable to your descendants. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2040+
Fashioned from a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the 2005 Montrose exhibits huge tannin, powerful floral, blueberry, and cassis flavors, and more weight as well as richness than last year. While surprisingly high in alcohol (13.2%) for a Montrose, that component is nicely balanced by the high tannin and decent acidity. This blockbuster will need a decade or more of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2040+.
The big news in Bordeaux is the potential sale (it had not been finalized at the time of publication) of Chateau Montrose. The 2005 Montrose does not quite measure up to the 2003, but it is a beautiful effort. A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc as well as a dollop of Petit Verdot, it possesses an inky/blue/purple color in addition to a sweet, provocative nose of creme de cassis, crushed rocks, graphite, and subtle wood. Medium to full-bodied, elegant yet powerful, fresh, and nuanced, the acids are higher and the pH lower in 2005 than in 2002. The 2005 should be a long-lived classic, but patience will be required despite the relatively high alcohol (13.2%), which is counterbalanced by some of the highest tannins ever measured. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2035.
Tasted at the vertical in London, the 2005 Montrose came and delivered the goods. This was the best example of the 2005 that I have tasted, perhaps a wine that is going to prove that, the longer wine lovers can resist temptation. It is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 3.5% Cabernet Franc and .5% Petit Verdot picked between 23 September and 9 October. The bouquet is extremely detailed, displaying more red berry fruit compared to the 2010 Montrose that leans towards black. Graphite and cedar emerge with time, even an unusual floral scent that is uncommon with respect to this property, whilst all the time retaining fantastic focus and delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with a ferrous tincture on the entry. There are the first signs of secondary notes (dried leaves and bay leaf), but it is the tannic backbone and the precision that really defines this Montrose at the moment. For certain, it is masculine and structured, yet it has enormous potential, perhaps more than was suggested when it was first released? This is for the long term, but you know that already. Tasted June 2016.
Dark and chewy and much sweeter and less rigorous than usual. Perhaps because the tannins are so exceptionally ripe. Deep and dense with very fine depth - more lift than the samples of Cos tasted, though perhaps not the sheer density and solidity. Very fine dry mouthful. Fine tannins. Quite sinewy. Very nice neat refreshing though far from obtrusive acidity. Very fine and the power is relatively well hidden. The infamous IPT (tannin index) was apparently even higher here than a Cos - though perhaps we don't want to get into a competition in this respect. Drink 2017-30.
Raspberries, currants and spices on the nose. Full-bodied, with a very focused palate of fruit and fine tannins. Fresh finish. Long. Racy wine.
For years Montrose has been in the shadow of its more decadent, flashy neighbour, Cos d'Estournel.Quietly confident, it is a brilliant performer in notably dry, sunny vintages due to its dense clay soil that allows the vines to remain hydrated. In 2003, this was particularly true as many deemed it wine of the vintage. They have a new director, Jean-Bernard Delmas, a legend amongst the Bordelais having run Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion for 40 years, so quality is only likley to get better and better.
St Estèphe is the most northern of Médoc communal crus. Its unique terroir is made up of layers of gravel which are supported by a dense clay base. This subsoil retains water in dry seasons and works particularly well with Merlot, a largely planted variety which is used to flesh out Cabernet Sauvignon. This clay base also creates powerful, textured tannins which enable St Estèphe to stand out from the pack. Like St Julien, it is one of the four most important communal appellations of the Médoc which does not contain any first growths, despite its southern border being a stone'sthrow from Château Lafite. Nonetheless, it is home to some excellent châteaux making fine wines such as Cos d'Estournel, Montrose, Calon Ségur and Lafon Rochet.