An outstanding Montrose, the 1989 is one of the vintage's stars. It possesses an opaque dark ruby/purple color, a sweet nose of minerals, black fruits, cedar, and wood, dense, medium to full-bodied, highly extracted flavors, low acidity, and moderate tannin in the long finish. While it appears to be closing down far more quickly than the legendary 1990, it has layers of sweet fruit as well as an elevated level of glycerin. Give it 5-7 years of cellaring, and drink it over the subsequent 2-3 decades. Drink 2002-2032
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.