Aromatic with notes of violets, black cherry and raspberries. Quite mouthfilling yet poised, tender and feminine. Its gentle side turns muscular as its St. Estèphe tannins show through its veil of fruit. Under the direction of Jean-Bernard Delmas (the former manager of Haut Brion), Montrose has been working hard over the past few years, and it is really showing.
One of the superstars of the vintage, this classic Montrose is not as showy or opulent as the 2010, 2009 or 2003, but it offers a dense purple color followed by gorgeously sweet black raspberry and black currant fruit intermixed with loamy, earthy, forest floor notes, a floral component and a long, full-bodied finish. The 2008 was fashioned from yields of 44 hectoliters per hectare which is slightly less than the 2010's 45 hectoliters per hectare. Forget it for 5-8 years and drink it over the following 20+. Drink: 2016 - 2036
This full-bodied wine exhibits superb concentration, sweet tannin, and a multilayered, textured, full-bodied mouthfeel with no hard edges. The sweetness of the tannin, the extraordinary purity of fruit, and the intense aromatics suggest a year of great ripeness. The difference between the 2008 and the 2003, 1990, or 1989 is the freshness and purity of expression. This should be a long-lived wine (35+ years), yet it will drink surprisingly well at a young age. For some reason, it comes across like an even more pure example of the 1989, even though there is nothing essentially comparable between the two harvests.
An undeniably great Montrose, after some time in wood, the 2008 should achieve the heights of the 2003, 1990, and 1989. Stylistically different from those wines, the 2008 harvest took place between September 29 and October 15, and yields were a modest 44 hectoliters per hectare. This superb terroir west of the Gironde River possesses a remarkable amount of gravel in the soil base. Sixty percent of the production made it into the 2008 Montrose, and the person responsible for so many great Haut-Brions, Jean-Bernard Delmas, came out of retirement to take charge over the last several vintages for proprietor Martin Bouygues. An inky/purple color is accompanied by sweet, pure aromas of black fruits and spice.
Shows blackberry and black licorice, with hints of mint. Full-bodied and fruity, with very fine tannins, good acidity and a nice intensity of mineral and spices.
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.