Just beginning to soften and open after a stubborn few decades. Tobacco and crushed mint leaf sit against blackberry and bilberry fruits that continue to be held by a firm frame of tannins. A stately Montrose with a long future ahead is packed with the power and finesse that is so signature to this estate. Harvest September 22 to October 7. First year in the new stainless steel vat room. 2% Petit Verdot completes the blend.
Drink 2022 - 2035
Jane Anson, Decanter.com (March 2021)
Tasted at the vertical in London, the question was whether the 2000 Montrose would be paradigmatic of a vintage whereby the wines have remained sullen and broody in their youth. On this occasion, to my surprise I found it more open than the 2005 (which admittedly is not saying that it's open for business!).
It is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot picked from 22 September to 7 October. I afforded it a couple of hours in the glass, and it responded with plenty of pure, ripe blackberry and raspberry fruit, hints of cold slate, and even charcoal emerging with time.
The palate is not as complex as those above 2005, yet there is terrific backbone and focus; towards the finish, a sense of suppleness and refinement might make this delicious in 5-7 years. Perhaps the 2000 has been usurped by subsequent releases in 2005, 2009 and 2010, but do not be surprised if it evolves into a regal Montrose.
Drink 2023 - 2060
Neil Martin, Wine Advocate (March 2017)
Mid crimson. Meaty and toasty on the nose but a mite restrained on the palate. Lots of iron filings. Needs lots of time. This sure is archetypal St-Estèphe! Very chewy still.
Drink 2015 - 2035
Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com (March 2010)
Just starting to open, it shows beautiful spices and dark fruit on the nose and palate. It’s full-bodied with ultra-fine, integrated tannins and an extremely complex, refined finish.
Drink or hold
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2014)
Rated initially 96, this wine confirmed its early rating, although again, the backwardness and still pronounced tannins suggest another 7- to 8-year wait. Dense ruby/purple, with a bouquet of blueberry, crushed rock, and some floral notes, the wine is medium to full-bodied, rich, and powerful, but again very tannic and strikingly youthful.
For a wine that is already ten years of age, it does not remain very mature. This blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot is a unique wine and should hit its prime in about 2020 and last at least 30 years.
Drink 2020 - 2050
Robert M. Parker, Jr., Wine Advocate (June 2010)
The 2000 Montrose is a straight-up gorgeous bottle of wine that while, still young, is offering up tons of pleasure. Classic Saint Estèphe notes of blackcurrants, damp earth, tobacco leaf, cedar, and hints of truffle all emerge from this dense, concentrated, powerful red that has the classic 2000 structure and richness. With sweet tannins, full body, impeccable balance, and a great, great finish, it’s at the early stages of its drink window and has another 3+ decades of longevity ahead of it.
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (March 2019)
About this WINE
Château Montrose is part of our Spotlight on sustainability series. You can view the full range here.
Château Montrose is one of the leading wine properties of St.Estéphe, and produces some of the longest-lived wines in the Médoc. Montrose had been owned by Jean-Louis Charmolue from 1962 until 2006, when it was sold to Martin and Olivier Bouygues, owner of the eponymously named construction firm Bouygues, is located in the east of the appellation, just north of the hamlet of Marbuzet, on a gravel knoll only 800 metres from the Gironde estuary. The proximity of the estuary ensures a microclimate that protects against frost, and the vines, which lie on deep clay-gravel soils, benefit from a south-easterly aspect.
Montrose wines are traditionally deeply coloured, austere and powerful when young, yet possess superb ageing potential, and when mature are quintessential St.Estèphe clarets. Montrose is classified as a 2ème Cru Classé.
Saint-Estèphe is the northernmost of the most important communes of the Médoc and borders Pauillac on its southernmost border, with only a gully and stream separates it from Ch. Lafite. To the north lies the Bas-Médoc.
Saint-Estèphe is defined by the depth of its gravel, which is ubiquitous but of varying depths and occasionally very shallow, when clay predominates. This keeps the soil cooler and wetter than its counterparts so that the wines can appear fresh in lighter vintages, but superbly successful in hot, dry years.
The best châteaux in the south of the commune have the deepest soil and the thickest gravel. Cos d'Estournel has an exceptional terroir with its vineyards being located on a south-facing ridge of gravel with excellent drainage.
Saint-Estèphe is the least gravelly of main Médoc communes and in the north of the commune the vineyards are heavier and more clay-based leading to a rustic style of wine being produced.
The wines can appear austere in youth with a discernable ferric note at some châteaux, but the best typically display good depth of colour, pronounced acidity an tannins in youth and are exceptionally long-lived. At their best, they are the equal of almost any Bordeaux. The well-regarded St Estèphe co-operative controls the production of about half the appellation.
Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.