2022 Château Montrose, St Estèphe, Bordeaux
The 2022 Montrose was picked from 2 to 22 September, comprising all four grape varieties and all the Cabernet Franc, with 13% pressed wine, matured in 60% new oak. There is 14.5% alcohol this year, which is less than 2018.
It has an extremely pure nose with black cherries and blueberries. Quite floral in style with hints of blood orange percolating through with time. The palate is very precise with exceptional mineralité and tension.
Very focused, superb concentration, with what is becoming Montrose's trademark sense of symmetry and sustained aftertaste, this could be the finest Saint-Estèphe in 2022.
Drink 2027 - 2052
Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2023)
The 2022 Montrose is a brooding, powerful wine, as it so often is. Huge tannins wrap around a core of dark black fruit, chocolate, leather, spice, menthol and liquorice.
The new oak (60%) still needs to be fully integrated, but then again, the 2022 is a baby. A bit of time in the glass helps the elements come together nicely. Readers will have to be exceptionally patient, as the 2022 is likely to start drinking well once it is at least 15-20 years old.
Drink 2032 - 2062
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2023)
The 2022 Montrose is composed of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot, aging in 60% new oak.
Deep garnet-purple in color, it slowly unfurls to offer a gorgeous perfume of violets, star anise, wilted roses, cumin seed, and garrigue, giving way to a core of blackcurrant pastilles, boysenberry preserves, and kirsch. The full-bodied palate is a firework display of graceful, highly nuanced fruit, featuring mineral, floral, black fruit, and red berry sparks, supported by very firm, super-ripe tannins and incredible freshness, finishing very long, vibrant, and shimmery.
The yield was 31 hl/ha and the First Wine represents 50% of the 2022 production. The quality of the press wine was high this year, and 13% was included in the blend. pH 3.78, TPI 85.
Drink 2030 - 2067
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent (May 2023)
The intensity and the depth of expression are clear from the start, with ripe damson and fig fruits, incense and espresso given balance and tension by pomegranate, slate, lemongrass and mandarin rind. Unrolls to show the depth and class of Montrose, has density without shouting, keeping the estate signature and character.
The first full vintage for Pierre Grafeuille as estate director, working alongside long-time technical director Vincent Decup. 12% press wine, pretty much the same as ever; this really is a vineyard that delivers consistency.
Drink 2030 - 2048
Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com (May 2023)
Deep crimson hue. Aromatically complex, the Cabernet-cassis notes dominant but a hint of mint and smoke as well. Palate rich but lively with that sense of energy. Plentiful tannins but finely honed. Long with a stony, mineral note on the finish. Noble and refined. Long ageing.
Drink 2032 - 2055
James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com (April 2023)
The 2022 Montrose is such a compelling wine that assigning it a bracketed score seems a mere formality. A brilliant terroir, impeccable viticulture, perfectly timed harvest dates and judicious extraction have aligned to deliver a monument in the making, reminiscent of a far purer, more precise, modern-day version of the 1990 vintage at this address.
Unwinding in the glass with aromas of dark berries, cassis, violets, iris, pencil lead and cigar wrapper, it's full-bodied, deep and authoritative, its velvety attack segueing into a layered, elegantly muscular core that's framed by supple, powdery tannins, concluding with a long, resonant finish.
A blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, this only confirms Montrose's status as a de facto first growth and unquestionably one of the contemporary Médoc's very greatest estates.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2023)
A very powerful and structured Montrose with steely tannins that run the length of the wine. It's compacted and muscular with an extremely long finish. Graphite and spices in the aftertaste. This should be terrific after the elevage. From organically grown grapes. 66% cabernet sauvignon, 25% merlot, 8% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2023)
A gorgeous richness straight away; you can feel the intensity and concentration, but the texture is so sleek, almost silky yet weighty, juicy and intense. Supple but firm with crushed stones, liquorice, tobacco, dark chocolate, plums and blackcurrants. Tannins are firm and at the fore but cool and crisp with bite and wet stone elements, giving an instant minerality.
The fruit almost takes a back seat, ripe and black in nature but quieter than the other elements and overall frame. Juicy and succulent, an appealing shot of acidity initially, mouthwatering and vibrant, then the chalky tannins give this a sense of seriousness. This carries the strength of the vintage well, focused and precise with detail and a sense of energy that is so impactful.
1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Harvest 2-22 September. 58% grand vin - one of the biggest proportions. There was 53% grand vin in 2018. 3.8pH. 80 IPT. A yield of 31hl/ha.
Drink 2030 - 2050
Georgina Hindle, Decanter (April 2023)
The 2022 Château Montrose is a classic blend of two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon, with the balance 25% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot, all of which was brought up in 60% new oak from a variety of coopers.
Another absolutely brilliant wine in the vintage, it offers a saturated purple hue and an essence of a Montrose-like bouquet of currants, blueberries, damp earth, violets, graphite, and tobacco leaf. Full-bodied, incredibly concentrated, and powerful, it nevertheless has a riveting sense of purity, precision, and finesse that's hard to believe.
Given its balance and purity of fruit, as well as the quality of the tannins, it will offer incredible pleasure with just 4-6 years of bottle age (a decade would be best) yet be just about immortal if well stored.
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2023)
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.