Located on one of the deep gravel promontories of the Médoc, Montrose has long been known for impenetrable wines on release. In 2006, the Charmolüe family, who had owned the vineyard since 1896, sold it to Martin Bouygues, a French construction magnate, and his brother, Olivier. The new owners brought in Jean Delmas, recently retired from his brilliant tenure at Haut-Brion, to direct winemaking. This first release from the new team is a lovely, fragrant cabernet, its deep earthiness and dark mushroom tones the only clues that it's a Montrose. The wine may be compressed in its structure, but it's supple and elegant, with purity and precision to its layers of currant, fennel, blueberry and blackberry. Lively acidity drives the fruit, its freshness lengthening the flavors. Built for 20 or more years of development, this young Montrose makes its beauty apparent from the outset.
Yes, this wine is tannic. To begin with it seems austere and mineral. But then the substrate of black berry juice asserts itself. The fruits are fresh rather than sweet, combining with leather, spice and a presence of new wood. Typical of Montrose, it is hard to appreciate this young, with those tannins needing to open out. But wait 10 years. *Best of 2009, Cellar Selection* (RV)
There's currant, spice, chocolate and berry character on the nose. Deep, complex and full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a long, flavorful finish. A solid wine. Chewy. (JS)
** Montrose is so typically St-Estephe in 2006, with dried spices such cardamom and cloves as well as delicate currants. Full-bodied, with firm tannins and a dense center palate. It needs another three or four years of bottle age to soften.
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