Tasted at the vertical in London, I have instead used the tasting note from a bottle opened at the property when I visited just a couple of weeks later. The 1996 Montrose is a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot picked between 23 September and 6 October. It was served alongside the 1986 Montrose, however, this is a far better wine and reconfirms Robert Parker's remarks at his own vertical at the property in 2014. For me, it is that loamy character that defines the nose—freshly tilled, damp soil that tinctures the black fruit —that takes you straight to this particular château. This is classic through and through and very well defined. The palate is wonderful with very fine delineation, pitch-perfect acidity, touches of graphite infusing the red and black fruit that dovetails into a very pretty, floral finish. This is clearly one of the great wines of the 1996 vintage and I would be stocking up as much as I could, because it will give 30-40 years of pleasure. (NM)
Full ruby-red. Deep aromas of smoky black cherry, black olive, minerals, cedar and game; I was reminded of a Montecristo No. 2. This really presents the full range of young Montrose aromas. Dense, sweet and layered; really reverberates on the palate. Very ripe on the aftertaste; subtle, complex flavors go on and on. The tannins are in perfect harmony. (ST)
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