*Barrel Sample* This is a sumptuous wine with a fine structure that reveals its delicious fruit in layers of acidity and black currants. Even more Cabernet than usual in the blend has made it a dark, firm and structured wine. The juicy fruit shouldn't deceive; this is a wine that will age slowly.
Another wine I was able to taste on multiple occasions, the 2015 Montrose is a certainly the wine of Saint-Estèphe in 2015. Notes of cassis, damp earth, violets, and graphite/lead pencil notes all flow to a beautifully pure, elegant and multi-dimensional 2015 that has fine, polished tannin, perfect balance, and a great finish. The 2015 is a blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, all of which was brought up in 65% new oak. This isn’t a blockbuster yet is pure class all the way. It will be better in 4-5 years and keep for 2-3 decades.
The 2015 Montrose is a blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc that was picked between 15 September and 8 October, the fruit sorted three times using three sorting tables, then an optical sorting machine and finally by hand. Matured in 65% new oak, it possesses some of the best aromatics you will find in the appéllation - billowing blackberry, cassis and boysenberry scents all beautifully defined and seamlessly integrated with the new oak. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, commendable depth and a vibrant bead of acidity that lends this Montrose tension from start to finish. The class comes through strongly in this wine, perhaps the best Saint Estèphe this year. Give this a decade in bottle, more if you can, since Montrose tends to repay cellaring. (NM)
Blueberry, black currant, fresh basil and lemon grass flavors. Full body, velvety tannins, clean finish. Spices. Depth.
An imposing wine which shows the excellence of the winemaking and terroir, but it's not as deft or effortless as the 2016. Montrose is often austere in its youth, and the well-knitted black fruits wound with tight strands of liquorice are clearly capable of long ageing. There is something extremely special here, although the tannins are very much closed up right now. The smallest selection for the grand vin for 15 years. (JA)
The 2015 Montrose is silky, super-finessed and nuanced, all qualities that are unusual for a wine that is usually much more of a powerhouse. Black cherry, smoke, leather, graphite, crème de cassis and licorice notes open up in the glass, yet the wine comes across as raw and not fully formed. The 2015 appeared to put on a bit of weight over the two weeks I followed it, but I don't see the depth, structure and personality of the very best versions. (AG)
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