A candidate for a perfect score, the 2003 Montrose has been a superstar since the first time I tasted it in barrel. Showing no signs of weakening, it is an amazing wine from this fabulous terroir. It boasts a deep blue/purple color as well as a stunning perfume of blueberries, black currants, blackberries, licorice and camphor. Dense, full-bodied and rich with an unctuous texture, well-integrated, melted tannins, and a long, heady finish, this big, brawny, super-intense, gorgeous 2003 is just beginning to enter its plateau of full maturity. It should remain there for at least two decades. (RP)
After the 2009, this is the most exciting Montrose ever made, with intense aromas and flavors of plums, blueberries, spices, tobacco and cedar. It’s full-bodied with extremely refined tannins but a dense, delicious palate.
Good medium-deep ruby-red. Superripe, roasted aromas of black raspberry, chocolate and licorice. Wonderfully dense, sweet and lush, with an early roundness rare for this wine. A monumental St. Estephe with almost confectionery sweetness. Wonderfully horizontal, palate-saturating wine with huge but thoroughly ripe, lush tannins. It's hard to believe that a wine this rich and deep could be carrying just 13.2% alcohol. The only thing missing here is the floral topnote of 2005, but that's a quibble in this baking-hot vintage, as Montrose's cooler, water-retentive clay-rich soil handled the extreme heat and drought as well as any chateau in the Bordeaux region. (ST)
This is hard to distinguish as an '03, as an austere, racy profile of charcoal, black currant and iron reigns. Taut and focused, with a sense of freshness from buried bay leaf and tobacco accents, this is set apart in the vintage by drive and cut. Still a bit tight. The insider's wine in this vintage. (JM, Web Only-2018)
A year when those cooling breezes from the estuary were essential. This displays sweeter, spicier fruit character than some years, and you can feel a more exotic style of oak. You get caramel and toffee on the nose with some dark spice on the palate, but there is a seam of menthol freshness running through it and the tannins are more than holding on. This shows the quality of Montrose in spades. (JA)
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