The ’70 vintage of Montrose has always been one of my favorites for this property, and this particular bottle showed outstandingly well. The bouquet is very, very deep and delivers a wonderfully complex mélange of cassis, black raspberry, cigar box, woodsmoke, a stellar expression of Montrose earthy soil, herbs and a judicious framing of cedary, spicy wood. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, young and urgent, with great acids, a rock solid core of black fruit, excellent expression of terroir, and profound length and grip on the mineral-infused finish. The ’70 Montrose is still a tad on the young side, and will continue to improve over the next twenty years, and should have no difficulty lasting another fifty! To give some idea of just how good the ’70 Montrose is, we paired it up with the ’70 Latour! I have a very, very hard time imagining that the highly-touted 1989 and 1990 will ever be as good as the 1970 Montrose. Drink between 2006-2050.
Tasted at the Montrose vertical in Stamford, the 1970 Montrose is a wine that I drank regularly back in the 1990s, when it was one of the standouts of the vintage. As noted by more recent notes by myself and Robert Parker, it seems to have dried out in recent years, although there remains some drinking pleasure. It is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc picked between 23 September and 11 October. Quite deep in color, it has a cedar and leather-scented bouquet and modest amounts of black fruit, higher toned than coeval vintages, probably due to the relatively higher alcohol level. The palate is medium-bodied with fine definition, structured and perhaps a little dry and loose-knit towards the finish. It seems to be on a downward curve, though I wager that large format bottles might be holding up well. I would broach regular-sized bottles over the next 5-6 years. Tasted May 2016. (NM)
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