For many years I have vehemently argued that the 1989 Montrose is a benchmark wine for the estate. Having tasted it several times over the last couple of months, I have never found a single occasion to alter that view. Tasted at the vertical in London, it continues to shine, having never lost any of its luster in recent years. It is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc that was picked from 11 to 28 September. Lucid in color, the aromatics do not hold back with vibrant blackberry, blueberry and black truffle, hints of sous-bois, all with sensational precision that few can match in this vintage (indeed, its precision lends it a veneer of modernity since "precision" is now more commonplace across Bordeaux). The palate is brilliantly balanced with filigree tannin. There is wonderful backbone here, extremely fresh and tensile, crystalline even with an exceptional detail, mineral-rich finish that lingers in the mouth. Difficult to fault, this might well be the greatest 1989 Montrose that I have tasted, and certainly wishing to take nothing away from the 1990 Montrose that I tasted alongside, the 1989 is now the one I would pick. Is this the greatest Saint Estèphe of the 1980s? I would put it within the top five Bordeaux of the 1980s. Could this be inching its way to perfection??? Tasted June 2016. (NM)
This was yet another wine I drunk with wine collector friends in Bangkok -- the city is truly buzzing when it comes to wine and when you know where to look! On the nose, there were intense aromas of iron, pot iron and dried fruits, as well as hints of nuts and wet earth. On the palate, it showed a gorgeous texture of ripe tannins and lots of spicy and currant fruit character. A full-bodied, very soft and silky Bordeaux with lots of flavors and a superb finish. Just right now -- indeed it seems to be getting younger with age, not older! Decant an hour before. I think it's better than the legendary 1990. It's certainly cleaner and more consistent quality. (JS)
Intense aromas of crushed blackberry and mineral turn to dried flowers and dried fruits, staying fresh on the nose. Full-bodied, offering big, round tannins and loads of ripe, seductive fruit. This is decadent and wild, turning nutty and fruity. A beautiful bottle. This is very close in quality to the legendary 1990. (JS, Web-2010)
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