This is a masterclass in the ageing aromas of Bordeaux. It sits exactly at the spot at which you still have a tightening and a menthol freshness on this finish, with cassis fruit that is still very much tight and young, but where the more gentle, spicy, brushed almond and cedar flavours start to intrude. Beautiful wine, amazing, it deepens through the palate, the expression changes and evolves, it's tertiary but still with flesh, gorgeous. Drinking Window 2017-2032. (JA)
Wonderful clean berry fruit with currant, light mint and mineral following through to a full, firm palate with long, silky tannins and a mineral, berry and spice aftertaste. Lovely wine. Firm. This is squeaky clean and beautiful. Enjoyable now but better to wait a few years still. (JS, Web Only-2006)
Tasted at the château, the 1986 Montrose is a wine that I had not tasted for many years and up until now, I was concerned about whether there was sufficient fruit to balance its sturdy, obdurate tannins. A blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc picked between 30 September and 16 October, it has a similar core to the 1986 Cos d'Estournel, albeit with a slight wider bricked rim. The nose is pleasant and quite floral, not as rich or as opulent as the Cos d'Estournel, quite refined with cedar and undergrowth aromas, then pencil lead that becomes more dominant with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannin, a fresh line of acidity, a little more leather coming through towards the finish with commendable weight and focus, if not quite the exuberance of the best 1986s. It is drinking perfectly now. Though a long way behind the 1989 and 1990 Montrose, this conservative Saint Estephe will continue to give 15-20 years more pleasure. (NM)
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