2012 Montrose, St-Estèphe (Pre-Arrival)
Barrel sample. This is a big, powerful, fruity wine that has restraint from its dense tannins. It's foursquare, chunky in character, already balanced, the tannins merging with the acidity. There is great aging potential.
This shows a lovely finish with ultra-fine tannins and pretty fruit. Refined and long. Plenty of ripe and clean fruit. Tangy and fresh. Shows careful viticulture and winemaking.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The inky/purple-colored 2012 offers up scents of white chocolate, creme de cassis, acacia flowers, crushed rocks and forest floor. The tannins are surprisingly soft as the pH is about 3.7, which is slightly higher than the 2010's 3.6. This dense, full-bodied wine is still somewhat monolithic, but it is loaded with concentration and power as well as a long finish. While not totally formed, all the component parts are present.
Features lively and pure blackberry, fig and plum fruit, lined with enticing singed mesquite, bramble and tar accents. The muscular, tarry finish shows a twinge of austere chalkiness, but there’s ample flesh for balance. Best from 2017 through 2025.—J
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep ruby-red. Floral, mineral nose hints at fresh blackcurrant, but this sample seems tight and closed down currently. On the palate, somewhat strict and linear flavors of blackcurrant and wet stone are lifted by a repeating note of violet. The finish is long and clean but could use more flesh. This classic Bordeaux reminded me of a wine made in the 1970s, but it's easier to drink and less green. Picking took place as late as October 13 for the cabernet sauvignon in the estate's effort to find the ripest possible grapes. About 52% of the estate's total production went into the grand vin, similar to the percentage at Cos but much higher than at Calon-Segur.
Bright deep crimson. Exciting, 'pointed', rather sharply etched impact on the nose. Almost shrill but with great density and definition. Very vibrato! A long-distance runner like Cos d'Estournel. Drink 2022-2040. 17.5/20 points.
57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, with a tiny amount of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.