2003 Montrose, St-Estèphe
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The blend in 2003 was 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot (a very high percentage), 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. The wine, unlike most 2003s, has a freshness and liveliness provided by their extraordinary terroir. This wine can be drunk now. It has a dense bluish/purple color to the rim and an extraordinary nose of blueberries and mulberries, with blacker cassis and blackberry entering the picture. Scorched earth, spice and licorice are all present in this magnificent, full-bodied, opulent wine that is very Montrose, very classic and somewhat atypical of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2040. (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. Better in 2016, but why wait?
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
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.
Thought by many tasters to be the wine of the vintage at the time of the 2004 barrel tastings. Has it retained that status? It is certainly a hugely powerful wine, monumental even. It is also finely balanced, with great dark tannins working in partnership with brooding black fruit. The question is whether it is too big, too powerful: only time will tell.
Dark color. Aromas of blackberry, toasted oak, spice and tobacco. Loads of plum. Medium- to full-bodied, with very integrated and refined tannins. Long. This really builds on the palate. This is better than the 2000 and 1990. Only time will tell if it's better than the 1989. Best after 2011.
Barrel sample according to Clyde Beffa, K&L Bordeaux buyer: "Intense nose-blackberries. Deep and concentrated. Tight and holding back, but here is power behind this baby. Magnificent. Only tasted once. **" (4/2004)