2003 Montrose, St-Estèphe

SKU #1025661 99 points 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)  (8/2014)

97 points James Suckling

 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?  (7/2013)

96 points 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.  (3/2006)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

 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.  (5/2006)

95 points Wine Spectator

 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.  (3/2006)

K&L Notes

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)

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Saint Estephe

- The northern-most of the Medoc communes, St. Estephe is quickly becoming one of the favorite areas for both high quality and great value Bordeaux reds. While it has fewer classified growths than the other communes, it also boasts some of the hottest up and coming chateaux of the last several. The most famous chateaux are the second growths Montrose and Cos d'Estournel with Calon Segur (3rd growth), Lafon Rochet (4th growth), and Cos Labory (5th growth) rounding out the cru classe wines. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the area, but plantings of Merlot are on the rise resulting in rounder, fatter, flashier wines than in years past.