1990 Montrose, St-Estèphe
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Tasted at the Montrose vertical in London, the 1990 Montrose is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc (almost identical to the 1989 Montrose) and picked between 14 September and 3 October. It has a formidable reputation and for years it overshadowed the 1989...It shows approximately the same evolution as the 1989 in bottle, but unsurprisingly showed less bricking in magnum format. The bouquet is cut from a different cloth to the 1989 and attests to that warm vintage: hickory, clove, undergrowth and wild fennel, later garrigue-like scents and terracotta, the latter two more pronounced on the bottle format compared to the youthful magnum. The palate is full-bodied and powerful, yet the balance is perfect, a ballerina-like poise with the structure of the Forth Bridge. It is a multi-layered Montrose that offers enormous length, fresh and vibrant with the magnum demonstrating tangible mineralite and tension as it fans out on the crescendo of a finish—a fanfare for Saint Estèphe in all its glory. Improving all the time in the glass, this example of 1990 Montrose is a privilege to behold. (NM)
Rated 100 RP on six different occasions for the Wine Advocate (and a few other tastings for Hedonist's Gazette), the current online average for 1990 Montrose is $592 (as of Jan 2017). Current stock comes from a single collector, delivered to us in original cases. Latest Robert Parker review (besides Neal Martin's Wine Advocate review above, also 100 points) is from August 2014: "The final blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc was harvested between September 14 and October 3. The spring was cold, yet summer was extremely hot and dry – one of the hottest vintages since 1949. The fact that virtually no rain fell in September served as a catalyst to get all the grapes ripe and in cellars....This wine has an incredibly complex nose of spring flowers, blackberry and cassis liqueur, scorched earth and barbecue spice. It is full-bodied, majestic and opulent, with low acidity and fabulous fruit. It is close to full maturity. The wine should continue to drink well for at least another 30 or more years, but it is showing secondary nuances in the perfume. The wine is absolutely magnificent, broad, savory and mouth-filling. This is one of the all-time modern legends from Bordeaux as well as Chateau Montrose."