2005 Montrose, St-Estèphe

SKU #1073662 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Tasted at the vertical in London, the 2005 Montrose came and delivered the goods. This was the best example of the 2005 that I have tasted, perhaps a wine that is going to prove that, the longer wine lovers can resist temptation. It is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 3.5% Cabernet Franc and .5% Petit Verdot picked between 23 September and 9 October. The bouquet is extremely detailed, displaying more red berry fruit compared to the 2010 Montrose that leans towards black. Graphite and cedar emerge with time, even an unusual floral scent that is uncommon with respect to this property, whilst all the time retaining fantastic focus and delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with a ferrous tincture on the entry. There are the first signs of secondary notes (dried leaves and bay leaf), but it is the tannic backbone and the precision that really defines this Montrose at the moment. For certain, it is masculine and structured, yet it has enormous potential, perhaps more than was suggested when it was first released? This is for the long term, but you know that already. Tasted June 2016. (NM)  (3/2017)

96 points James Suckling

 This continues to be very tight yet I loved drinking it the other night at dinner. Loads of spices, berries, meat, cloves and chocolate on the nose. Full body with soft, silky tannins and lots of rich fruit. Still chewy. This is just starting to open up now. Drink or hold.  (11/2015)

95 points Wine Spectator

 This is still a bit dark and brooding, with a charcoal frame around well-steeped fig and black currant fruit. The long finish lets a deep river of smoldering tobacco and warm stone notes course through. Austere and seemingly taciturn, yet thoroughly beautiful. May not be your style, but this is undeniable.--Blind '01/'03/'05 Bordeaux retrospective (December 2017). Best from 2022 through 2042. (JM, Web Only-2018)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good bright ruby-red. Very ripe aromas of plum, flint and nutty oak. Large-scaled, rich and explosive, offering impressive volume and a sensation of power. The ripeness here verges on syrupy and this lush, round wine may well need a decade to lose some of its baby fat and assume its adult shape. The big, ripe tannins coat the teeth. 93+  (5/2008)

93 points Wine & Spirits

 This is so big it is blinding, a storm of mineral tannin and plum-skin extract. The volume is turned up high, and even as the tannic noise factor begins to diminish with days of air, the wine is still closed tight. The comportment of its power shows this to be a wine from a great terroir; the property, in fact, has some parallels to Latour, with its similarly shaped gravel promontory above the Gironde. Montrose consistently grows one of the staunchest, long-lived wines of the Médoc and though accommodations have been made in recent years to soften it, the tannic index in February 2006 read at 82, a force to reckon with over the decades to come.  (10/2008)

K&L Notes

Chateau Montrose is a Second Growth St-Estêphe comprising 95 hectares in exposed gravel along the Gironde. The vineyards are planted to 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot (though the actual percentages in the final blend will vary from year to year).

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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 M├ędoc 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.
Sub-Region:

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.