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News

CHÂTEAU MONTROSE REVEALS ITS NEW BARREL HALL /

After an exceptional renovation project begun in 2007 and guided by a concern for sustainability, Château Montrose reveals its new face, unique in the Bordeaux region.

Martin and Olivier Bouygues, lovers of Château Montrose wines and confident in the estate’s infinite development potential, acquired this Médoc Grand Cru in 2006 and immediately invested substantial resources in enhancing and embellishing it.

 

An ambitious seven-year renovation programme without any interruption of activity

The project was led by Bouygues Rénovation Privée, experts in very high-end renovation projects, and Yves Grémont, an official French heritage architect. It was carried out by Atelier Bernard Mazières, a Bordeaux firm specialising in winery renovation.
The exceptional project took seven years, from 2007 to 2013, a timespan justified by the wish to respect the estate’s cycle of activity. The renovation met four major challenges set by Martin and Olivier Bouygues:

-to give Château Montrose the finest winemaking facilities, including a new main barrel hall where the premium wine can mature in ideal conditions,

-to identify and take advantage of every opportunity to save and produce energy, especially through a geothermal system and 3,000 m² of rooftop solar panels,

-to respect the environment and significantly reduce the estate’s carbon footprint,

-to preserve the overall architecture of Château Montrose in the typical 18th century Bordeaux style.

 

The main barrel hall, centrepiece of the renovation project

The renovation and extension programme at Château Montrose spans over 10,000 m² of working buildings, offices and reception rooms.
The main barrel hall, where Montrose’s first wine is matured, is the centrepiece of the project, combining cutting-edge technology with traditional XVIIIth century architecture.
Under an 11-metre-high ceiling, with very precisely controlled humidity and temperature and in an atmosphere of almost monastic silence, the 1,000-m² main barrel hall welcomed its first vintage in 2014: Château Montrose 2013.
 

 

Montrose releases with an ambitious 54% price hike / Montrose has released its 2014 vintage with a substantial price increase on the 2013.

Released at €88.80 per bottle ex-negociant, 54.2% higher than last year’s release, the rise marks a substantial premium on the majority of Montrose’s back vintages from the last decade, and is almost as expensive as the current price for the 2005.

Montrose releases with an ambitious 54% price hike

However, the wine is widely acknowledged as one of the best of the whole vintage, with Neal Martin awarding it 95-97 points, noting: “Dare I say, this is one grand vin that comes perilously close to matching the heights of the 2009 and 2010. This is a brilliant Montrose, one of the best you will find on the Left Bank this vintage.”

According to Joss Fowler at Fine & Rare: “It’s a fantastic wine. Is it worth buying? If you’re a fan of Montrose and want one of the wines of the vintage, then yes. If you’re concerned about relative value, then no.”

He added: “It’s an ambitious price but it depends on how much they want to sell of it.”

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History

In the first quarter of the late 18th century, Alexandre de Ségur owned the LATOUR, LAFITE and MOUTON estates. He was known as The Prince of vines » for he promoted his vineyards to a prestigious destiny and bequeathed them to his son, Nicolas Alexandre.

Due to his marriage, Nicolas de Ségur took possession of Château de Calon, and he enthusiastically said: I already make wine at Latour and Lafite, but my heart belongs to Calon. Like his father, he pulled up the estate by setting a high level of requirement and contributed to the prestige of his wines. Then in 1778, under Louis XVI’s reign, he sold CALON to Etienne DUMOULIN. Théodore, Etienne’s son, discovered in his fief a part of land known as « Lande d’Escargeon » covered with heather in pink bloom. Convinced that this deserted heath has hidden value, he cleared the land, planted vines and built a château. Thus was born Montrose which progressively acceded to the Gotha of Medoc’s wines.

 

In 1824, Théodore DUMOULIN sold Calon to Mr LESTAPIS but kept MONTROSE .Thirty one years later, in 1855, MONTROSE is classified Second Great Growth : a resounding success !

And yet,5 years after his death, his adopted children sold the estate. The new owner, Mathieu DOLLFUS, a visionary businessman, increased the technical potential  with an unconditional enthusiasm. Montrose deserves the best: he modified the château, built houses for the estate workers and new farm buildings; he installed huge bullock pens, stables, and accommodation for the coachmen and invested in an automatic system for horse feed distribution. He took the unusual step of providing social security for his workers with whom he also shared the estate’s profits, a very avant-garde behaviour for that time. This model estate looked like a village with narrow streets, squares, houses and workshops.

Since 2006 , the BOUYGUES brothers , Martin and Olivier, share  this same enthusiasm as theirs predecessors: to pursue with all their heart  the production of this great  and exceptional wine.

 

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Vineyards

Mid earth, such is the etymology of the word Medoc . This peninsula is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gironde Estuary. Along this estuary, the Medoc vineyard streches out 80 kms long and 5 kms large.

The region is crossed by the 45° parallel and is situated between two water masses that provide a microclimate which is a great advantage to the vine culture. Hence Saint-Estèphe benefits from a quite hot and wet climate, with intense sun exposure and rather mild winters. The medoc vineyard expands on soils shaping small gravel hills. These gravel layers favors an excellent water cycle due to steep slopes : superficial running, infiltration and drain in low areas.

 

The viticulture blossoms perfectly in this microclimate. There are six appellations in the Haut-Medoc area and among them the Saint-Estèphe. Saint-Estèphe is distinguishable from the other appellations of the district by the homogenity of its soils and the proximity to the Gironde. The geological substration takes on the exact shape of the superficial slopes in view of an ideal draining system. Being close to the river, allows Château Montrose to benefit from a natural « air conditioner ».The vineyard is orientated in the direction of dominant winds that dry the leaves and hence ,lessen the impact of diseases (mildiou, oidium, botrytis…).

The 95-hectare vineyard in one single block, extremely unusual in the Medoc, is located on a very well exposed gravelly land, by the Gironde. The vineyard hence overlooks the estuary. The proximity to this vast body of water locally called “river” has a very smoothing climatic impact on the vineyard. The river and its tide mitigate and moderate the climate’s rigor: by mollifying the frost and refreshing blazing summer heat.

Since Montrose’s purchase in 2006, Martin and Olivier BOUYGUES launched a vast renovation program of the site with environmental aims. Both brothers are willing to push Montrose forward as a model and a showcase of new technologies of sustainable development.

A site with a high environmental quality. The companies participating to the construction follow the environmental convention: environment’s respect and appropriate materials

 

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Winemaking

The alcoholic fermentation take place in stainless steel vats and last about 20 days. Several pumping-over are done each day in order to speed up the thin layers / grape seeds/ and juice exchange. Before the malolactic fermentation, and as soon as the running off starts, samples of a same grape variety and identical quality are blended.

As of november, the blend process begins. For weeks, all the samples are tasted in order to refine our selection. The delicacy as well as the powerful tannins form the principal characteristics of Montrose’s wine. For every vintage, we quest for that goal along with the balance of the fruit.

From January, each vintage is barrel-matured in a specific barrel hall. The Premium Wine, Château Montrose, is matured for 18 months in 60% new French oak barrels from eight different coopers.For the second wine, La Dame de Montrose, the proportion of new barrels is 30% and the wine is matured on average for 12 months. The Saint-Estèphe de Montrose is matured for 12 months in 20% new barrels.

During the maturing process the wines are racked every three months or so. The traditional method used at Montrose involves transferring the wine from one barrel to another by gravity so that the clear wine can be perfectly separated from the lees which settle naturally at the bottom of the barrel. Fining is carried out in barrels in the traditional way, with fresh egg whites, in order to refine the wine and soften the tannins.

The wines tasted during « the Primeurs period » correspond to the definite blend of Montrose’s wines. As of the blend, the wine gains its own essence, and the maturing in barrels will only then improve the harmony of the grape varieties. Thus begins the process of maturity of our wine. 60 % of new french oak barrels, supplied by several carefully- selected coopers are used in Montrose, and 40 % in one year old barrels. The average ageing period is 16 to 18 months.

 

For our second wine, DAME DE MONTROSE, the proportion of new french oak barrels reaches about 15 to 20 %. The average ageing is 12 months; so begins a long process of racking rhythm.

This is a very natural process of slow wine decanting, to isolate the fine particles still present in the wine. All the wines are finely racked every 3 months, a very traditional method.

The wine is moved from one barrel to the other by gravity. Once the barrel’s bottom is reached, the workers carefully view, with a candle, the lees coming off the clear part of the wine. The fining is made traditionally, in barrels, with fresh egg whites, in order to refine the wine and to soften the tannins

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Inside information

The result of rigorous selection at each stage of production, in both the vineyard and the winery, this great, predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon wine is typical of the Saint-Estèphe appellation. Structured and tannic but with all the elegance and refinement of a Grand Cru Classé, with time it develops a delicate and complex bouquet.

The wines have considerable ageing potential and are exceptionally long-lived. Certain vintages (1921, 1929, 1982, 1990, 2009, 2016) are considered legendary. 

Matured for 18 months in 60% new oak barrels, the premium wine accounts on average for 55% of the estate’s total production.

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2 different wines with 88 vintages

Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Dhruv Sawhney, Wine Lover (India)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Montrose . In a tasting of  14 wines 

Vintage 1961 tasting with Mouton, Lafleur, Petrus, Latour, La Chapelle, Palmer etc.

16d 13h ago

 Doug Hill / Wine Importer, Pro (Canada)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Montrose . In a tasting of  10 wines 

My TOP 10 Bordeaux 2016 vintage wines!

16d 23h ago

 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Montrose . In a tasting of  13 wines 

My TOP Bordeaux from 2010 vintage / Deep ruby in colour, the Lafite has wonderful aromatics, with a gorgeous perfume of violets, cedar, cassis and blackberries. With its velvety tannins and layered, delicate flavours, there is a succulent juicy character to its fruit profile, accented with hints of violet. It is a gorgeous wine that is filled with delicate layers of flavours and at the same time is not heavy or dense. This is clearly a very successful vintage for Lafite in both style and intensity, producing a wine that will outlive the outstanding 2009. 100 points

1m 7d ago

 Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  26 wines  from  Château Montrose . In a tasting of  28 wines 

Château Montrose 1895-2000  / Chateau Montrose 1990 / Carnality and a kind of wild, wanton grace distinguish this wine. For many in our tasting, it was one of the wines of the evening. You have cassis, leather and herbs on the nose, consorting with redcurrant and some tobacco. It opens with a lush, sweet opulence that has nice delineation, and still impressive tannic structure. You get layers of sweet fruit with an exotic spice mixture at and past the mid palate, and it flirted nicely with the stunning Macaronade. The finish is awash in concentration, a wine of palate enveloping dimensionality, to me just shy of the poise and tension I’m after in wines with the potential for greatness certainly evident here. 96 Points

2m 6d ago

 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Montrose . In a tasting of  161 wines 

Bordeaux 2016 vintage!

2m 6d ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Montrose . In a tasting of  126 wines 

Every now and again one stumbles across a paradox that confounds the accepted natural order of things. The 2016 Bordeaux vintage was born out of a growing season that was near-catastrophe and near-perfection. After the Hesperian Dragon’s relentless torment, the Titan God Atlas had seemingly kept the sky aloft with the help of a Phoenix. Following five months of diabolical weather patterns, a warm to hot dry summer arrived in the nick of time, not only saving a vintage, but creating one of the most spectacular vintages in a lifetime.


 The sense of relief in Bordeaux must have been as thrilling as avoiding the bullet of Russian Roulette, or the adrenalin of surviving a base-jump. The razor’s edge has never been so exquisitely fine. While the end result is not always perfect, with the odd abrasions here and there, the overall quality of the 2016 Bordeaux vintage is remarkably consistent with many Chateaux making some of their best wines in 50 years. Typically, the wines have deep colours, pure fruit aromatics, generous saturated flavours, dense rich tannin structures and bell clear acidities. Precision, freshness, elegance, smoothness and “delicate opulence” are words that are being used by various Chateaux to describe their wines.


 The Bordelais are, of course, the world’s greatest spin doctors. They leave snake charmers for dead when it comes to the art of mesmerising. The newly opened and impressive Cité du Vin, which sits on the banks of the Garonne River in Bordeaux, sparkles like a polished turd; a monument to the exaggerations and optimism of this particular type of fine wine game. Momentum is achieved through belief. There is no room for wavering or self-doubt.

2m 9d ago

 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Montrose . In a tasting of  30 wines 

My TOP 30 wines of the Bordeaux 2016 vintage.

2m 12d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Montrose . In a tasting of  272 wines 

BORDEAUX VINTAGE 2016 / Tasting "en primeur" is a challenge every year. The wines tasted are showing a tendency only and it is still the beginning of a longer process of evolution and maturation in the barrels. There might be some changes during the next year and a half until the wines will be bottled, but already today the tendency is quite clear. For most of the red wines it will be an outstanding vintage, a vintage for Cabernet, old vines, limestone and clay soil. It was a challenging year for the vintners. An incredibly wet spring was worrying the winegrowers and at the beginning of June, the spirits were down. However warm and dry weather between June 3 and June 11 creating an close to ideal situation for the flowering and good weather conditions starting in mid June changed the nature of the vintage. The fine weather continued into July and August. The month of August was featuring hot weather and a remarkable amount of sunshine but the absence of rain let to water stress. Heavy rain in mid September set an end to water stress and when the sun returned on September 20 the vintage was saved as there was excellent weather till to the end of the harvest. The effects were various. the white wines are on a good quality level and display fruit and flavour but the acidity is lower than in previous vintages and the white wines show an opulent and rather soft style. The noble sweet wines are extremely pure and are more on the rich and powerful side than on the freshness. For the red wines originating from the right terroirs and old vines, the vintage an be called outstanding. Water stress was managed well on limestone and clay terroirs, Cabernet varieties did extremely well and old vines found water even during the stressful dry periods of summer. In some few red wines the tannins are slightly harsh, almost bitter, a result of water stress and/or intense extraction. In general the red wines are on an excellent level with an advantage for the left bank, mainly the Médoc area, and the classic great terroirs of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. 

2m 15d ago

 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Montrose . In a tasting of  75 wines 

In 2016 Pauillac has made some excellent wines and on the top, Mouton has made something very special and might be wine of the vintage competing with Petrus. Lots of estate has made excellent wines from Pauillac this year. Saint-Estephe has also made stunning wines and Cos d'Estournel has made one of the greatest wines I have ever tasted from them. Northern Médoc is far better in 2016 than in 2015, but for me, 2016 on a whole delivers more. 2015 for me eas a bit hyped even if the wines were very good indeed. 2016 probably has the edge over 2011 as well that is seriously undervalued in the market, but will give many some surprises for the future.

2m 17d ago

 Andrea Rinaldi / Sommelier, Pro (Italy)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Montrose . In a tasting of  39 wines 

Last weekends best wines including Cheval 1959, Romanee Conti 1970 etc.

2m 22d ago

 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Montrose . In a tasting of  64 wines 

98 wines tasted from Pomerol 2016 vintage, a stunning vintage for the appelation. Petrus might be the wine of the vintage, such finesse! But many others as well. Le Pin, La Conseillante, Clinet, Gazin, Petit Village, Lafleur, L'Evangile, VCC, La Fleur-Pétrus, Trotanoy, L'Eglise-Clinet and many more made stunning wines. Gazin made the best wine they ever did, same with Nenin. Pomerols are beyond seductive in 2016.

2m 23d ago

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