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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

As with many of its neighbours, there is another building project (with architect Philippe Mazieres) going on here, but nearing completion and expected to be fully ready by September 2013. This is an ode to the green credentials of the Bouygues building company. The whole site reduces up to 50% of the average energy consumption in heating, cooling and lighting, and produces more energy than its consumes. A geothermal refrigeration system uses groundwater, and 3000m2 of photovoltaic panels cover several roof-tops, producing around 400kw of electricity.

They hope to limit using any mains water supply and use instead rain water and recycled water. ‘At Montrose, we are lucky to have a water source below the chateau that remains constant all year at around 14 degrees – meaning that it can be used in the cellar to cool things down in the summer, and warm things up in winter,’ said Delmas in 2011, ‘It avoids the over-use of thermo-regulation, and can also convert to energy, to store it up for use when needed.’

Montrose also recently bought 22 hectares of Phelan Seguar (in 2010, from a plot adjacent to the estate’s own vines, and which was part of Montrose until the 19th century).

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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3 different wines with 106 vintages

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Wine Moments

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

 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Montrose . In a tasting of  29 wines 

1982 is an iconic vintage for Bordeaux, and for many wine lovers, it’s a reference point as a modern, ripe year that was delicious from the onset. The top wines are still holding up well and show no signs of fading. However, some of the lesser wines are starting to show its age. This ripe vintage has given us a wide drinking window, regardless of the specific appellation and terroir. For those that still have some top 1982 Bordeaux in your cellar, there is no rush to pull the cork. A long life ahead awaits these beauties.

23d 4h ago

 Prem Kumar  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Montrose . In a tasting of  1 wines 

Colour medium purple. Nose was a bit tight at the begining but opened up very nicely after awhile. Aromas of blackcurrant and cherries with hints of leather and earth. Medium bodied with some elegant tannins. Flavours of dark fruits, cassis, cherries with hints of minerals. Finish was a little short. 

4m 29d ago

 Prem Kumar  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Montrose . In a tasting of  1 wines 

Deep purple colour with some dark red hues at the edges. Aroma a little tight at first but opened up very nicely. On the nose was black fruits, cedar and spices. A balanced flavourful wine. Concentrated flavours of blackberry, dried fruits, cassis with hints of cedar, leather and spices.  

5m 2h ago

 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Montrose . In a tasting of  26 wines 

Château Mouton Rothschild 2016 / Gorgeous, subtle, layered Mouton with delicate and detailed flavors that linger on the palate for a long time. The density of the tannins combine with wonderful freshness and layers of flavors that range from dark berries, savory spices to cedar and earth. A glorious Mouton that has stature and concentration without any heaviness. The blend is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 1% Cab Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. The latter two varieties were co-fermented.


99 points

7m 2d ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Montrose . In a tasting of  100 wines 

I'll repeat myself with the phrase, "Pomerol is one of the strongest districts in 2018"! The truth is that it's s an accurate and valid statement. Despite not tasting Petrus and Lafleur, to name some of the big hitters, I can assure, that there is enough exceptional goof for every taste from Pomerol. As everywhere in Bordeaux, there also are very few wines under the usual standard in Pomerol.


 

8m 23d ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Montrose . In a tasting of  21 wines 

Bordeaux 2018 in bottle / After having tasted more than 150 wines already (primo January 2021), big and small properties, I can already make a very bold statement. This vintage in red is really something, and I've to backtrack my earlier opinion based on barrel tasting, that it's inconsistent compared to 2010 and 2016. It seems that the time spent in barrels and final blends benefitted the wines a lot and they're of high quality everywhere in Bordeaux. 

10m 16d ago

 Clive Coates / MW, Wine Writer (France)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Montrose . In a tasting of  41 wines 

Montrachet, 2002 Domaine Des Comtes Lafon.
Montrachet, please notice. No Le, as the plot is on the Chassagne side. Here was a wine which took its time to come out of the glass. At first I was a little underwhelmed, but after ten minutes or so, the richness, concentration, and indeed a succulence almost like a red wine, began to appear. We have something which is quite oaky, still quite youthful, full bodied and very classy indeed: the depth unmistakably of a grand cru. Quite splendid!

1y 18d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Montrose . In a tasting of  1 wines 

Tertio de Montrose is the newest release of Château Montrose, the third wine of the estate. The vintage 2016 has just been presented on the market. The Château explains: "The ever-increasing quality requirement for Château Montrose and La Dame de Montrose, and the increasingly precise selections, now allow an annual production of a 3rd blend: the Tertio de Montrose. Produced on the exceptional terroir of Château Montrose and vinified by the teams at the property, this wine is the fruit of a classic blend of the great Bordeaux grape varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot."

1y 23d ago

 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Montrose . In a tasting of  29 wines 

Penfolds G3 / The very first release of this new, somewhat iconoclastic and yet intrinsically delicious concept, this NV G3 is a blend of Grange 2008, 2012 and 2014, although fans of Grange should not expect it to taste like any of these; G3 possesses a style all its own. Very deep garnet-black colored, it has a full-throttle, up-front nose of incense, fruit cake, chocolate-covered cherries and preserved plums with touches of cinnamon stick, cloves, cigar box and Chinese five spice, plus a waft of potpourri. Full-bodied, velvety, rich and oh-so-decadent, this is true hedonist’s wine, with a very, very long spice-layered finish. To quote Homer Simpson, “Sacrilicious!” It is actually open for business and drinking deliciously right now, though should cellar for a good 20+ years. Only 1,200 bottles were made. 97 points

1y 30d ago

 Stephen Tanzer, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Montrose . In a tasting of  18 wines 

Petrus 1961 / Deep red-ruby color with an amber edge. Utterly singular perfumed, high-pitched aromas of loganberry, cherry and flowers. An awesomely concentrated wine of huge power and depth. Chewy with extract and wonderfully sweet and rich. Shows the strong iron note I often get from merlot on the Pomerol plateau, along with superripe suggestions of cherry liqueur and dark chocolate. Finishes with great grip and length, and a bit less sweetness than the middle palate would suggest. Drink now through 2020.

1y 2m ago

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