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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.
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.
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.
The year 1929 was an extraordinary year in the vineyards of Bordeaux as well as on Wall Street. When the U.S. stock market crashed in 1929, it produced several unwanted effects abroad, especially in Europe, where many countries had not fully recovered from the aftermath of World War I. In Germany the economic disaster and the resulting social dislocation contributed to the rise of Adolf the United States there were 16 million unemployed – about a third of the available labour force.
In Bordeaux the 1929 is one of the “legendary” vintages of the century. Its reputation was made even greater as the 30s were really a catastrophic decade, and it was not until 1945 that anything of equivalent quality was made. In Bordeaux those sixteen years were one of the longest “dark periods” in the 20th century. The year of 1929 was extremely hot and dry, the driest since the beginning of the century. It only rained for a short period during the harvest, but then the fine and hot weather came back again. The grapes became very concentrated, high in tannins and produced wine to last.