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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 1953 become the first top vintage of the 1950s. The year ended up to be an excellent one, even though the heavy rains of September threatened to destroy a good year. The hot, dry summer was crowned by a perfect August. The mercury rose above 30°C on more than half of the days in August. Fortunately, the rains that came in mid-September made way for ideal harvest conditions at the beginning of October. The finest wines of this vintage are united by their elegance, delicacy and temperance. They should ideally be decanted for two hours before drinking. The vintage received praise particularly in Médoc, which produced the best wines of the entire vintage. One of the most highly renowned of these is the Château Lafite-Rothschild. Many consider it to be best Lafite-Rothschild of the entire 20th century. Although Graves and Sauternes also produced some top wines, Pomerol and Saint-Émilion today offer so many outstanding creatures, with the crème de la crème being the Cheval Blanc and Lafleur.