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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.
Main characteristics of the vintage
From early March, the weather was fine with rather high temperatures above the seasonal average causing the vine to grow around March 10th, which was really very early. At the end of this month, despite the sunny weather, it was rather cold (on March 31st, the temperature went down below 2° C). The merlots and cabernet francs were first concerned by the frost, as their growth was earlier than the cabernets sauvignons’. Montrose’s vineyard, well ventilated by its nearby location to the estuary of the Gironde, was never subject to the spring frosts, before 1977. Then, May and June were too mild for the season with rainfalls. The early vegetation lagged and the blossoming was late (mid-blossoming June 21st). If July’s temperatures were normal, August and September lacked sun and heat, causing an insufficient maturity of the grapes. The first days of harvest were characterized by an alternation of rain and sun, followed by a fresh fine weather. During this period, the temperature did not exceed 20°C;
We had to face a crop of average quality lacking maturity; nevertheless, the wine revealed to be fine and elegant.
Period of harvest
October 1st -October 15th