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Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 98p / Tasted at the château, the 2009 Montrose is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot picked between 17 September and 5 October. It has a very powerful and opulent bouquet that is irresistible, blackcurrant pastilles, cedar, violets and a hint of vanilla pod. The palate is full-bodied, powerful, grippy in the mouth with layers of black fruit laced with tar and white pepper. It is a dense Montrose, heady unlike any other vintage with a spicy and purposeful finish that lingers long in the mouth. Almost knocks you sideways! This is immense. Tasted September 2016.
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 2009 / Episodes of regular rain and warm temperature characterize the first six months of the year 2009. Nevertheless, the key-phases of the vine’s growing cycle (blossoming and setting of the vine) developed in excellent conditions. This year again, the unique soil of Montrose helped us fight against the parasitic disease, gratefully to the draining gravelly soil along with the oceanic air that sweeps and dries away the vineyard.
The summer settled a hot and dry weather until the early fall, allowing the berry to gain volume and change colour. That authorized us to be patient with confidence and serenity for the grape to reach optimal maturity.
Our obsession was to find the balance so fragile between the perfect maturity of the berries (sugar, tannin) and the freshness of the juice extended by an acidity that we controlled daily. All these factors foreshadowed an exceptional vintage of grand quality.
The tasting of the juice, then of the wine, rapidly convinced us of the extraordinary quality the vintage 2009 was reserving us. It is also important to stress on the homogeneous and valuable soil of Montrose.
Period of harvest: September 17th – October 5th