x
  • Country ranking ?

    915
  • Producer ranking ?

    11
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    from 2025
  • Food Pairing

    Duck Ragout with Sweet Potato Gnocchi

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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The 2015 Montrose is a blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc that was picked between 15 September and 8 October, the fruit sorted three times using three sorting tables, then an optical sorting machine and finally by hand. Matured in 65% new oak, it possesses some of the best aromatics you will find in the appéllation - billowing blackberry, cassis and boysenberry scents all beautifully defined and seamlessly integrated with the new oak. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, commendable depth and a vibrant bead of acidity that lends this Montrose tension from start to finish. The class comes through strongly in this wine, perhaps the best Saint Estèphe this year. Give this a decade in bottle, more if you can, since Montrose tends to repay cellaring. Drink 2025-2060

Score: 93/95

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (224), April 2016

Blueberry, black currant, fresh basil and lemon grass flavors. Full body, velvety tannins, clean finish. Spices. Depth.

Score: 93/94

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2016

The 2015 Montrose is silky, super-finessed and nuanced, all qualities that are unusual for a wine that is usually much more of a powerhouse. Black cherry, smoke, leather, graphite, crème de cassis and licorice notes open up in the glass, yet the wine comes across as raw and not fully formed. The 2015 appeared to put on a bit of weight over the two weeks I followed it, but I don't see the depth, structure and personality of the very best versions.

Score: 90/93

Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2016

Concentration richness the nose has a powerful mix of black fruits the palate a brooding depth. The tannins are fine and not that obvious but support. The fruit at the back is ripe a rich mix of black fruits yet there is balance with freshness on the finish.

Score: 91/95

Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2016

Well, well, well. How good is this? St. Estèphe was supposed to be the least favoured commune in the Médoc in 2015, but this is a brilliant wine that’s up there with the best releases of the vintage. Perfumed, dense and super concentrated, with compact tannins, notes of cassis, blueberry and liquorice and very fine tannins. Drink: 2025-40

Score: 96

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2016

Very dark and very dramatic. Even a hint of overripeness on the nose. A little stodgy. Could do with a little more lift. A little dry at present. Clearly fashioned for the very long term. Kerpow! Very much in the style of the old Montroses in terms of sheer concentration. Drink 2027-2042

Score: 17+

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2016

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The Story

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.

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Wine Information

2015 started with a colder winter than in previous years. The start of the season, mild and quite sunny, favoured early bud burst. Quick and uniform flowering took place at the start of June thanks to the exceptional climatic conditions. June and July were dry, marked by water stress leading to a clear slow-down in the development of the vine. Véraison took place early and in a very uniform way between 21 July and 10 August. The showers in September gave us the measure, once again, of the qualities of our terroir: drainage was perfect, and the Cabernet Sauvignon on the plateau bordering the estuary benefited from a very beneficial drying wind. Harvest started from 15 September with an increased team of pickers and continued at a sustained pace until 8 October when picking finished. The grapes were of very good quality, and we further strengthened our ultra-precise plot selection, which sometimes involved several passes through a plot in the search for optimum ripeness. In the cellar, the reception line allowed for precision work: 3 sorting tables for bunches preceded double sorting of the berries, optical then by hand. The vinification, respectful of the identity of our terroir, was tailor-made in tanks of sizes adapted to each of the 55 batches that make up our blending palette. To these were added 7 batches resulting from the precision work carried out at the press. At the time of blending, the richness of the batches allowed us to be extremely precise in the selection for the grand vin, the most drastic in 15 years. The first tastings put this vintage among the great years of Château Montrose.

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Vintage 2015

Complete 2015 Bordeaux report by Andrew Caillard MW “Next in line of a great series of vintages; 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010 & 2015.”

 

2015 is a wonderful Bordeaux vintage without the hype or hysteria associated with 2009 and 2010. The wines are generally expressive and generous with marvellous concentration and structure. Give another year in barrel, the wines should gain more fruit complexity and volume. The Châteaux, across all sub-regions, are excited by the beautiful fragrance, clear fruit flavours and brisk energy of the wines, and believe the vintage to be the best since 2010. More than a few times the phrase “a vintage of the decade” has been mentioned. I have tasted through most of the top wines, some on more than a few occasions, and feel confident that this is a vintage worth supporting. It is a very successful vintage.

 

Weather conditions were generally ideal with perfect flowering and set during Spring. A hot dry and sunny spell during June and July kept the vines in balance; the near-drought conditions resulted in excellent cluster development. Veraison (in which the grape berries turn from green and hard to coloured and fleshy) began towards the end of July. Light rains refreshed the canopies and hydrated the clusters. Cooler weather arrived in August with above average rainfall. The northern Medoc was exposed to heavy rains, but no berry splitting or significant disease pressure was reported. The cooler conditions running up to harvest in September allowed the grapes to conserve their aromatic potential and ripen relatively evenly.

 

The red wines across the right bank and the left bank are generally impressive in concentration, vigour and freshness. While all the wines are tasted extremely young, it is easy to see the quality and dimension of the vintage. Merlot performed particularly well, with many Châteaux picking intermittently over a three-week window to achieve optimal freshness, fleshiness and ripeness. Cabernet Franc, its companion in many of the wines, gives an attractive “tannin seam” and structural vigour. Already observers are calling it a right bank (St Emilion & Pomerol) year. Ch Vieux Château Certan, described as “La Force Tranquille,”and Château Petrus were my top two right bank wines followed by Château Ausone. All have a buoyancy and precision that augers well for the future.

 

The southern left bank (Margaux and Pessac-Leognan) also stumped up some beautiful concentrated wines. The alcoholic strength and tannin ripeness seem to correlate with this impression.  Cabernet Sauvignon, typically ”needing to takes its time”, brought wines of lovely aromaticity, concentration and vitality. The success of this variety has been dependent on the sophistication of harvesting and selection at blending. Château Margaux and Château Palmer are amazing wines. Château Haut Brion and Château La Mission Haut Brion made dense chocolaty styles. Château Haut Bailly is particularly refined and beautifully balanced.

 

At Château Batailley, the introduction of a second wine and closer attention to differentiation, led to one of the best vintages in its history. Many of the small refinements and decisions in the vineyard and winery allowed several top Châteaux in St Julien, Pauillac and St Estephe to make beautiful wines too. The hard selection process is particularly evident on the left bank. Château Margaux and Château Cos d’Estournel chose to rigorously defend their first wines by very detailed picking and selection. Only 35% and 39% (respectively) of the harvest went into their Grand Vin. St Emilion’s Ch Cheval Blanc on the other hand comprised 95.1% of the harvest, leaving no reason to make Petit Cheval in 2015.

 

Attention to detail in the vineyard, especially after the August rains, and huge investment in optical sorting machines (at a cost of around 200,000 Euros each) at harvest ensured the grapes were in good condition before vinification. It is quite incredible how the fruit arrives into the winery these days. Meticulous attention to detail has become the norm within the Grand Cru Classé community. The First Growth Estates with their huge financial investments in vineyard and cellar practices, all made impressive wines this year. Perhaps the most evocative of all is Château Margaux. The death of the estate’s longstanding winemaker Paul Pontallier, on Easter Sunday from cancer, rocked Bordeaux’s wine community. He was a man for all seasons. He brought the best out of his people and his wines, whatever the vintage offered. 2015 Château Margaux, in all likelihood, will be the greatest vintage of its modern history.

 

Despite the sombre mood at this year’s 2015 En Primeurs tastings, the energy of Spring brought a sense of renewal. Budburst in the vineyards, white and pink blossom in full bloom, the pure chirrup of fledglings and the vibrant new wines of the vintage promised the animation and maturation of life. The colours, densities, flavours and tannin quality of the young red wines all suggest a great vintage in the making. It is one of the wine trade’s most curious practices to make comment on unfinished wine, yet somehow the predictions become more or less right. Over the next year the wines will develop more fruit complexity, richness and volume in barrel. The tannins, oak and fruit will further integrate.

 

The sweet aperitif/ dessert wines of Sauternes and Barsac have also fared extremely well. The combination of even ripening and optimum outbreaks of botrytis cinerea has brought some magnificent wines. Some are calling it the best vintage since 2001, arguably the greatest vintage in recent memory. While Ch d’Yquem looked gorgeous, the elegantly styled Ch Climens, still in many parts, will be wonderful. Typically this wine is tasted out of several barrels, and my notes are a composite of eight different elements. The fragrance, vibrancy, freshness, and line are amazing. The dry whites, mainly Sauvignon Blanc or Gris dominant are refreshing styles with attractive freshness and drive. Ch Haut Brion Blanc is an amazing wine, but its release price will reflect its rarity.

 

The Châteaux will likely bring out the vintage in two tranches to capture the appetite of the world’s wine trade. The first offers will probably be a touch higher than last years opening prices. This will be against the advice of the negociants who have been running on very low margins for many years now. The weakening of the British Pound and the Australian Dollar against the euro may be a stumbling block for some buyers, but there will be value and opportunity in this forthcoming primeur campaign. For Australian buyers, this is absolutely the best way to buy Bordeaux. Provenance is guaranteed, allocations confirmed and the price will still be less than future imports, by virtue of the structure of the Place de Bordeaux.

Better market conditions in China and the US, together with a significant vintage in both quantity and quality, will see momentum return to Bordeaux after a four-year period of stagnation and uncertainty. The cat and mouse game between the Châteaux, the negociants and wine trade now begins. Regardless of the outcome, Bordeaux will continue to be the fine wine reference for many decades. There is something utterly unique, invigorating and evocative about mature Bordeaux wines. The best of the 2015 will be transformative and delicious to drink. All you need is patience, moderately deep pockets and the will to buy!

 

Margaux / Beautiful wines with gorgeous fruit density and fine sinuous tannins. Its is some years since Margaux shone so brightly. Ch Margaux, Ch Palmer, Ch Rauzan Segla, Ch Rauzan Gassies, Alter Ego de Cg Palmer. Ch Pavillon Rouge, Ch Malescot de St Exupery, Ch D’Angludet, Ch Kirwan, Ch Cantenac Brown and Ch Brand Cantenac are highlights.

 

St Julien / Fragrant and well concentrated with slinky textures and inky length. Ch Leoville Lascases, Ch Ducru Beaucaillou and Ch Leoville Barton were top performers. But I also liked Ch Beychevelle, Ch Branaire Ducru and Ch Lagrange, Croix de Beaucaillou and Ch Lalande Borie, both connected to Ch Ducru Beaucaillou, are beneficiaries of meticulous selection.

 

Pauillac / The very top estates made great wine. The First Growths all made very fine wines. There is a debate about which is best. I like Ch Mouton Rothschild the best and admired Ch Latour for its precision and potential for longevity. The latter won’t be released en-primeur so ist academic. Ch Lafite is excellent too. Ch Pontet Canet is outstanding, as you would expect from such an enlightened and eccentric estate.  I was also immensely impressed with Ch Batailley and Ch Lynch Bages. Ch Clerc Milon, Ch Grand Puy Lacoste, Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande and its opposite neighbour Ch Pichon Longueville Baron.

 

St Estephe / Classic wines with aromatic complexity and muscular drive. A little more variable than other sub-regions, probably because of its exposure to heavy rains and Atlantic weather. Ch Montrose and Ch Cos’ d’Estournel made beautiful wines, by very careful selection of the crop. Their associate wines were very good too; La Dame de Montrose, Ch Tronquoy-Lalande and Pagodes de Cos.

 

Pessac Leognan & Graves / Powerful wines with density and strength. Both Ch La Mission Haut Brion and Ch Haut Brion are standouts with amazing concentration and vigour, accompanied by relatively high alcohols. The superb Ch Haut Bailly, Ch Smith Haut Lafitte, and Domaine de Chevalier are my personal favourites.

 

Pomerol / Wonderful fleshy wines with superb concentration and chocolaty textures. It is one of the most impressive Pomerol vintages of the last twenty years with "lots of shoulder and length." Vieux Chateau Certan and Ch Petrus were profound standouts. The list is long but Ch Latour-à-Pomerol, Ch La Fleur, Ch Lafleur Petrus, Ch Trontanoy, Ch Hosanna and Ch Bon Pasteur were also highlights.

 

St Emilion /A very strong year, many wines having superb fruit generosity, freshness and line. Ch Angelus, Ch Ausone, Ch Canon, Ch Cheval Blanc, Ch Figeac, Ch Trottevielle, and Ch Troplong Mondot are very top performers. Highlights also include Ch Beauséjour, Ch Canon La-Gaffelliere. Ch Gracia, Ch La Couspaude, Ch La Dominique, Ch Larmande, Ch Pavie Macquin, Quinault L'Enclos, Clos Fourtet, La Chapelle d’Ausone and Clos Cantenac. Ch Chantecaille Clauzel, lying like a shag on an encrusted diamond rock, is not particularly well known, but its story is remarkable and the wine worth buying for the conversation alone.

 

Sauternes Barsac /A very strong year. The wines possess beautiful fragrance, clarity, viscosity, richness and acid line. Ch Climens, Ch Coutet and Ch Guiraud are wonderful standouts. Ch de Rayne Vigneau, Ch Doisy Daene, Ch Doisy Vedrines. Clos Haut Peyraguey, Ch La Tour Blanche, Ch Rabaud Promis, Ch Rieussec and Suduiraut all produced fine examples too. The lesser known Ch Broustet, Ch Caillou, Ch de Myrat and Ch Suau were exemplary. Ch d’Yquem is of course impressive, but next door neighbour Ch Guiraud, offers a very similar quality and style.

 

 

 

 

 

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

20 tasting notes

Tasting note

ending

Long, Spicy and Alcoholic

flavors

Earthy, Spice, Smoky, Meaty, Mushrooms and Tobacco

nose

Rich and Fresh

taste

Low in Acidity, Balanced, Complex, Full-bodied, Rich, Silky, Fragrant and Drying tannins

Verdict

Fine

Written Notes

Ruby. Scented, detailed nose, spices, anise, some liquorice, intense, layered, cassis, vanilla. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, anise, red berries, spices, juicy, detailed, intense, nuanced, dark fruits, incredible depth, stunning length. This has added another layer since my last bottle a few months back. 97

  • 97p

67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc.

Intense and deep with light sweet currant, espresso, graphite, anise and fine pepper tobacco aromas. Really pretty nerve.

Full bodied and really authoritarian wine with beautiful fruit of blackberries, black currant, light spices, gorgeous licorice, charcoal and hefty graphite at a very long finish. Tight but great tannin structure. Packed in for the next 30-50 years. Heavy and great wine!

  • 96p

Deep in colour, the expressive and elegant nose reveals notes of white flowers. On aeration, more complex aromas of ripe black fruit emerge, smoky and toasty. The attack is clean and elegant on the palate, true velvet supported by silky tannins. Very good balance in a very fine and defined wine. The very long finish reveals notes of oak and liquorice.

Tasted in April 2016. 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc. 13,8% alcohol. "Iron fist in velvet glove" or "wolf in sheep's clothes", boom, big concentration of everything, enormous depth and length, fabulous complexity and richness. Magnifique! Surely in my top ten of 2015 wines. 1. Growth quality!

  • 99p
Dark purple red with violet hue and black core. Blackberries and sweet elderberries, hints of black cherries, mulberries, vanilla, mild spices, hints of violets in the background. On the palate an opulent and expressive wine with a very elegant character, excellent length and mouthfeel. Elegant and powerful in the same moment, a wine with a very promising future.
  • 97p
Medium deep colour. Elderberry, blackcurrant herb garden aromas with savoury graphite, black olive notes. Plush richly textured wine yet very balanced and fresh with cassis chocolate, vanilla graphite notes, plentiful ripe tannins, savoury biscuity oak. Finishes chalky firm with and inky long finish. Still elemental but very attractive with plenty of cellaring potential. More volume than Lafite 97 points
  • 97p
Montrose Saint Estephe - 67% Cabernet Sauvignon 29% Merlot 4% Cabernet Franc Very deep colour, impressive richness on the nose, deep black fruits, tapenade, peppercorn. White pepper, this is cool on the nose, generous, ripe, round fresh, very fine almost unnoticeable tannins on the palate, coffee, dusty and long. Fine for the vintage especially on the left bank. Big selection here it shows in the concentration. This is quite different in style to the Cos, both excellent will be a great comparison. 93- 96/100 2026-2050
  • 94p
Good looking normal size bottle. On the nose it is fresh and rich. The taste is rich, powerful, fragrant, with drying tannins, and average in acidity and with complex structure. On the palate it is layered and has tobacco, balsamic, smoky, spice and earthy flavours. The finish is long.
- (Tasting note created by Tb's AI)
  • 95p
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Information

Origin

St. Estephe, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

Average

Fake factory

None

Highlights

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