An inky purple in the glass, this is rich and powerful on the nose, with toasty oak, roasted coffee and cocoa layered over the dense and ripe cassis fruit. The palate is muscular and dense, the grippy, chalky tannins coating the mouth and adding real depth. The fruit is opulent, ripe but fleshy rather than jammy, giving great purity and drive. Cassis, blackberry and black cherry all add to the heady mix of flavours that include cumin, vanilla and star anise. The boldness of structure endures in tandem with the explosive fruit through to an enduring finish. A real triumph in 2018, very impressive.
|Score: 18.5||Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019|
Composed of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, harvested from September 17 to October 5, the 2018 Montrose has a very deep purple-black color and opens with tantalizing notes of crème de cassis, Black Forest cake, hoisin and mocha with nuances of molten licorice, fertile loam, cast iron pan and incense. Big, rich, full and powerful in the mouth, the voluptuous fruit has a rock-solid backbone of very firm, very ripe tannins to match with tons of freshness and an epically long, exotic spice finish. A magnificent monster of a Montrose!
|Score: 96/98||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019|
This is a big and muscular wine with great structure and depth of fruit. Blackberry and blueberry character. Hints of fresh leaves. Cool earth. Incredible depth, yet so polished. Concentrated.
|Score: 98/99||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019|
The 2018 Montrose balances finesse and power to a degree I don't think I have seen in a recent young Montrose. The 2018 has plenty of depth, intensity and thrust - all signatures of Montrose - but it also has a striking sense of elegance. Crème de cassis, lavender, spice, menthol and licorice meld together in the glass. Although it is naturally very young, the 2018 Montrose appears to have a tremendous future. The blend is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, which is to say more Cabernet and less Merlot than is the norm. Readers will have to be patient with the 2018, but it is a stellar wine in the making. Montrose presents an en primeur sample aged 100% in new oak (while the final wine is aging in 60% new barrels) to show a wine that is more ready to taste young.
|Score: 95/98||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019|
72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Harvested 17 Sept to 5 Oct. Barrel sample.
Black core with narrow purple rim. More obvious oak than on La Dame de Montrose but still with hints of violets alongside pure cassis intensity. Almost a mintiness in the ripe (but not in the least overripe) black fruit. Oak spice and fruit spice. Amazingly juicy even with the density and concentration of both fruit and tannins. Needs lots of time but has great harmony and length. Powerful without being aggressive. Very oaky at the moment but has the stuffing and the wonderful fruit to hold its own. (JH) 14.5%
|Score: 18+||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019|
The top wine of the estate as well as one of the wines of the vintage, the 2018 Château Montrose is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc brought up in 60% new French oak. Crème de cassis, smoky oak, graphite, and violet notes all emerge from this magical Montrose that has thrilling purity, building, layered tannins, integrated acidity, and a blockbuster finish. Deep, concentrated, and built for the long-haul, yet with the sexiness of the vintage, it’s in the same league as the 2016 and will be drinkable in just 4-5 years and keep for 40+.
|Score: 97/99||Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019|
This is wonderfully rich, with the precision of 2016 but the seductive quality of 2009. It feels architectural in the way that truly great vintages do in the Médoc, and it seems to have consumed its alcohol rather effortlessly. There's plenty of liquorice and exuberant but well buttoned-down brushed damson and cassis pit notes that maintain the signature of Montrose. You can see the concentration in the legs and in the depth of the colour. 20% press wine was added, which is typical here, but the vintage yielded an extremely low 25hl/ha, due partly to drought, partly to mildew and partly to coulure - with drought accounting for most of that/ The Cabernets were affected more than the Merlots because of the later harvesting (which ran from 17 September to 5 October), which meant careful sorting was essential. A good 3.7pH has definitely helped it maintain its balance and sense of minerality, but for me the 2016 remains the one to beat. 2% Petit Verdot makes up the blend. Phenolic count of 81IPT.
Drinking Window 2028 - 2042
|Score: 97||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2019|
(72 Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 Merlot, 6 Cabernet Franc, 2 Petit Verdot) | 14.7% alc | Harvest took place between 17th September and 5th October My tour of epic Saint-Estèphe estates continued at Montrose where I was greeted by yet another incredible wine. With fantastic fruit and excellent balance this is a completely distinctive and very opinionated Montrose and it errs on the theatrical given its generosity and impact. Incredibly expressive but also impressively balanced, too, the only real concern at Montrose was trying to regulate the extraction from the grapes during vinification such that the tannins were not too raw. There was so much potential at harvest, but they managed to only take the silkiest tannins and freshest acidity and so the balance here is pinpoint accurate. 2018 Montrose will be a favourite for fans of overtly demonstrative wines and as this Château is usually such a strict and statesmanlike fellow, I feel that this vintage will broaden its appeal and widen its fan-base like no other.
|Score: 19+||Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019|