Montrose 2009

RegionBordeaux
SubregionSt Estephe
ColourRed
TypeStill


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Tasting Notes

Harvested between September 17 and October 5, this wine seems always open for business, so to speak, much like the great 1982s. The summer of 2009 was very hot and dry, which got the harvest off to a reasonably early start. The blend was 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Jean Bernard Delmas' goal was to find perfect equilibrium between freshness and concentration, given its incredible opulence and the voluptuous character this vintage offered. That's what this wine has in abundance. With an astounding dense purple color, the wine has velvety, sweet tannins, and an extremely open-knit and opulent blueberry, blackberry and creme de cassis nose. There is scorched earth, vanilla and, again, telltale licorice and spice. It is unctuously textured - thicker and juicier than the 2010 and more forward. This wine should come into its own in another five years. And again, it has at least 50+ years of aging potential. Drink 2019-2069.

Score: 100Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (214), August 2014

Score: 100Robert Parker, Hedonists Gazette, August 2014

A colossal effort, the 2009 Montrose represents a hypothetical blend of the monumental duo of 1989 and 1990 combined with the phenomenal 2003. With 13.7% alcohol (an all-time high at Montrose), it is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot and the rest tiny quantities of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Some structure and minerality can be detected in the background, but the overall impression is one of massive blackberry, black currant and mulberry fruit intermixed with forest floor, damp earth, crushed rocks and a hint of spring flowers. Full-bodied with sweet but abundant tannin, Jean-Bernard Delmas believes this is the greatest wine he has made during his short tenure at Montrose since retiring from Haut-Brion. This wine will undoubtedly shut down for a decade, then unleash its power, glory and potential perfection. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2050+.

Score: 100Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, March 2012

1989 and 1990 deja vu all over again? If you think the 2003 Montrose (which merited 100 points) was powerful (13.2% alcohol), keep in mind that the 2009 Montrose came in at 13.7% alcohol. There is no sense of hotness, only extraordinary transparency and precision, allied to massive fruit intensity. A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this super-concentrated claret possesses a style reminiscent of the sumptuous 1990 combined with the structure of the 1989. The color is an opaque purple, the pH is a relatively normal 3.7, and the finish is endless. The flavor profile bursts with black currant, blackberry, and boysenberry fruit intertwined with hints of spring flowers and crushed rocks. Huge body, sweet tannin, and wonderful freshness make for one of the all-time great wines ever produced at Montrose. I hope to be drinking this wine with great pleasure before the Man comes for me. Kudos to Jean-Bernard Delmas. (Tasted two times.)

Robert Parker added an asterisk to this wine score to signify that it is a wine he considers has the finest potential of all the offerings he has ever tasted from this estate in nearly 32 years of barrel tasting samples in Bordeaux.

Score: 96/100Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (188), April 2010

The 2009 Montrose has a taut, brilliantly defined bouquet with intense black fruit laced with crushed stone, forest floor, crushed rose petals and a touch of slate. Magnificent. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannin, good depth and grip, plenty of graphite locked in here with a bravura finish that indicates that this Saint-Estèphe is in for the long-haul. It may well deserve a higher score as it evolves in bottle. Everything you wish for in a Montrose. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting.

Score: 98+Neal Martin, vinous.com, March 2019

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. Drink 2020-2060.

Score: 98Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (Interim En), March 2017

Representing 72% of production, a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, cropped between 17th September and 5th October, 13.7% alcohol and an IPT of 98 and 3.7 pH. this has a ripe blackberry, boysenberry, oyster shell and briary nose that soars from the glass. Fine definition with a very tangible mineral component. The palate is full-bodied with smooth tannins, very powerful with superb definition, great sense of tension here. There is a great deal of panache in this Montrose, layers of black fruit interwoven with graphite and earthy notes towards the long finish tinged with a touch of cardamom. Sophisticated and regal. A modern day '89? Tasted March 2010.

Score: 95/97Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2010

Hallelujah—what a glorious nose! The deep garnet colored 2009 Montrose features beautiful Black Forest cake, licorice, crème de cassis and warm blueberries scents with hints of charcoal, truffles, tapenade and menthol plus a waft of star anise. The palate is full-bodied, rich, super concentrated and yet superbly harmonious with a firm backbone of ripe, grainy tannins and wonderful freshness, finishing long and mineral laced. Drink 2020-2065.

Score: 100Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, March 2019

Blueberries, currants and Indian spices on the nose follow through to a full body, with ultra-fine tannins and a lovely finish. It's intense and refined. A beauty. It goes on for minutes. Speechless. Better and cleaner than the great 1990. Try in 2022.

Score: 100James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2012

Big and structured, delivering wild aromas of Indian spices, crushed berry, sweet tobacco and coffee. Full-bodied, with loads of velvety, chewy tannins and a long spicy finish. The château says this is like the 1990, but I think it could be even better. It's certainly better made.

Score: 97/100James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, March 2010

Very dark purple. Fresh and concentrated. Really very luscious and beautifully balanced. This is looking most impressive now. Very Montrose and very 2009. Rich and ripe. 14%
Drink 2018-2040

Score: 18.5Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, March 2019

Drink 2020-2035
Very intense purple. Very smart oak and certainly a fine wine but it lacks a little oomph. Was the selection not strict enough? Pretty bone dry on the finish. Sucks the flesh out of the palate. Rather obdurate at the moment, though it may get there in the end.

Score: 16.5+Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2010

Always powerful and backward, Montrose is one of the great traditional names of Bordeaux and is regarded as having one of the finest terroirs of all Bordeaux - the Latour of St Estephe. Winemaking in the past has not exactly been "state of the art" and the property had a reputation of making truly great wine only when nature allowed (eg 1982, 1989, 1990, 2000, 2003 and 2005). Montrose has recently changed hands and the new owners know that they are buying a vineyard with the potential to regularly make one of Bordeaux's greatest wines. The legendary Jean-Bernard Delmas (formerly of Haut Brion) is now in charge of winemaking and believes this to be one of the greatest wines that he has ever made - and remember that he was responsible for 1989 Haut Brion! M Delmas compares it to Montrose 1961 and 1982. Less fleshy and more precise than the great 1990 and 2003. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. It was felt that it was important here not to pick too late to preserve the freshness. A big black, inky colour, thick, dense and powerful with succulence and flesh yet classic structure and some very good, strong tannins balancing the richness of the fruit. Huge concentration but with a great backbone of tannin. Not in the style of 2003, this is 2005 plus. Classic Bordeaux. Potentially great. "Paris not Las Vegas."

Score: 18.5Farr Vintners, April 2010

The nose is packed with rich ripe fruit all very black fruit in character. Sweet plum mingles with blackcurrant enriched by sloe and given a sensuous fleshiness by the dark chocolate and liquorice that lie beneath. The tannins are structure but ripe, layers of flavour ensure complexity with towards the back a wonderful combination of power yet racy sleek elegance.Drink 2022-2050.

Score: 95/98Derek Smedley MW, April 2010

It's hard to believe when you taste it, but the 2009 Montrose contains no press wine at all, apparently. Hard to believe because it is a massively tannic wine, structured, dense, hunkered down, but with freshness and acidity to match. There's a lot of oak on show here too, but the wine isn't over-ripe (compare Cos down the road) and should develop beautifully in bottle. 25+ years.

Score: 97Tim Atkin MW, April 2010

Black red, smoky cassis nose with fine Cabernet spice, quite restrained yet full of power, a really precise and true vineyard wine, superb middle sweetness, a grandly classic wine. Drink 2019-45.

Score: 19Steven Spurrier, Decanter.com, April 2010

For the very ripe vintage this has a herbal and wet earth nose that's very cool. Then on the palate there’s a ton of ripe cassis, polished fine tannins and a tremendous freshness powering the very long dry finish. One of the stars of the vintage that's just beginning to enter its best form. This is normally a perfect wine but perhaps not a perfect bottle? Drink or hold. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019)

Score: 98Stuart Pigott, JamesSuckling.com, March 2019

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.