This great second growth vineyard is majestically situated overlooking the Gironde in the Southern section of St Estephe. Recently purchased and re-invigorated by the Bouygues family, Montrose is on top form. Hervé Berland, formerly of Mouton Rothschild, is now in charge and large amounts of money have been spent on stunning new facilities.
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The 2016 Montrose has a tightly wound bouquet that is extremely well focused. This is one of the most pixelated aromatics I can remember on a Montrose at this stage, featuring blackberry, boysenberry and cedar and real mineralité underneath. The palate is medium-bodied with fine density and wonderful salinity. There is tremendous precision with razor-sharp tannin, and a brightness on the finish that is exceptional. This is a Montrose that will comfortably sit alongside the canon of great vintages from this Saint-Estèphe estate. As my score implies, it’s up there with the first growths. Stunning. Drink 2026-2075
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2016 Montrose is a little youthfully shy to begin, but with coaxing, it unfurls to reveal the most beguiling scents of wilted roses, oolong tea, crushed rocks, wild sage, star anise and candied violets over a wonderfully pristine, well-defined core of crushed blackcurrants, black raspberries and kirsch plus wafts of pencil lead and wood smoke. The taut, muscular, medium to full-bodied palate straddles jaw-dropping intensity and finesse superbly, featuring a solid backbone of ripe tannins and giving a firm frame right through the incredibly long, exquisitely nuanced finish. Drink 2025-2060.
The 2016 Montrose is a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc (no Petit Verdot this year) picked between 23 September to 14 October and matured in 60% new oak. It has a very sophisticated bouquet with blackberry, briary, a touch of blue fruit and violets. Sometimes this Saint Estèphe can be a little broody at en primeur, but this certainly is more expressive, maintaining very fine delineation and precision, unfolding with each swirl of the glass and revealing a hidden graphite/marine influence. The palate is very fresh on the entry. The first facet of this wine that strikes you is the freshness that lasts from start to finish. This is an animated, vivacious Montrose that starts in almost understated fashion yet builds in the mouth towards what is almost a sensual finish, not a descriptor often applied to Montrose. It is a disarmingly and hauntingly beautiful 2016, extremely long and the aftertaste lasting two or three minutes. NB This is one example where I felt my second visit, over a fortnight after the first, revealed a wine with much greater potential, and I therefore raised my banded score accordingly. Drink 2026 - 2060.
The floral and fresh aromas to this are mesmerizing. Roses and lilacs galore. The pure cab aromas coming from the glass – blackcurrants and blackberries – are so memorable. Full-bodied, deep and profound. The ultra-fine tannins on the palate are so polished and fine-grained. The finish goes on for minutes with subtle yet superb fruit. It’s all about precision and form here. A modern classic for Montrose. Better after 2026.
A solid and tight Montrose with a linear structure of ripe tannins that gives wonderful length and energy. Full-bodied, yet reserved and toned. Stone and mineral character underneath is impressive. Beautiful center palate. The class and focus are marvelous. Better than 2015. This is what Montrose is all about.
The 2016 Montrose is every bit as impressive as it was from barrel, maybe more. Tightly wound and vertical, with remarkable intensity, the 2016 is simply magnificent. The tannins are there, but they are nearly buried by the sheer intensity of the fruit. All the elements are impeccably balanced in a wine of pedigree, depth and character. The 2016 is going to need a number of years to be at its best, but it is clearly a very special wine in the making. In a word: dazzling. Drink 2024-2056.
The 2016 Montrose is a wine of remarkable depth, density and power. Large-scale and ample in all dimensions, the 2016 hits the palate with a serious richness. Today, the 2016 comes across as incredibly youthful and primary. There is not much in the way of bouquet at this stage. Instead, the 2016 impresses with its power, drive and exceptionally persistent finish. It is a remarkable wine in every way, but won't be ready to drink anytime soon. Tasted two times.
Tasted blind. Very dark crimson. Tight and dense and dramatic and utterly convincing. With a little bit of richness. Fruit covers the tannin. Really very glorious. Dry finish. Reverberant. Salty.
Drink 2026 – 2055
Very dark blackish crimson. Great, fresh, minerally savour on the nose. Lots of intensity initially. Sweet start – quite a surprise in a way – and then lots of structure. Doesn't quite hang together yet but there is masses of potential. Sweet, fresh ink. Good raciness. Quite muscular but not at all heavy. An edge of acidity is evident without the strong stoniness of St-Estèphe. Just a little bit stringy on the end. Lots of life and freshness (clays help). Pretty glamorous. 13.2%
This great second growth vineyard is majestically situated overlooking the Gironde in the Southern section of St Estephe. Recently purchased and re-invigorated by the Bouygues family, Montrose is on top form. Hervé Berland, formerly of Mouton Rothschild, is now in charge and large amounts of money have been spent on stunning new facilities. The 2016 is 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc. Only 37% of the production will go into the Grand Vin this year. A deep colour follows with a menthol, camphor, and cedar nose, very smoky as well as dense in black fruit. The palate is powerful, with powdery and firm tannins revealing noted of coffee bean and tobacco, pure cassis and a hint of sweet vanilla. Pairing savoury and sweet, this is classic and structured, and will need time to knit together in the bottle.
Unquestionably one of the top 2-3 wines of the vintage, the 2016 Château Montrose is a monument in the making. Checking in as a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 7% Cabernet Franc raised in 60% new French oak (the balance was in once-used barrels) and representing a tiny 36% of the production, this deep purple-colored 2016 possesses powerful, incredibly classic Saint-Estephe notes of creme de cassis, graphite, damp earth, lead pencil shavings, and burning embers. With a powerful, full-bodied style on the palate, a huge mid-palate, lots of underlying structure and tannic grip, and perfect balance, this magical wine will need upwards of a decade or cellaring and keep for 40-50 years. Drink 2029-2079.
Deep ruby/purple-colored, the 2016 Montrose might be the wine of the vintage and offers an extraordinary bouquet of crème de cassis, dried flowers, underbrush, blueberries, and graphite. Gorgeously concentrated, pure, elegant and balanced on the palate, it has incredible purity of fruit, building, ripe tannin and a great, great finish. Reminding me of the 2003, yet more fresh, vibrant and delineated, this awesome 2016 is going to require patience, yet should rival the truly great vintages from this estate.
Brooding black fruits the nose has a powerful mix of flavours the palate depth with firm black cherry and cassis backed by liquorice. Underpinning the rich fruit mid bramble gives a lighter fresher feel the tannins are firm but integrated and there is sweetness and richness at the back. 2025-44
One of the wines that should carry a sign saying “come back in a decade”, this is a dark, brooding, seriously backward Montrose with masses of sturdy tannins, super concentrated damson and dark berry fruit and a patina of aromatic oak. 2026-36
In many ways this is a Bordeaux vintage for lovers of great Burgundy - it has the depth and intensity but also a floral, fragrant edge to it; something that is encapsulated perfectly in the classicism of Montrose. This needs some time in the glass as its structure is long and straight, true to the signature of the property. It shows clear depth and precision, and gorgeously placed spice with the sweetness of the black cherry and wild fig stealing in along the side of the palate. The young vines suffered at Montrose because the estate has lots of gravelly, well drained soils, but the proximity to the river provided cooling nights and you can feel far more waves of vibrant freshness than in the 2015 vintage, even with the same tannin index of 80IPT (compared to 70IPT in 2014). An excellent wine which represents 37% of overall production. 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc.
Drinking Window 2027 - 2050