Wine of the Day June 21, 2013

1995Montrose1995 Chateau Montrose, Grand Cru Classe, Saint-Estephe, Red Bordeaux, France.
This wine was a huge and pleasing surprise, as I wasn’t really expecting much and truth be told, I have never been a big fan of Montrose and Saint-Estephe, but this 1995 Chateau Montrose is a beautiful and classy wine that deserves much attention. Saint-Estephe’s mostly clay, black sand and gravel soils make Montrose and this area of the Medoc produce deeply tannic wines that can be harsh, especially when young, and sometimes they can show green flavors, though if there is a good vintage and dedicated work in the vineyards and cellar the region can generate wonders, which is what this 1995 looks to be. Montrose is a blend of about 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc in most years, and seems to be pretty close to that make up I believe. While I prefer Pauillac and Pessac-Leognan, myself, sometimes the outer Medoc, Saint-Estephe and Saint-Julien can catch my attention and I have become fond of Leoville-Poyferre Saint-Julien, and I will now adjust my mind around how great Montrose can be, I almost hate to admit how lovely this 1995 is showing! The 1995 Montrose starts with crushed berries, hints of dark flowers, graphite and cedar notes leading to palate of refined elegance and depth with black cherry, currant and dusty wild berry fruit, mineral and earth tones and minty anise, pipe tobacco and touch of smoky wood. Deeply colored, full bodied and firm all round the Montrose holds itself in focused detail from start to finish with plenty of vibrancy and lift making for a wine that shows power, but in a very controlled and graceful way, this is a sublime Bordeaux that is starting to really come together, but has plenty of years ahead of it, drink now through 2022. I must also thank a client for opening his cellar to share this fabulous wine, for this and many others I’m grateful beyond words.
($N/A) 94+ Points, grapelive