Montrose 2016

St Estephe, Second Growth

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Tasting Notes

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.

Score: 99

Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2075 01 January 2019

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.

Score: 97 - 99

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2026-2060 28 April 2017

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.

Score: 98

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2056 01 January 2019

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.

Score: 93 - 96

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com 25 April 2017

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.

Score: 99

Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2025-2060 30 November 2018

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.

Score: 96

Decanter Maturity: 2027-2050 20 April 2017

Gravel and then clay (rather than mixed as in Tronquoy). 9 ha organic and 6 ha biodynamic. They intend to be fully organic in five years. 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc. 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%

Score: 18

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2048 19 April 2017

68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, representing 36% of production. A succulent spicy nose of luxuriantly ripe fruit with liquorice. Massive from the outset with weight of concentrated coiled dark fruits with mineral hints. Silky smooth in texture with restrained tannins.

Score: 94 - 96

Albany Vintners 19 April 2017

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.

Score: 97 - 98

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com 24 March 2017