Château Montrose is one of the Médoc’s most extraordinary properties. Martin and Olivier Bouygues’ “Super Second” comprises a huge, single chunk of vineyard land, set right up against the estuary in Saint-Estèphe. The proximity to the soothing breezes off the Gironde helps temper the summer heat, postponing the call to harvest, making for this terrifically concentrated blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.
Since 2006, when the Bouygues brothers purchased the château and began to pump millions into the vines and winery, Montrose has become the torchbearer of Saint-Estèphe. In the fairly “square” 2008 growing season, Montrose performed beautifully, rivaling and often surpassing the First Growths with its immense concentration and brawn. Robert Parker called the 2008 “one of the superstars” of the year.
But if ever a growing season script was written for Saint-Estèphe — and even more specifically, for Château Montrose — it would be 2010, Bordeaux’s second consecutive drought year.
While exceedingly dry, 2010 wasn’t marred by the torrid heat waves of 2009. June, while warm, wasn’t terribly sunny. July was hot and sunnier. But most importantly, August, September, and October were sunny, cool, and still dry, pushing back the harvest at Montrose. The Merlot harvest began on September 27th, but it wouldn’t be until October 15th that the last clusters of late-maturing Cabernet Sauvignon came in.
In August 2014, Robert Parker began his review of the 2010 Montrose by writing: “This is considered to be among the greatest vintages ever made in Montrose, right up with the 1929, 1945, 1947, 1959, 1961, 1989, 1990 and 2009. … The wine has really come on since I last tasted it, and it needs at least another 10 years of cellaring.” Parker added, “Note: The Chateau Montrose website gives an aging potential of 2020-2100.” The guy they call “The King” wasn’t about to argue.
The 2010 Château Montrose may well be the greatest wine ever made in Saint-Estèphe, and along with Château Pontet-Canet, the most phenomenal 100-point bargain of that monumental harvest. Parker couldn’t stop gushing, writing: “The wine is full-bodied, even massive, with great purity, depth and a finish that goes on close to a minute. This is a 50- to 75-year-old wine that will repay handsomely those with good aging genes. … 100 points.”
60 bottles — all still resting in the Saint-Estèphe cellars where they were bottled — have been earmarked for WineAccess. $335/bottle. Shipping included.
Dark red merging with purple to the rim. Blackcurrants and crushed stone on the nose. Strong savory oak. An unbelievable confluence of extract, acidity, minerals, and tannins. Piercing clarity. I must admit, my scepticism of the 2010 Bordeau vintage after the magnificient 2009 has been proven unfounded. 97 points in my book.
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