Beautifully delineated, with an incredible energy that sustains into the long finish — a monumental wine that will greatly reward those with the patience to lay it down for 20+ years.
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 2014 Montrose climbed further, soaring past First Growths Château Margaux (93-95 points), Lafite Rothschild (94-96), and Haut-Brion (93-95), landing neck-and-neck with Latour (95-97) on The Wine Advocate’s scorecard. But only Montrose was named by the Advocate’s Neal Martin as “Wine of the Year.”
Martin called the 2014 Château Montrose “a supremely gifted, modern-day Saint-Estèphe,” daring to add that “this is one grand vin that comes perilously close to matching the heights of the 2009 and 2010.” We wouldn’t disagree.
A key piece to the puzzle was the 2014 growing season, which turned out to be outstanding in Bordeaux and particularly in Saint-Estèphe. The Bordelaise were tense to begin the season after the historically low-yielding 2013 vintage, and initially, Mother Nature didn’t do much to put growers at ease. July and August were cool and wet, but as the season came to a close, September and October ushered in extraordinary warm and dry weather, allowing ample time for fruit to ripen. At Montrose, the vineyard team harvested grapes in six passes, leaving each cluster on the vine until perfectly concentrated — a stunning shade of midnight purple.
The 2014 Montrose is one of the greatest off the estate to date. A striking opaque black/blue in the glass, with tantalizing aromatics of blackberry, boysenberry, and blueberry, accented by violet and vanilla. On the palate, fine tannins buttress layer upon layer of mineral-rich black fruit. Beautifully delineated, with an incredible energy that sustains into the long finish — a monumental wine that will greatly reward those with the patience to lay it down for 20+ years.
Now that Neal Martin’s accolades have hit the web, it’s not a question of if prices will go up, but when. Rest assured, today’s price will soon be a bargain. While they last, 120 bottles — all still resting in the Saint-Estèphe cellars where they were bottled — are up for grabs.
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