The Saint Estèphe Appellation is located on the left bank of the Gironde river, upper left on the Bordeaux region map .What strikes the visitor, looking at Chateau Montrose buildings, apart from the classical architecture of the place, is the view over the vineyards and the Gironde .
An impressive metal tower with built-in stairs, formerly a windmill to power water pumps , hovers on the Chateau and vineyards . And another metallic construction, a pavilion in the front corner of the chateau's garden , similarly offers a view on the vineyard and the river beyond . In the region , a visitor says , this type of garden kiosk is called a "gloriette".
Mr De Laguarigue, the director, opens the visit . He presents the estate, saying that already back in 1830, wine tasters had a high opinion of Chateau Montrose, even though its vineyards were quite young . Even if it doen't look very hilly around here, we are here on a hill top, and the origin of the name, while being not clearly traced, is probably related to this hill appearance . The name appeared with the Dumoulin family, and refered probably to the colour, from afar, of this heather-covered hill, Montrose meaning "rose mount" .
A table has been set in this vathouse for the tasting . Mr De Laguarigue and the chai master serve the wine and answer our questions .
__1 La Dame de Montrose 2004 . Second wine of the estate . Sample bottled july 4th . Very fruity wine . Tannins in the middle of the mouth . Soft attack . JMQ says it is a round wine with the usual firmness of the final .
__2 Chateau Montrose Saint-Estèphe Cru Classé ( du Medoc en 1855 ) 2004 . Sample . JMQ says : More freshness on the nose . Pure aromas . Floral . 70% new casks here . Rich, caressing . Ultra-fine granulation of the tannins . Primeur price is 34 Euro .
__3 Chateau Montrose St Estèphe Cru Classé 2001 . Yields close to 2002's : 32-33 hectoliter/hectare . Non decanted . Poweful nose . You not only smell, you fill your lungs with it ... Data sheet says 12,5° . Feels like more . Substance . JMQ says this wine is a typical Saint estèphe : Tannic, but already opened . And goes toward more richness and viscosity . Will be perfect with a meal, after decantation . They brought this one in London recently for tasting, and it was a hit . I find it already great, but JMQ says it has to be opened in 10 years or more...
__4 Chateau Montrose Saint Estèphe Cru Classé 2002 . Creamy note, JMQ says . Some acidity, but with substance behind .
__5 Chateau Montrose Saint Estèphe Cru Classé 2003 . 13,3° . Nose : Black fruits, whiteheart cherries . Balsamic . Bottled early june 2005 . price close to 200 Euro ( was sold 50 Euro as primeur ) . Had its crest somehow lowered at bottling, JMQ says, but it will raise again with time . Also no asperity here . He says the little cherry note will keep this wine fresh 10 years from now . Superb nose . JMQ feels some incense emanations ( not negative ) . He says the wine has a delicate, fine-granulated tannins : At the same time a lot of tannins, and zero tannins . Exceptional texture in the mouth ... Great tasting . This Montrose 2003 is not usually proposed for tasting . By the way, it was not brought at the recent London tasting . Thank you for this gift .