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Château Montrose: Tasting & Drinking

Looking back to my opening comments on the first page of this profile, which describe my friend’s preference for aged, off-vintage Montrose, the thought that this estate might regularly overperform in weaker vintages is perhaps a rather simple assessment. It is more widely accepted that Château Montrose is a property that offers great consistency through many vintages, weak and strong, and also has a propensity to age very well, with bottles from the first few decades of the 20th century reported to be holding up very well. A slightly more recent vintage than my friend’s, the 1964, shows how Montrose may benefit from the aforementioned favourable climate, as earlier picking meant Montrose was one of the few estates that excelled in this very wet vintage, most others bringing in swollen and dilute grapes following extensive rain. The 1997 vintage was another difficult year in which Montrose certainly faired much better than many of its peers.

Château Montrose

Other vintages display the success of the 1980s, with even the 1983, often reported to be a weaker vintage for Montrose, encountered in a blind horizontal tasting, showing very well indeed. More recent vintages, largely tasted during the primeur tastings, have perhaps not been so enthralling especially when compared to those from neighbouring Cos d’Estournel, although how much this reflected the reserved nature of Jean-Bernard Delmas in assembling the barrel samples for journalists, compared to the showmanship found at some other estates, is perhaps open to question.

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