Chateau Montrose is a Bordeaux colossus, regarded amongst the very best chateaux in the world. It is famed for its wonderful deep crimson colour, combining richness and strong firm tannins; complexity, freshness and harmony of fruit. Its unique micro-climate due to its proximity to the Gironde, means that Montrose escapes frost and has a capacity to make good wine in less consistent vintages and truly exceptional wines in great vintages. It made two of the wines of the vintage in 2009 and 2010, these were awarded 100 points by Robert Parker and today trade at £1,900 and £1,700 respectively. Montrose can also boast that if collectors had bought all vintages from 2004 to 2010, they would have made on average 26%: few chateaux can make this claim.
In 2014 Montrose takes pride of place as the wine of the vintage with 95-97 points, however, the Chateau, owners brothers Martin and Olivier Bouygues, who come in at number 12 on France’s rich list with 3.7 billion dollars, decided to increase their release price by 34%. This re-positioning is also consistent with their ex-chateau stock releases, in effect, going forward their prices will be in line with Cos d’Estournel and Leoville Las Cases. Surprisingly, Montrose sold out of their 2014 release! With the 2015 vintage promising to be exceptional and with a 9% strengthening of the Euro to Pound, we can expect Montrose’s 2015 price to be higher once again.
The smart money therefore, is on older vintages released at lower prices and for now, trading at a discount on the secondary market. Of these, one vintage stands out, the 2008, which Parker awarded 95-97 points on release and then 95 points from bottle calling it ‘One of the superstars of the vintage’. The barrel sample equals the 2014’s score, yet at a £220 discount to the 2014 and six more years’ age! At £52.50 per bottle, 2008 Montrose has one of its lowest ever Price Over Points Ratio of 42, half that of La Mission Haut Brion 2008, which trades at double the price. Moreover, Montrose 2008 trades at a £350 discount to Leoville Las Cases 2008 (93+ Pts) and £100 discount to Cos d’Estournel 2008 (92+).
Robert Parker makes no secret that he adores Chateau Montrose, he states that ‘Château Montrose is a wine that has always possessed first-growth potential.’ In his tasting note Parker alludes to the fact that the 2008 will turn into something very special, putting it the same category as the 99 point scoring 2003, 100 point scoring 1990 and in particular the 98+ scoring 1989, which trade at £1,400, £2,500 and £5,000 per case respectively. ‘The difference between the 2008 and the 2003, 1990, or 1989 is the freshness and purity of expression. This should be a long-lived wine (35+ years), yet it will drink surprisingly well at a young age…For some reason, it comes across like an even more pure example of the 1989, even though there is nothing essentially comparable between the two harvests.’
Montrose’s quality has always shone through, however, its consistent First Growth level scores are resulting in a pricing adjustment and collectors should stock up on great physical vintages now.
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate – 95-97 Points
An undeniably great Montrose, after some time in wood, the 2008 should achieve the heights of the 2003, 1990, and 1989. Stylistically different from those wines, the 2008 harvest took place between September 29 and October 15, and yields were a modest 44 hectoliters per hectare. This superb terroir west of the Gironde River possesses a remarkable amount of gravel in the soil base. Sixty percent of the production made it into the 2008 Montrose, and the person responsible for so many great Haut-Brions, Jean-Bernard Delmas, came out of retirement to take charge over the last several vintages for proprietor Martin Bouygues. An inky/purple color is accompanied by sweet, pure aromas of black fruits and spice. This full-bodied wine exhibits superb concentration, sweet tannin, and a multilayered, textured, full-bodied mouthfeel with no hard edges. The sweetness of the tannin, the extraordinary purity of fruit, and the intense aromatics suggest a year of great ripeness. The difference between the 2008 and the 2003, 1990, or 1989 is the freshness and purity of expression. This should be a long-lived wine (35+ years), yet it will drink surprisingly well at a young age. For some reason, it comes across like an even more pure example of the 1989, even though there is nothing essentially comparable between the two harvests.
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate – 95 Points
One of the superstars of the vintage, this classic Montrose is not as showy or opulent as the 2010, 2009 or 2003, but it offers a dense purple color followed by gorgeously sweet black raspberry and black currant fruit intermixed with loamy, earthy, forest floor notes, a floral component and a long, full-bodied finish. The 2008 was fashioned from yields of 44 hectoliters per hectare which is slightly less than the 2010’s 45 hectoliters per hectare. Forget it for 5-8 years and drink it over the following 20+.
12×75 – £630 IB £785.95 incl VAT and duty
To buy this wine click here.