As En Erimeur comes to a conclusion many big names have already released, one we have been anticipating, Chateau Montrose is now available. Chateau Montrose was a standout wine of the vintage, we were very impressed with the concentration, power and complexity of their 2012 production. Domaine de Chevalier, another stand out wine of the vintage, has released both their red and white wines; both critics and merchants were very impressed with the standard achieve by the property in Graves. It is worth nothing that Clos l’Eglise have released today; the early ripening Merlot fared very well in 2012 and with 80% in its blend. Clos l’Eglise has continued its high standard set over the last five years.

Montrose 2012 12×75 – £640, 92-94 Parker Points
Montrose which scored 92-94 points is a top estate, one of the leading Super Seconds that produces beautiful wines. It is superbly located on the banks of the river Gironde in St Estephe. Clives Coates in his 1995 book ‘Grand Vins’ puts forward the theory the name Montrose originally came from the word for the local pink heather ‘mont-rose’.

This 2012 is great value at £640 a case when compared to the 1990 vintage which scored 100 points and now trades for £5,100, on par with First Growth prices. Famed for needing decades to mature, the classic austerity of Montrose has been tamed in recent years. The 2012 vintages posseses soft tannins and and can enjoyed in a few years time.

Comparable vintages:
2012 92-94 points – £640
2011 91-93 points £780
2006 94+points – £670
1995 93 points – £970

The inky/purple-colored 2012 offers up scents of white chocolate, creme de cassis, acacia flowers, crushed rocks and forest floor. The tannins are surprisingly soft as the pH is about 3.7, which is slightly higher than the 2010’s 3.6. This dense, full-bodied wine is still somewhat monolithic, but it is loaded with concentration and power as well as a long finish. While not totally formed, all the component parts are present. The 2012 will not match the level of the 2009 and 2010, but it should stand out as one of the highlights of 2012. Robert Parker

La Dame de Montrose 2012 12×75 – £235, 88-90 Parker Points
Le Dame de Montrose is the second wine of Montrose and is a great way to access the wines produced from this magnificent Chateau.

The second wine has been a strong effort for a number of years. The 2012 Dame de Montrose represents 29% of the total production. Its domination by Merlot is noticeable in the chocolate, mocha and black cherry characteristics. Deep ruby/purple-tinged, fleshy and succulent with low acidity and ripe tannin, it is the ideal second wine to drink over the next decade. Robert Parker

Domaine de Chevalier
Chevalier is one of the few domaines well known for producing both top class red and white wines. The Blanc is an outstanding wine and often pout performs its red counterpart. Chevalier was one of the wines of the vintage and by far one of our favourites.

Found in Pessac Leognon, on a gravel hill top, it is set apart from other chateaux in a landscape surrounded by forest. It was classified as a Graves Preimier Cru in the 1953 classification. The oenologist is the world famous Stephane Derenoncourt who consults with many chateaux including Smith Haut Lafitte and Beausejour Lagarrosse which obtained 100 Parker Points in 2009 and 2010.

Domaine de Chevalier Rouge 2012 12×75 – £335, 92-95 Parker Points
One of the stars of the vintage, it boasts a dense purple color as well as a big, sweet bouquet of red and black currants, graphite, subtle flowers and well-integrated, toasty oak. Impressively built rich and medium to full-bodied without losing the quintessential elegance and finesse for which this famous estate is renowned, the 2012 Domaine de Chevalier is filled with purity, equilibrium and balance. The tannins are sweet enough that this wine should be accessible when released, and will last for 15-20 years. Is this a modern day clone of their brilliant 1953 (which I drank from magnum at Bern’s Steak House in November for less than $500!)?… there is no question that Domaine de Chevalier has been on a relatively hot streak lately, and this 2012 is a beauty. Robert Parker

Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 2012 12×75 – £650, 93-95 Parker Points
A gorgeous effort, the 2012 Domaine de Chevalier, made from a blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon that reached 13.5% natural alcohol, boasts abundant notes of creme brulee, lemon custard, candle wax and oranges in its beautifully rich, honeyed personality. Great acidity gives laser-like precision to its component parts. Drink this full-bodied white wine over the next 2-3 decades. Robert Parker

Clinet 2012 12×75 – £490, 92-94+ Parker Points
Although hardly comparable to what Clinet achieved in both 2009 and 2010, the 2012 Clinet is another star of the vintage. A powerful, full-bodied, muscular Pomerol, it reveals a dense purple color in addition to lots of opulence, a layered, full-bodied richness (somewhat atypical for the vintage), beautiful density and plenty of mocha, black cherry, truffle and graphite notes. It is a surprisingly full yet accessible Clinet that will be drinkable long before the 2009 and 2010 hit their plateaus of maturity. Drink the 2012 over the next 15 years. Robert Parker

Malescot St Exupery 2012 12×75 – £330, 89-92 Parker Points
This wine offers attractive floral notes intermixed with notions of lavender, black currants, black cherries, smoke and earth. It is another successful effort from an estate that has been consistently producing exceptional wines in all the finest vintages over the last 15-20 years. An attractive, seductive, dense ruby/purple-hued, medium-bodied 2012, it finishes with some shortness, but everything leading up to the finish is impressive. Like most of these 2012s that possess a certain forward appeal, it should drink well for 12-15 years. Robert Parker

Clos l’Eglise 2012 12×75 – £450, 91-94 Parker Points
The 2012 possesses a creamy texture along with a big, sweet bouquet of mulberry and black cherry fruit judiciously touched by smoky oak, graphite and forest floor notes. Round and generously endowed with a dense plum/purple color, fragrant aromatics, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, and silky tannins, it should age effortlessly for 12-15 years. Robert Parker