Brisket, Bordeaux, and Rhones: Stunning, and the first great bottle of the 1990 I've had after a number of disappointments. It shows a little of the fresh, dry hay I always seem to find in the 1990, but not the overwhelming brett that is too common. The red-leaning fruit has toned down with age, revealing more nuance, and savory leather and earth have joined the mix.
The 1990 Montrose is a profound, monumental wine, bursting from the glass after a few hours in the decanter with glorious notes of sweet black fruit, leather, cigar ash and hot bricks. On the palate the wine is stunningly broad and deep, with beautiful, layered structure, fresh tangy acids and an endless finish. This is very similar to the superb 1989 Montrose, which I drink quite regularly, but a step up in intensity, volume and breadth—with none of the torrefied notes of some of the other top 1990s such as Haut Brion, La Mission, Lynch Bages etc. Yet while the 1990 Montrose is a massive wine, its balance is unerring and its sense of proportion perfect. Very, very fine, and entering an attractive phase as the wine's serious tannic structure melts away somewhat.
R&D sent a list of possible mags for dinner, and I deferred to Domino. After some back & forth discussion with R&D the three settled on this but didn't tell me what it was until it came time to open it. To be honest, I have always preferred the '89, but perhaps tonight would be different.
From magnum, decanted shortly before it was served with dinner and followed over the course of a couple of hours. Lovely crimson color with an initial bouquet of tobacco, green/herbal qualities, black currants and barnyard with a scorched earth/burned straw overtone. Medium- to full-bodied with softened tannins and flavors of red fruit, sous bois, barnyard, spice and tobacco. The wine is balanced across the entire palate and lingers on the finish for well over a minute. Over time, floral qualities emerged- violets primarily- and the underlying earthiness stood out more as well. More black fruits than red, with amazing weight, balance and length on the palate and finish. Easily the finest example of this wine I have tasted, and the first time this has, for me, hinted at true greatness. 97-98 pts.
Wow. Yes simply WOW. This wine is so powerful. It needed 3-4hrs of decanting. I was a clear favorite among our diners. It smells like dark chocolate with cream carmel. The fruit is so big with strawberries, blueberry, and saddle leather. It will linger on for 90 or so min. It will live another 25yrs easily. I have more but want to pick many many more.
Super Bowl 2015 (Roswell, GA): Dense chocolate core with garnet rim; earth, tart, currant, cherry, orange oil, tobacco, some Brett; fleshy, silky initially, luxurious, grainy tannin comes in later, strong mid-palate, funk, medicinal; very good but not a wine I could drink a ton of because of the lower acid; voted WOTN.
Coal dust, asphalt, blackberry, rotting leaves, and a hint of marigold on the nose. At moments, surprisingly bright given its dark nature. Flavors of ripe plum, tar, boysenberry, tobacco, and eventually black pepper provide plenty to chew on. Firm tannic presence still here but not at all offensive given the depth of flavors. An excellent but not exceptional experience, this was not one of the best bottles that I have had.
SS's birthday celebration at Garibaldi. Dark red, close to purple, really looking very young. Deep, rich and intense bouquet of currants, blackberries, tobacco, leather, and over time, this became like a signature Pauillac with cigar box, lots of tobacco, cedar, smoke and pencil lead! There was the sweat, animal notes over an extended period, but nothing unpleasant. There was lovely intensity of fruit on the palate, tannins were round and silky with great structure and complexity. Dark fruits, sweet berries, lots of leather and scorched earth. This was a very balanced wine. Not quite 100 points for me, but brilliant.
Double decanted to take btl to friends' house for lamb shank dinner (approx 2 hrs of air). Showing brown on edges of core of deep violet red. Was emerging at serving and could have used more time. No Brett/horse on this bottle. My experience was very close to recent notes of others. Complex fruit, lasting secondary flavors, great structure despite resolving tannins. Good match with lamb. For me this lacked an emotive factor which could be partially the result of high expectations. Seems to be in a very good place right now.
Drank together with Montrose 1989 and Cos d'Estournel 1990. Shining as always right from the start. No funky barnyard and brett this time. Full bodied, complex, ripe, dense and concentrated. Very good balance. Huge tannins, but nicely integrated. Perfect balance between sweetness and acidity. Obviously approaching its peak, but it will probably stay there for ages. This is a faultless, utterly attractive, complete, majestic wine and performing every time its cork is pulled. Clearly beating the 1990 Cos, but now on par with its 1989 sibling.
Birthday Dinner at Wildfire A real "wow" wine. Huge ripe black fruit dominated aromas with a hint of earthy appeal. Lush creamy ripe black cherry/blackberry dominate. Very fulled bodied with a rich velvety mouth coating texture. Long dense finish. Comes across much younger and merlot dominated as so silky and sexy. 99 points. Thanks KJ
Thanksgiving Wines (Chapel Hill, NC): A truly stellar wine; the nose is simply mesmerizing, with a melange of blackberries, plums, currants and earth; the palate is very silky, with concentrated red fruits underscored by well-integrated savory notes of roasted meat and tobacco; the finish just keeps sailing along, leaving you contemplating and yearning for the next sip; In its prime right now, but this will continue to be a special bottle for many more years
It's always a crap shoot with this wine. There are bottles with such overwhelming notes of horse and barnyard, they are not fun to drink. And then, there are the clean bottles that let you know you are in Bordeaux at the top level. This bottle was clean. The intensity of the aromatics, the incredible weight, density and concentration, coupled with ripe, regal, soft tannins and a seamless finish are well worth the price of admission. Still young, but showing its stuff, this is a thrill to taste today and if well stored, your grand children can probably enjoy a bottle in 2090!
I give it a 99 because I don't believe in perfection. But it's pretty perfect, to me. The smokiness, the glycerine, the sweetness and power without a hint of being cloying or overbearing... It's a wow wine in every sense.
1990 Bordeaux Tasting (Kevin's (Minneapolis)): Wine of the year candidate. Decanted 1.5 hours. Intense wine with pepper, red meat, earth, bright fruits and gravel. The palate offers a variety of mineral elements and super long finish. While this is still tannic the flavors are persistent and this should age 30 years. An unbelievable effort!!!
Big Bordeaux VIII : 1990 (Kevin's house): Per the host, slow-O for 3 hrs and decanted for 75 minutes; drank 1+ glass over less than an hour, because it was that good. If you want to talk about being well-integrated, this is textbook. Very well-integrated, perfect balance, and I don't use that term lightly. There is perfect balance and elegance here. Fruit is still delicious. Big in the right ways, nimble in the right ways. My favorite from a strong lineup, and frankly it was a pleasant surprise.
Big Bordeaux VIII: 1990 Retrospective with Montrose, LMHB, PB, LP, and more (Rocknroller's (Kevin & Vicki's Place)): Very dark red-purple color with no bricking. Slow-O for 3 hrs and decanted for 75 minutes; drank 1+ glass over 3 hours. WOW, what a nose, incredibly powerful, focused and pure. The fruit is out of this word, a cornucopia of ripe black fruits, cassis, boysenberry, sweet mulberry, floral, leather, fresh tobacco, and a subtle earthiness that evolves gradually in the glass. The palate is a lush, sexy, hedonistic treasure trove of texture and opulent black fruit, pencil lead, tobacco, and minerals that is deeply earthy and slightly savory. The tannins are velvety and tangy and the finish is very, very long, 120s plus. This is a glass that is almost impossible to put down and it screams perfect balance. Seductive and intense, but oh so elegant and suave. This has a very long life ahead of it, and I NEED to revisit it down the road 5 years or so. My and group WOTN in a landslide with 9 of 10 first place votes. 97+ to 98 points.
This wine is close to perfect in balance and age, though it will last quite a while longer. Just the right touch of barnyard (brett) and cedar and balanced with great mature fruit of plums and dry cherry. Some hints of mint too in this sublime wine.
It was the last BX of a great Bx tasting with 28 bottles. I didn't write many notes, but still young, fruity,cedar, pencil, long aftertaste, great mineral backbone, potential for next 10 years at least 96-98
Dinner in Normandale (Normandale, Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand): Very ripe and quite un-evolved (for its age). Visually the wine has only made slight concessions to its 24 years and the bouquet is opulent, slightly gamey and has a significant merlot component. Tasted right after the 1990 La Mission Haut Brion, this came across as rather new world and whilst impressive, ever so slightly monolithic at this stage. The intensity and length of the wine are not in question and I certainly hope that with further time in the bottle, this will achieve resolution. If this happens, I would want to score it higher, but for now 93+ points, based on hopeful potential.
1990 Dinner at University Club (Chicago): Another outstanding bottle of this wine. I have had it from many sources and in many places and I am impressed with the consistency. In this context, this certainly was more burly compared to the Margaux and Haut Brion.
Very funky, the funk in fact slightly overwhelms the fruit. Savory and nice. Coffee Finish. In contrast to the fundamental decrees of winedom, I'm not seeing this as anything close to a perfect wine. perhaps needs a 24hr decant to show better?
Comparable to my previous experience with this wine. It had a compelling earthy bouquet with vibrant fruit. Rich and lush on the palate, it finished with considerable length and elegance. Continues to drink well and should for some time to come.
Sunday Dinner (The Library, Crown Wine Cellars, Hong Kong): Deep impenetrable crimson. Nose is lovely classic Bordeaux ...graphite, horse sweat, some high piano notes: the horse sweat is predominant... and lovely. Palate is absolutely gorgeous: light bodied but very complete ....just perfectly harmonious Bordeaux. Good resonance and reverberance for an extended time. A brilliant wine. To misquote the Rolling Stones, wild sweaty horses ... wouldn't drag me away. A league better than the 1990 Lynch Bages we drank last night. Fantastic.
Decanted 2.5 hours, this was in a great spot. Black cherries, this wine is ripe and lush, yet light on its feet and on the finish you can just barely notice the tannins. Should be around for a while, but easy and fun to drink now. Not a "perfect" Bordeaux for me but certainly a fun wine to drink and great with a meal. A-/A
There is some bottle variation in this wine at this age, but tonight we were so lucky to have a truly great one. Beautiful classical bouquet with soft cassis, luxurious oak and a touch of pleasant barnyard. On the palate beautifully expressive with cassis, pleasant green bell pepper to give the wine a nice little extra bite and freshness, beautiful acidity, sweet spices and soft, beautifully integrated tannin. A perfect bottle can probably last for several decades, but I hardly can imagine the wine will improve… so why wait? 99 for today.
1990 Bordeaux Dinner (Noisette, Portland, OR): Violets, red earth, black cherries, black pepper, and a crisp grilled steak show themselves on the nose. On the palate, this wine is a killer right out of the gate, with a great sense of purity. Wet dark earth supports the whole experience gently from underneath, while violets sit above everything with style. The structure is wonderful. As the mid palate winds down, pure cherry flavors rise up behind everything, and linger long into the finish. Totally engaging. The rise of cherry flavors gets me with every sip.
this has always been a great wine but the last time i tried it there was a prickliness to the fruit that interfered with the drinking experience a bit. I'm glad to say there was none of that present this (or any other) time.
the bouquet was so powerful you could smell it 5-10 feet away. massive black fruit, coffee, earthiness fills the room. There is a similar power and flavor profile still present in the fruit with a touch of fig and tannin.
BORDEAUX 1990 ALLA CIECA (ENOTECA ROSSORUBINO TORINO): Tutt' altra specie dai primi due. Il cabernet invade tutto: caldo, corposo, naso animale, stalla, poi finale pungente quasi balsamico. In bocca è tanto, tanto... non ti molla mai con un finale lungo di legno suadente. Forse un pò troppa pirazina e un pò troppo vegetale, ma davvero cazzuto!
First bottle corked. Quite a bit of variability in this wine...a couple I have had from the same case are big brett bombs...this one was not. More of an elegant style. Red and dark fruited. Some cedar, chocolate. Soft tannins. Very good fruit on the palate and a long finish. Drinking well.
This is the second bottle of a case I bought on initial release. Set it vertical for a day and decanted for four hours. There was a small bit of sludge in the last three ounces; enough to make the decant worthwhile. It is big and fruit intense and amazingly light on its feet. The complexity is delightful, but this is very young wine and I expect it to improve with more age.
Bordeaux matters, along with Burgundy and Champagne and Port and ... (Ripple Restaurant in Washington D.C.): Compared to the 1989, this seems a bit superficial albeit the mid palate was more evidently rich and full bodied. But it lacked the backbone of the 1989 - and likely the ability to age longer. Perhaps the bottle was a touch faulty, as the nose seemed a touch vegetal - I initially got a note of green. But that blew off, taking into account the entire flavor profile. In the end, the wine was very pleasing: rich and savory to be sure. Comparing and contrasting with the 1989 kept bringing the same results however. While the 90 is on one level richer, it is on another level less compelling.
Belated holiday dinner - Mostly Burg and Bordeaux (Ripple Restaurant in DC): The last bottle that I had was flirting with perfection. This seems a bit more mature and not as intense, that doesn’t mean it is not intense. Cassis, a hint of red fruits, plum, milk chocolate and cedar. Very good concentration but a bit less concentrated impression than the last bottle, warm round silky palate impression and nicely integrated tannins. A great example of the ripe hedonistic style of the 90 vintage, opulent fruits and round warm silky palate. The best examples of the 90 Montrose can be close to perfect but more like 97 pointer overall, minus very bretty bottles. Although the 89 and 90 are quite different, perhaps the 89 is a better buy in lieu of the current price and consistency.
In my cellar since release. High neck fill. Initial taste was outstanding. I had high hopes. Not leaving well enough alone, I decanted for about 1/2 hour and the wine began to become tannic and the fruit astringent which only seemed to increase the longer it was open.
MAn behöver bara stoppa näsan i detta vin för att inse att det är Bordeaux, det luktar grand vin, stall, vinbär, ceder, cigarrlåda och blyerts. Smaken är härligt rökig, tobak, fat, cabfrukt, ceder. magnifikt!
tasted side by side with the 1989 Montrose nose - dried rose petal, funky mouth - juicy red berries and plums, very fruit forward but still quite tight, creosote, and big tannins. A hundred point Parker wine, and I see why, this fruit is massive and will last forever. I happen to prefer the 1989 in 2013.
Ett helt magnifikt Bordeauxvin!!! Mörkt, tätt, koncentrerat vin med dofter av läder, höstskog, cigarrlåda, stall, mörk mogen höstfrukt, choklad, blyerts. Det bara fortsätter lager på lager. Man skulle kunna sitta och bara dofta i evigheter. Smaken är väldigt rund och koncentrerad med söt frukt. Väldigt komplext och fylligt med helt perfekt balans och en eftersmak som fortsätter i evigheter. Detta är verkligen ett stort vin!!!
Hauled this bottle down to Turks and Caicos where my wife and I celebrated our 5th anniversary with two of our close friends. Given the outstanding experience we had in October with this Montrose it seemed like a good idea. We enjoyed it at Grace's Cottage, an excellent setting. I must say this one was a little less vibrant and complex than our last bottle; however, it was still world class and shared many of the same attributes that I spoke to in October. Maybe it was the Caribbean heat or something was lost in transit.
This might have been an odd bottle...but odd in the best possible way. The wine was wild. Definitely some brett here, but adds complexity and authenticity. Bit of sandalwood. Some mint. Deep and intense fruit. The wine shows you something new with every sip, it seems. Quite a trip...and I loved the ride!
Birthday Dinner (Bishop's - Vancouver, BC): Slow ox'd for 6 hours then decanted 30mins before serving. What a nose, showing incredible richness and concentration. One would surely guess younger than this was, showing tons of graphite lead pencil, rich dark black fruits, shoe leather, cassis, cedar, muddled fresh mint, and plenty of clove spice. Delicious and mouth coating on the palate, with plenty more graphite and cedar coming through, along with some rich sweet dark berries, black cherries, leather, cigar box, plenty of spice, and a huge kick of menthol towards the back end. Gripping, rich, concentrated, backed by plenty of acidity and superb balance. Velvety in texture, this is flirting with perfection. The high scores here are certainly justified. It's amazing how youthful this is showing, I can't wait to see where these are headed with some more bottle time. Outstanding +
At a tasting we put on for our Couples Cru of 17 present, of eight 1990 Bordeaux (Angelus, Figeac, Beausejour Duffau, La Mission Haut-Brion, Leoville Barton, Pichon Baron, Lynch Bages, Montrose). All wines purchased on release and aged in my cellar. This was the group's favorite. Very dark and totally opaque, with no brown at the edges. It took awhile to open but then showed deep dark cassis, licorice, and oak aromas with complexity. Probably the most concentrated of the wines, along with Beausejour, this had everything perfectly balanced, with a wonderful long aftertaste. This is just entering its maturity, and can be enjoyed, but it would be better to let it sleep another three to five years. Ric
I remember having this for the first time in a cellar in Toulouse. What a powerful wine. In the middle of the herbs and dark fruit it has a brightness and spice that seems almost Burgundian.Some mint every now and then. Long finish with great grip. Wonderful example of St. Estephe.
I have been following this wine since the turn of the last century and have always ranked it as one of my favorite Bordeauxs ever. Now that it has entered its mature stage it is even more rewarding. We gave it a three hour decant during which it evolved beautifully. It sports an abundant perfume of flowers in the glass followed by an eruption of red fruits and fine herbs accompanied by classical saddle and tobacco notes only to end with a long tail, multi-layered finish that must last for at least a minute. A true tour de force from Montrose which we enjoyed with yet another October Cassoulet. N.B. - The drinking window shown beginning in 2020 should be modified to begin now and I'm doubtful that this will still shine in 2040, not that the latter observation will matter to most of us.
An absolute knockout. Incredible aroma - this has it all, layers of developed smoky, walnut, earthy and leathery flavours combining with higher toned herbal and tobacco elements with a core of rich red and dark fruits beneath. There's amazing power and intensity to the flavours, yet at the same time this feels remarkably light and elegant on the palate with great purity and precision to the flavours, and bright acids keeping it incredibly fresh and vibrant. The texture is pure silk, and each sip just goes on and on for minutes. Phenomenal, thanks John.
HDH '90 vs '00 BDX Comparative Tasting (Chicago, IL - Spiaggia): Maybe a touch less expressive than a prior bottle, but clean and no brett. Similar profile to the Cos, but less roasted, fruit is pushed to the front and a mint note comes through on the nose and palate. Still has considerable tannin and despite the very ripe fleshy fruit, no hints of over ripeness. Elegance and balance are there. On par with the 1st growths for sure. A/A+
Rich and decadent. Still a very young wine...classic notes on the nose...2 hour decant. Massive crushed dried cherry on the palate. Finish lingered for a very long time...great to have wonderful friends with stacked cellars!
Tasted this against the 1990 Pichon Baron Longueville. After decanting for two hours, the Montrose is simply overpowering, and very impressive. I prefer drinking the Pichon Baron today, since it reveals much more. Let the Montrose wait at least three more years before opening another bottle.
Definitely one of the wines I would love to drink every time I celebrate my winning moments. I have decanted it for three hours before serving it. It has brick red color from the rim, quite intense aromas of dark fruits, licorice and black currants, but it changes after another hour from the glass. Powerful cedary notes, chewy leather and hint of mint and violet flower. Superb balance of acidity, alcohol and tannins with a very fine long finish. Can't wait to open another bottle to serve...
Montose Dinner (89, 90, 95, 96, 99, 00, 01, 05) Plus Others: This was rocking from the moment it was poured. The nose delivers an expressive mixture of red fruit, mineral, dried herbs. The taste is also really impressive, with complex flavors built around a core of concentrated, perfectly ripe fruit. Perfect balance and excellent weight on the palate. The finish is long and extremely satisfying. Thanks (again) for sharing Steve.
Dark red. No signs of real aging at all. Some initial funk on the nose. Decanted and than poured into glasses and enjoyed over the next 3 hours. Layered amazingness! On the nose loads of leather, tobacco, cassis, barnyard (not over the top in any way). The palate has amazing concentration of dark cherry and leather. Long long finish. Going strong this was a great bottle of this wine.
Left Bank Bordeaux from the 1980-s (semi blind) (Amsterdam Wijn Antiquariaat): Dark cherries, ripe berries, some cocos and marijuana! Leather, forest, ink and iodine, such a complex nose! Dense and powerful on the palate, herbaceous and thick dark fruits. Excellent acidity and sweetness in balance. Thick tannins, excellent integration. Holds up well against the Lafite 1989, more masculine than the (feminine and elegant) Lafite as Tex mentioned. A long life ahead.
Super Bowl 2013 (Cumming, GA): Cloudy and a dark core with 1/2" bricking; sandy, rich, fat, sexy, sweet, soy; some tart fruit on the palate, cranberry, pomegranate, red currant, along with mushrooms and forest floor. I like it, but to me this was not a complete wine. It lacked a little balance as it was very fat. Prior bottle was much better and everyone was disappointed with the showing today.
Opened as backup for Clinet 1989 which seemed spoiled when opened, but recuperated rather well. Well stored bottle, into neck, intense ruby color, showing no age in the color, but some on the rim. Even without sniffing close, the huge brett almost filled the entire room. Even after two hours, strong barnyard nose; with hay and underwood. Below, the power of this monumental wine started to develop. Still very much in its child phase; dark fruit, cassis, tobacco, cedar wood, spicy notes. Hot, rich, dense, concentrated on the palate, with massive layers of black fruit, followed by a truckload of (softening) tannins. My experienced tasting buddy thought it was 2003... This bottle was obviously not fully ready yet.
Opened Christmas Eve, 2012 with family. Excellent nose. Decanted it and left it for about two hours. It got better and better with each subsequent sip during the breathing process. This is the third of my case I've drunk, and it has gotten better each time. I still have 9 to go; don't think I can wait five years (as suggested below) for my next bottle. It was absolutely outstanding!
Sampled 11/21/12. Back to Spago for white truffle night. Not liking the remodel on one half of Spago where it's a solid glass wall and all you look at is the ass end of their white wine bottle collection. As for the wine itself, very top of shoulder fill, slightly depressed cork. I was concerned that this bottle had too much leakage, bricking was showing at the edges, but no Brett on the nose or palate. On first opening, the wine was its 100 point self. Beautiful layers of black and blue fruits. Before I could even complete describing my first glass of this glorious wine, it started to fall apart. There indeed was too much air exchange and it quickly turned into a fading but still 92 point wine. Oh well. Will stick with only the good fills from now on.
WOTN between this and a 2005 Clos des Papes. I don't normally give high scores and really this would be 100 points if I believed in that sorta thing. I feel bad for those who have had less than stellar tasting experiences with this wine, as I have yet to experience a single flaw with the 2 out of the 6 from my cellar. For those with impeccable provenance, do yourselves a favor and decant this for at least 90 mins. Our bottle had saturation of the cork about 25% up. Level was into neck. Had with Venison and Beef. Similar notes to those below with a smooth midpalate and finish that lasts forever. I think this wine is just beginning to enter its window of maturity, and may last indefinitely (or so I hope). I'll have to open another in 5 to see its evolution. Really a great expression of how wonderful a St. Estephe can be. If you ever have the chance, please make sure you taste this wine in your life.
A very youthful expressive wine. Medium red with a little brick. Very clean on the nose with some mineral, wood shavings, pain grille. Super balance with no edges and very elegant long finish. I dont think it was showing it all today.
We were lucky. This was a clean bottle that delivered an exotic melange of scents; gravel, incense, creme de cassis, blackberry, barnyard, cedar wood, tobacco, truffle and spice box aromas. Dense, rich and thick, with layers of ripe, dark, tannic fruit that seems to last for close to 50 seconds on your palate. There are no hard edges in this still very young wine. This truly coats your mouth. At close to 22 years of age, it’s starting to open and show signs of maturity. This could easily improve for another 30-40 or 50 years! The wine was produced from a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc.
The perfume rivets your nose to the glass. Powerful scents of Asian spice, tobacco, cassis, smoke, incense, barnyard, gravel, blackberries and cedar get you wound up. The palate is coated with thick layers of juicy, ripe cassis and spice that remain on your mouth for well over 40 seconds! Still young, at 21 years of age, it is finally starting to show its true St. Estephe character. Stunning stuff! Some bottles of this wine display a pronounced horse like quality that ranges from interesting to so strong, it's like Mr. Ed was over for dinner. Other bottles can be much cleaner, with only a touch of barnyard. Fortunately, this bottle was clean. This special wine is only going to improve over the next several decades.
At my wedding, along with prime rib. A bottle I have owned for ten years. Fill level right up to the top. Cork perfect. Decanted a couple of hours. Nose was a mature claret. Blackberries, cassis, very concentrated. On the palette lots of fruit. Tannins integrated perfectly and everything in balance. Shared with several friends and everyone raved about it. Just the kind if wine that has obvious quality. Could probably handle a few more years in the cellar, but this bottle was just great today.
100 RP BYO Tasting (Restaurant AOC): Wonderful and expressive nose with plenty of black currants, coffee and a lot of complexity showing leather, manure, lead, pencil shaving. Very very complex and beautiful nose! Black currant shrub on the palate with lots of impressions like coffee and lead. Impressive acidity structure and a very good balance. Long impressive aftertaste just packed with chocolate. A HUGE wine that is still very young.
The bouquet is beautifully mature, luxurious and revealing soft juicy cassis. On the palate a great wine as well; cassis still, some sweetness, smoke and sweet spices. A great and complex wine. This bottle was completely ready.
Tasted with a rack of lamb next to the 90 Lynch Bages. My friend liked the Montrose better, I, the Lynch Bages. Complex dark fruits and nice balance, but I thought the wine needed to open. We should have decanted it earlier. All the components are there for a 100 point wine, but we didn't let them show. Wait some time or decant early in the day.
KYD #4 (Østerbro): Wauw, a super intense perfumed flowered nose. Deep and concentrated dark plums with a touch of vanilla. The nose also has a little blood and iron. Extremely decadent :-) Decadent and intense dark plum palate with a very powerful acidity. Powerful, mature and decadent fruit flavors with a huge structure. Simply a stunning and extreme wine that is simply perfect!! From a 375 ml bottle.
Cos-Montrose Battle (Restaurant Bottles, Sas van Gent): Notes of iron and blood are starting to emerge out this wonderful brew of roasted leg of lamb, flintstone, black currant coulis and tea leaves. Regal length and complexity, but this wine is starting to show it's age... Drink up! 18.5/20
This wine is really coming into it's own. The fruit has married perfectly with the earthy, barnyard characteristics and the tannins have absorbed the flavors so that they provide a yummy but firm structure. After a couple of hours, an earthy chocolate characteristic developed. I've had quite a few bottles in the past years and there does seem to be some variation (read: levels of brett), as often happens to St Estephes (maybe their typicity leads to that).
Wine of the evening among Pichon-Baron 90, La Gaffelière 90 and Haut Batailley 82 (magnum). Decanted for 2 hours, purple with mature rim. Cedar, bark, tobacco and ripe plums. Tannins noticeable but soft and well integrated. Again plums and cedar, mushrooms, soy sauce and typical St. Estephe minerals. A big wine, at the same time elegant with incredible focus. Long finish. A near perfect Bordeaux today with excellent potential for many years.
The fill was into the neck and the cork was sound; decanted 1 hour in advance of service -- drank at my birthday party at Fountain Restaurant, Four Seasons. For me, this is a perfect wine. This was tasted blind, and was the WOTN over '82 Pichon Lalande, '82 Haut Brion, '82 Gruaud Larose, '90 Leoville Las Cases and '90 Lynch Bages. 'nuff said
Bordeaux v Burgundy III; 7/7/2012-7/9/2012 (The Square, London): Hang on a minute - this stuff is 22 years old and it tastes like a barrel sample. Incredibly dark, compact, brooding - fantastic purity of fruit with pencil load, liquorice, black fruit and impressive depth. This needs much longer in bottle to unwind. Brilliantly compact and huge and long. I wonder what this tasted like when it was first released? Massive I would have imagined.
Tasted at the June 2012 IWFSC monthly dinner at The Racquet Club. Served with seared medallion of American bison loin with huckleberry gastrique and cipollini onion ragout. Purchased on release and opened 24 hours before service. Still incredibly youthfull, with a deep purple color that looks like a wine that just went into the bottle. The tannins are big and the acidity is there as well, in good balance. The palate is starting to show dark fruits, leather and cedar. Opening it a day ahead really helped the wine start to show it's greatness. This wine will live another 50 years. Amazing.
Acker Merrall BYO (Sepia - Chicago IL): Open several hours before poured. Black cherry and plum aromas, with tobacco, meaty spice. Lots of power, length and density. Still a baby with huge long-term potential.
Bordeaux Søskenparsmaking (Moss, Norway): Dyp rød med så vidt bruning i kanten. Nydelig, sødmefull, floral parfyme. Frukten virker fremdeles noe hard og primær, bør få mer tid. Konsentrasjonen og intensiteten i denne vinen er helt avsindig. Massiv blir bare forbokstaven, denne vinen er altfor tett til å drikkes nå. Blir spennende å se hva som kan komme ut av dette med tid. La ligge,veldig lenge. 93-95 P
My one bottle. Had at 1990's tasting with 5 other wines and served it last. Wonderful nose. Great body. Everyone loved it. It really did seem good to drink now. Could detect some mint. But it had all the elements of a classic bordeaux - cedartar. This is a big wine and it showed very well. Had with cheeses - Quick's cheddar, appenzeller, mahon. They went so well with it. Great memory.
Montrose Flight - 1982, 1989, 1990, 1995 (Kendall College - Chicago): Most at the dinner considered this a perfect wine, but I wasn't entirely there with that opinion, mostly because of the 1989 sitting next to it. This is a monster of a wine, no doubt. Deep red color with just a hint of age on the rim. The nose was cedar and tobacco. The palate was huge, with big but manageable tannins and an abundance of black fruits coming out. After about an hour in the glass, the slightest bit of astringency started to appear on the palate which is what caused me to rate it down a bit. The wine is still a baby however, so it will come around more with time and hopefully lose that astringency that came out later. Decades of life left.
Towering, bold, seamless, complex, amazing every time. My last 3 bottles haven't shown the barnyard earlier bottles did. I miss that component a bit, but other characteristics have arose that make up for it. We worked on this for 2 hours, it started out huge and just put on more weight and became more crushing with each pour. 99 pts.
Night at the Bulls Game: Popped and poured (unfortunately). Powerful, dense aromatics of black cherry and currant with earth, leather and bitter chocolate notes. Less 'bretty" than other bottles I've had. Full bodied and expansive on the palate. Same flavors as on the nose. Great texture. Lots of power with very long length. Quite a bit of tannin remaining. Delicious, but young.
This just kept getting better throughout the night. A great example and showing so young. A sweet fruit nose with flowers and some meat. This had impeccable balance and a finish that kept on going. It was up against some stiff competition and finished near the top.
Youthful Bordeauxs at Ruth’s Chris, Tysons including two 100 pointers (Ruth’s Chris, Tysons corner, VA): This is perhaps the most youthful and clean example of the 90 Montrose. No sign of brett, incredibly intense nose of cassis, black fruits, ink, bitter chocolate and a hint of bell pepper that keeps the wine fresh. The fruit expression is ripe, dark and intense yet it may not have achieved the perfect phenolic ripeness just like the 03. Unbelievable intensity and concentration yet the palate is silky and not necessarily unctuous at this stage. The tannin is very well integrated. Impressive wine.
Awesome bottle of great wine. Sweet dark fruit on the nose. Very subtle bret and nothing like previous bottles consumed. Very concentrated fruit with great structure and a long glorious finish. A memorable wine!
this wine is massively constituted. in contrast to several other 1990's I've tasted recently that show signs of evolving (La Mission, Conseillante, Beausejour, perhaps even Pichon Baron) this wine still feels very primary and powerful.
the aromas that come from the glass foreshadow a deep rich palate, with prunes, coffee and oak predominating. The entry is sweet and concentrated black fruits without undue heaviness. It fans out very nicely on the tongue with spice and tannins kicking in, helping overcome a lack of acidity to provide structure and some harmony. Stylistically we're talking deep, sweet spiciness. Unfortunately the tannins turn prickly, particularly in the finish. They blow off with time but not entirely.
I haven't had this wine in a few years and this is a characteristic I hadn't previously experienced but I see a few other readers have come across it as well. I don't want to leave the wrong impression because it did not spoil the drinking experience, especially as it faded with time - I suspect (hope) it's something that will resolve itself, as there is plenty of fruit for this wine to last decades
The dominant aroma early on in this wine was leather. It gradually belnded into the other aromas And flavours and the resulting wine had a very "thick or heavy" feel to it. A sense that it had many many years before its apoge, but just a spectacular drink right now. Other Montorse I have had have been "thinner" and more fruit dominant. This wine is earth and depth. The fruit is there, but not at all dominant, it is very much in the background. What is hard to describe is the essence or feeling of the wine. It was rich, but not in the sesne of blossoming flavours, in the sense of its potential and development. Heavy would be the best single word, but it doesn't do the wine justice. Any way you look at it enjoying this wine is a privelege rather than a pleasure and it is a thinking persons wine, rather than one to just sit and let it come to you and enjoy.
Very dark reddish purple. Rich, ripe, dark berries and citrus flavors. Still very tannic. Much richer and riper than a typical Bordeaux, and still very young. A very good wine with food, but not the classic Bordeaux style I love. It may still need time to soften and lose its tannins, so I will wait before opening the rest of my bottles. There was indeed a very very faint hint of Brett, which blew off quickly. Not a flaw.
Added later - I corked the second half of the last bottle with some wine preserver gas. I opened this again 3 days later and found the wine significantly better. It had opened up, the tannins were still there but softer, and the flavors were really opening up more. Much more Bordeaux type flavor. This confirmed my initial impression that this wine was just too young to drink now. It will be several years before I think about trying another bottle.
Acker Merrall and Condit's second auction (Chicago Elysian Hotel): From a relatively modest Pichon Lalande (relative emphasized) to a more considerable Montrose. Fragrant nose of cigar box, perfumed, quite deliciously ethereal, hard to render into words. Ripe berry fruit, I noted "youthful exuberance" - at 22 years. Evidently years left to go. Another standout moment of the day.
Great nose on this wine. At first I got some barnyard notes, with swirling and time in the glass it lessened and gave way to nice spice, meat and cherries. Beautiful palate of currant, black berries and a lovely spiciness. Well structured wine with a long lingering finish.
Acker auction tasting (Chicago, IL): Slightly fecal aromas on the nose, but definitely identifiable as Bordeaux. On the palate, this is a bit too sweet, with dissipating tannins. A hedonistic wine. Great but not mindblowing.
89/90 Bordeaux Retrospective with Hart Davis Hart: Horsey nose, but I was expecting more animal based on previous notes. The fruit here, really rather dark in quality, certainly stood up to the barnyard. Even more convincing on the palate though, picking up some great earthen, clay notes as well. Lovely wine, but still mouth-puckering tannin. Drinking beautifully, but will go for years on this level.
Stylistically, this is of course different than the '89, but I'm not sure that qualitatively either outmatches the other. Both excellent. Just different.
St. Estephe night. Stunning wine that deserves all the accolades. Nose is just divine, with xmas cake, cherries jubilee, menthol, earth, and mint. I sat at the table with a tremendous sort of St. Estephe wines and there was simply no comparison. Palate was pristine, with the smoothest sweet black and red fruits that had a remarkable level of concentration. Great grip with just the right balance of spice and acidity. My only regret was not being able to have side by side with the '89 Montrose, which was corked. To my surprise, the '89 and '90 Cos that we had alongside were distant seconds.
St. Estephe Night (Home of Mike and Sandra O.): My clear wine of the night, and most of the group agreed. Splash decanted and enjoyed over several hours. No brett or barnyard at all. Expressive flamboyant nose from the initial pour, filled with menthol, spice, exotic ripe currants and plums. Palate was impressive for it’s depth and complexity, carrying the menthol note with impressively concentrated black fruit with a definite liquor-like exotic quality that was so fascinating. On the verge of being overdone and over ripe, but walks back from that line with a balanced, nuanced presentation, with power and elegance. Long long finish adding with cedar spice, mocha, with the menthol note being the last to fade. So young and flamboyant(and tannic), probably not at peak, but drinking so well. Is this where the ’03 will go? Head and tails above the other wines this night.
New Year's Eve dinner with friends in Scottsdale. Wine decanted. Still a stunning wine. Ditto my past two posting of 8/20/11 and 1/3/11. An intense, fragrant and complex nose. Aromas of black cherry, blackberry, cinnamon, tobacco, forest floor, earth, a little bit of tar, a tinge of iodine, well integrated oak. A smooth and velvety mouth feel. I did not get any tannic feeling on the tongue this time. A very long finish. Everyone seemed to really like the wine.
This is amazing and it is understandable why Parker gave it a score of 100 when it was released. Dark rusty red with legs that climb the side of the glass. It has a distinct cherry and cedar nose with a fruit laden peppery taste followed by a long, lingering leathery finish. The acid is still very evident and bodes well for additional storage.
Jaan with La Chapelle and HB blanc as highlights (Jaan, Swissotel): Not sure what happened to this wine. I had another one from the same lot a few months ago which was amazing. This bottle yesterday, unfortunately, had massive brett. The body and length was still there, and some hints of the hidden beauty shone through. But sadly, not a successful bottle.
The fill was base neck and the cork (which was stained almost to the top) was sound. Opened about an hour before dinner; no decant. A beautiful purple-ruby color, turning towards garnet at the rim. An extroverted and complex bouquet, offering up intoxicating aromas of cedary black fruits, tree bark, roasted venison, lilly, crushed rocks, and truffle. Medium to full bodied, with great balance, depth and concentration of flavor; quite velvety on the mid-palate, with a long and incredibly focused finish. A monumental wine!
Sampled 11/19/11. Decanted at home for 2.5 hours - no sediment to speak of. The wine was closed for the first 90 minutes then started to blossom. This was specifically selected for white truffle night at Spago. This was the first bottle of this vintage we had that did not come with a ton of brett. Although the barnyard nose was not missed too much, this bottle (high shoulder fill) seemed to lack the stuffing of bottles we have had in the past which had into neck fills. There was a clear runner of wine along the cork which clearly resulted in some seepage. Although not as powerful in the fruit department is better bottles, there was wonderful and elegant blackberries, black cherries and creme-de-casis on this super silky wine. There were also dominant leather and tobacco notes that really held through the 60 second finish. Not our best bottle, but still a great one and with the white truffle pastas - pure bliss.
An almost perfect wine. Deep garnet in colour with an intense nose with aromas of cedar, ink, a lactic note (cheese) and with airing plummy fruit. There is amazing freshness and the wine is still youthfull and vibrant. The palate is medium to full bodied with high level of silky tannins, high acidity which balances the concentration of fruit. As far as taste is concerned, the main here is bitterness as main aromas are of cedar, pencil shavings, ink, licorice and chocolate and is extremely food friendly. There is fruit as well, mainly crushed blackberry and plum and also a touch of oak and a whiff of smokiness. The wine combines elegance with power and is many years from becoming fully developed although it is drinking beautifully now.
Blockbuster Bordeaux! I has this stunning concentrated nose that is simply singular. Very rich with notes of roasted meat, dust and earth. FULL-body fleshy with long long finish. This will last another 3 decades!
Cooking for the Kesslers (and drinking some great wine with them, too!) (My place.): A gorgeous showing and one of the cleanest bottles I've had. There's no brett whatsoever to be found. Huge, dense and bursting with rich black currant and plummy fruit, it doesn't show the dry Port-like character until much later in the evening after it had been opened a while. There's a nice herbal component I had never really detected before. While large-scaled, it's lost its youthful tantrums and is showing a more integrated and softened character than previous bottles. That said, it's got a long life ahead of it and seems to be just entering its peak drinking period as there's just the start of secondary development. A+/A.
A blockbuster. 21 years old but a few decades to go, easily. Very fresh in the glass, amazing concentration. I'd say plum, cassis, red fruits. A hint of wood. Amazing balance and amazing length. Fantastic wine.
One of the beautifulest wine I ever taste. Perfect colour even is old age with fruity nose and classical Bordeaux cedar and chocolate. In mouth, still very well structured and full of pleasure. If you can try it, don't hesitate. Great moment
A very lovely wine. The nose has a freshness that inspires - classic "pencil shavings" as some would say. On the palate it oozes class while not being a wine that calls attention to its self- it is comfortable being a top student in the back of the class. Sophisticated and enjoyable, it is lovely now, very fresh on the palate too and a good time to open this.
Again this wine delivers the goods. Stunningly opulent. Just the right balance of sweetness, acidity, structure, mouthfeel and length. This time I didn't decant and it wasn't lacking in any manner. There is still a freshness to the wine although it shows a certain maturity. I guess 21 years old is how I like them - lol. 50+10+10+20+10=100
Montrose Vertical Tasting 1989 - 2005 (Work in Progress) (Switzerland): Tasted blind: Dark intensive garnet in color. Nose of sweet mixed berry jam, chocolate and leather. The wine shows an nice lenght, paired with complexity, balance and power, yet at the same time quite elegant. The taste reminds me of red brries and Amarena cherries with hints of pepper. This wine still shows no signs of ageing and reminds me of a blockbuster old-style California cab. A true outstanding wine. Drink now - 2040.
A little browning on the rim. Reddish garnet color. A wonderful bouquet jumped right out, after popping the cork. Unlike last time on 1/3/11, I decanted the wine very slowly a couple times and waited for the wine to warm from cellar temperature. The intensity of the nose was much better this time. Aromas of black cherry, blackberry, tobacco, forest floor, earth, just a little tar and licorice and again a slight tinge of iodine; toasty oak was apparent, nicely integrated into the wine. A velvet mouth feel, but a very slight tannic feeling on the tongue. A very long finish. A great wine, with elegance galore. Paired nicely with a very slow cooked hanger steak. Of course, the wine was better by itself.
Dinner with Friends (Chicago IL): Popped and poured with about a half hour decant. Very powerful aromatics of dark cherry, currant and plum with a savory herb and earth quality. Chocolate notes with leather and cigar. Great intensity of fruit on the palate with huge length. Drinking fantastic, but with big tannins to help provide a long life ahead. Great balance of fruit, acid and minerality. Great stuff.
Old Bordeaux: as I was assigned the Garcon duty of opening many of the wines, I noted the bouquet of this wine upon opening. It was a powerhouse compared to the delicate aromas wafting out of the more ancient bottles. I did notice a fair amount of wine bleeding all the way to the top of the cork and I only mention this due to the controversial ability to gauge its place amongst its peers. Was this a representative bottle of the Montrose, or was it simply the polar dissonance of the vintage character/age compared to the older more classic vintaged wines? I am still undecided.
The wine opens with huge power on the nose, almost port like. Not the overt Brett that many lament bottles of 90 Montrose to contain, it was actually an element held in harmony and quite enhancing in terms of complexity. The spectrum of fruit is more akin to the hot cherry/plum that you would find in hot vintages of Bordeaux (think 03). With more time in the glass, the wine really develops some lovely depth and complexity, and the mouthfeel cools off. The wine clearly needs either a decade of age or some serious decanting to be approachable, unless you’ve been drinking young wine to accompany it (where your palate is at that juncture is crucial imo). Nonetheless, for its relative youth, I was hoping for more nervosity from the wine. I’m not sure if its possible to retain that characteristic in such a hot vintage. Perhaps this is a lifelesson in which vintage Bordeaux I should concentrate my purchasing on (i.e. don’t buy 09!) I would love to revist the wine and the vintage in more depth to settle the score.
Older Bordeaux (Chez Glowa - Bethesda, MD): This was popped and slow-ox'd for about 2 hours prior to service. In retrospect, this should have been thrown in a decanter for a couple hours. Drank alongside a selection of Bordeaux from the '60s, '70s, and '80s this wine stood out as a brute. This is truly a monster wine with an explosive nose, dense body, and long finish. The nose exploded with meat, rich plum and cherry with mushrooms and tobacco leaf. Palate was incredibly rich and dense with silky cherry, smoked meats, smokey plums and tobacco. Incredible length on the finish - no question that this will improve for quite some time. No rush here!
The 90th Tasting (The Lyon's Tree House): Bought on release (still had the $55 sticker), well stored, perfect cork, decanted 2 hrs before trying. Even better than previous bottles, it has currant, cigar box, more dark berries, and earth on the nose and palate. Great texture and finish. Loads of time.
Glorious perfume of leather, tobacco, sweet earth and dark fruits. Would have given perfect score had it lasted a bit longer (last glass showed some decline after 2 hours). I wouldn't decant next bottle. Just let it breathe in the glass.
Since the day this Bordeaux wine was released, I have always felt 1989 Montrose the better wine of the dynamic duo. 21 years after the 1990 Montrose was made, my view has suddenly changed.
The wine remains a deep ruby color. An intoxicating perfume of smoked meat, tobacco, blackberry, barnyard, gritty earth, spice and cassis pops from the wine as it spills into your glass. This wine is powerful, dense and masculine, as well as refined. There are no hard edges to be found. Layers of flavor float all over your palate, teeth and gums. This stunning wine ends with a long, pure, clean cassis, blackberry and spice sensation that seems to last for close to 50 seconds. The mark of all great wines is the ability to improve with age and time in the glass. 1990 Montrose continued improving in the glass for several hours.
The problem with this wine has been the massive wall of tannin and amount of brett many bottles have displayed. This example was a very clean wine and as you can see from the note, the tannins have integrated into the wine. While secondary aromas are clearly developed, this is only now starting to become civilized. As good as this bottle is today, it will be better with 10-20 or even 30 more years of bottle age.
From magnum :-( Faulty bottle. A bit corked which dominates everything that should be there in a beautiful way. The wine is full bodied with still lots of cassis, but beside the cork there is too much acidity and bitterness and no elegance at all. What a waste; my previous note was in 2010 and I scored the wine 99…
California vs. Europe (Bordeaux blends) BLIND TASTING: Very deep nose of tobacco and cedar, with some grilled fruit and leather. On the palate, perfectly integrated, smooth, some cedar, earth, fruits and minerals. Savory wine, great acidity and long finish. For me this was clearly the best wine of the tasting. My nose was slightly congested so I couldn't get all the nuances, but this was excellent medium bodied, nicely aged wine and one of the best bordeaux I had so far. I would like to try another bottle with fully opened nostrils (the bottle came from C.M.'s cellar). Guessed Montrose, this tasted clearly different from all other wines, which were in a more new world style.
Had this at a tasting of a number of highly rated wines. While I am not a big fan of Bordeaux wines because of Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine was flat out delicious. Full expression of place and wonderful balance and complexity. Very pure on the palate with a lengthy finish. For me, the number 3 wine of the lunch. A wine with soul.
A New Year's wine with filet mignon. Yellowish-brown at the rim. Dark fruits (black cherry and blackcurrant), tobacco, forest floor,toast, earthy, tar, licorice, a tinge of iodine - complex and balanced. Velvet mouth feel. A very long finish. A great wine, but I have tasted this on past occasions, with others, where it was scored higher. The intensity of the nose seemed just a tad lesser on this one.
This is perfection. Clear St Estephe minerality evident in a lush expressive quintessential Bordeaux. Extraordinary lengthy finish. Still a young wine with developing tertiary characteristics. Balanced. Powerful. This wine is drinking beautifully even though its peak is decades away.
1990 Bordeaux at Fabio's: At a big 1990 Bordeaux horizontal... My first 1990 Montrose. It did not disappoint. Gorgeous, gorgeous bouquet with 100-pt complexity of soy sauce, hotel-lobby lilies, new patent leather, Christmas, truffle-sweetened cranberries, beef blood, and much more. Zero funk/brett/etc. The palate was sweet, long, resolved and lovely, but again, this is Bordeaux from 20 years-ago, so the palate impression is dry and classic compared to the Post-Rolland world. That all said, and this was one of the best wines I've ever had ever, I found the concentration merely adequate and so, it was a step down from the 1986 Mouton and 1986 Lafite for me-- those '86's were infinitely deep, and as such, more complete wines. Still, easily my #1 WOTN.
Deep, dark color with barnyard, leather and cassis nose on decant. Wine opened beautifully after 15 minutes in the glass. Assorted red and dark fruit is full, deep, rich and powerful yet supple and layered; the tannins round and nearly fully resolved. Broad, front to back power from the start and secondary flavors show with time. Long, deep, complex finish with a really comfortable, satisfying mouth feel. Drinking perfectly now and will last for tens of years. It was delicious 4 years ago and an extraordinary indulgence now. Best Montrose ever? 99
a dandy...lived up to expectations. solidly integrated with great balance, acidity, size and mouthfeel and wonderful secondary flavors that just allowed the wine to linger on the palate for an extended time.WOFTN with 90 Chave, 99 Ramonet Montrachet
So nice. Blind tasted @ Netherlands Wijnantiquariaat. Sweet, balanced, minerals, classic bordeaux at the pinnacle of life. A lovely wine and one of my favorites. I was thinking I still like the '89 better, but see my notes from the next evening (this was only the Friday tasting... life is rough). While not perfect it is up there flirting with perfection. The 90 and 96 Montrose are right up there at the top of my list of wines to always have in the cellar. Too bad I'm nearly out of both.
not sure if the bottle was flawed, but there was a very stinky nose of toilet bowl and sticky plaster that cast a pall on the nose, that got worse with decanting. (Though I understand the stinky nose disappeared after an entire day of leaving the remainder in the decanter) However if you block the nose and taste the wine, it does not taint the very very good palate. Amazing length of a sweet finish, powerful cassis and sweet purple fruits, silkiest tannins reminiscent of the 03 montrose, touch of alcohol and glycerin that makes the wine even more delicious on the palate. A cover the face and ram the base kind of wine. Hopefully the nose issue can resolved over time or with extended airing.
Kelvin's Bachelor's Party (Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck, Paragon): Tons of good stuff here, but it took a bit of effort trying to pick it up under a heavy cloak of funk that just refused to completely blow off even after a couple of hours. Still though, an excellent wine. Very funky on the nose, with some barnyardy, very animale whiffs - smelt a little like manure at points, with a good hit of band-aid to boot. With plenty of coaxing, all these stinky notes started fading into the background a little, to show rich cassis tones, deep earth notes, some wet leafy undergrowth and a whiff of jaffa orange chocolate. Hard to get past all the funk on the nose though, so I would recommend giving this a splashy decant before serving. The palate was entirely another story. Still clearly in its adolesecence, but oh so good. Tons of power and concentration, with a solid core of sweet berries and cassis just showing reservoirs of depth, but this was wed to lovely purity, impeccable balance and lovely, velvety smooth tannins. On the mid-palate, there was a nice pull of bacon meat and plenty of tobacco smoke, building up into a lovely cigar-like finish, with smoke and incense whirling around. As good a Montrose as I have ever tried, and with a long life ahead of it as well - I would love to try another bottle in 10 years' time.
Holy brett bomb. At first Band aid brett, then a pile of horse. Leather, and earth. With time much of the brett blew off, leaving an excellent wine. Gaining sweetness and depth of mouthfeel. Rich and deep, supple and powerful. Excellent wine. 92 pts.
Deep purple with a brownish rim. Wonderfull bouquet with scents of sweet black fruits, leather, mushrooms, ink, graphite and oaky vanilla. Totaly full bodied, with high level of glycerin and alcohol, round tannins, and flavors of liquorice, pepper, tar, dried plums and jammy fruit. The finish lasts about 45 - 50 sec. One of the best Montrose and one of the best Bordeaux I have ever drunk. To enjoy now or the next 15 years!
AMS Wijnantiquariaat (blind tasting) Bordeaux incl Mouton 81/ 98/ 99 and 2000. What a treat! Homogeneous colour dark red with orange on the rim. Fantastic nose with ripe berries, cherries and cassis. Some iodiom, iron and whiff of mint. Later some menure, so typical of this wine in the earlier tastings. In the mouth rich dark fruits, coffee, chocolate and variety of Autumn tones. Long finish with integrated tannins. Little drying in the end. Very elegant and super complex wine. My WON!
My personal WOTN for a blind 1990 red left bank horizontal. Two bottles, one ex-chateau that was my favorite and which I am grading here and another (from US auction) that was 3rd for me (separated by Ch Margaux), that was a 93.
After three hours, this one was incredible. Silky smooth. Licorice, celery, a little toast and nuttiness, plum and cherry with floral notes. I'm not sure how to give a 100 point rating, but I haven't had many Bordeaux's this good.
The legend again! What a treat! A level fill, ruby with garnet rim. Intense, cassis spuma, blackcurrant leafs, so pure, so outher worldly pure, like is cassis foam, so tender and yet massive. Tea and hint of fine leather, takes a long time to open in the glass, overtones of roses and violets, extremelly complex, some vanilla and even white chocolate. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, great balance, intense and so elegant, needs a lot more time, flirting, seductive and yet secretive and masculine, yet it feels open like a book, intriguing. Wow again. And I liked this bottle better than the last that I found a bit "porty".
Not quite the extraordinary "100" RATED I remembered. A much more subtle, aged juice that is still outstanding. Medium bodied nose right up until it reaches your mouth and then it becomes more complete and intense. It is very smooth on the front and middle palet with a fine blend of balanced tanins at the back and a beautiful finish.
Happy 20th Birthday! (to the wine). Probably at its apex ... don't know that it will get much better. Silky smooth tannin, great fruit (cassis, cherry) and a chocolaty mid-palate. Wonderful 20+ sec finish.
Drank this wine at least 3 times before. (I am sure there still is a note missing from 2004; hope I will ever find it.) But by far this bottle had the biggest WOW factor. So complete! In the bouquet a little pleasant barnyard, luxurious oak, cigars, mature cassis, leather, meat etc. etc. All comes back in the taste in perfect harmony with beautiful soft and still powerful tannin. What a juice. What a complexity! Give yourself a treat and open a bottle now! It will not improve, but it can last for many years.
An Evening of Bordeaux (The Anvil Club, East Dundee, IL): The third or fourth time I have had this wine, and easily the best bottle. While this still displayed some brett, it wasn't as obtrusive as in previous bottles. A powerful wine. Notes of blackberry and cassis, a hint of brett, and perfumed florals. Balanced, with rich dark fruit, tobacco and spice, and leather tones. Long persistent finish. 95+ pts.
The levels of fruit in this wine are off the charts! Jammy fruit, toffee, licorice and a slight horsey aroma made for a compelling and complex perfume. Massive layers of fruit fill every nook and cranny of your mouth. But, as gargantuan as it is, it remains perfectly balanced.
The purple/red center and red rims of this wine clearly suggested youth and strength. The high intensity nose featured black fruits, coffee, led pencil and a bit of toasty oak. It improved dramatically with air.
Given the color, the wine was surprisingly refined with ripe, round tannin. It had excellent acidity and great length. Despite being nice to drink now, this wine is still an infant and is not showing all the complexity the future should hold. I would recommend long aging or extended decanting (if you can't resist). My score should improve given an additional 10 to 20 years of age.
1990 Left Bank Bordeaux Horizontal: Dense, thick, muscular, brawny, almost impenetrable. Black fruit, dense acid. Unbelievable dense without being over sweet. This will still improve in bottle. Excellent. A
This is a stunning wine. Nose full of fruit mixed with leather, truffle. Very typical bottle. Tremendous mouthfill and solid grip. This is a Bordeaux powerhouse showing no signs of letting up anytime soon. 50+10+10+19+9=98
Absolutely stellar. No one in our group could believe that this was a 20 year-old wine. Beautiful, dark color, classic nose, rich and deep fruit with a long finish. Just wish I had time to decant it longer. This could easily go another 10-20 years at this pace.
First bottle from my numerous Marketplace purchases. This is a stunning wine. Nose full of fruit mixed with leather. Very typical bottle. Tremendous mouthfill and solid grip. This is a Bordeaux powerhouse showing no signs of letting up anytime soon. 50+10+10+19+9=98
Decanted x 3 hours then poured. Nice very dark garnet color, Wow, on the nose a huge brett-bomb! I know there is quite a bit of bottle variation in this wine, as I have had others from the same case that did not have this degree of brett. Several hated the wine, however, I did not. The 'animal' smells seemed to decrease as the evening progressed. Huge structure to the wine with great fruit and mouthfeel. Soft tannins...long, long sweet finish. 95 Harlan edged it out slightly in the tasting.
the initial nose was terrible.........three of us thought the bottle was bad or the glasses were soapy but thankfully the stink blew off after 10 minutes - the nose probably kept me from thinking more highly of this wine but once I could drink it it was amazing, dark color. Just got beter and better and the nose evolved into a wonderful bordeaux , big structured and lots of layers. One would have thought this was a 6 year old bordeaux.
Very dark wine, Wonderful nose but I did not just love the wine. Had with lamb at Flemings. Not a long finish. I have one bottle in my cellar and I am not sure when it should be drunk but I am thinking I will wait and hope it improves to be the promised 100 points.
Had at a 65th birthday celebration at Flemings with two other 1990 bordeau and lamb chops. It was a bit flat at first however the nose was huge wonderful aromas. Wine came together and had great balance and good body. My only complaint was the finish
This wine has been such an enigma, both for us and based on CT notes. Having not tried it since 2006, we took one to a BYOB dinner at La Belle Vie in Minneapolis. It was close to perfect. This wine has, for most people, including us, been very difficult in early years. One of our early bottles, and those of friends, were extremely harsh, tannic, and some found it (see CT notes) very gamy, horsey, whatever. We opened this and the nose was pure classic Bordeaux from the beginning...not a hint of gaminess. We decanted...the color was just beginning towards brick, but still very solid. On the nose, a classic Bordeaux...lead pencil, graphite, a bit of floral and sweet. In the mouth, a perfectly balanced, smooth, classic aged Bordeaux. Not a bit over the hill, many years to go, but now exceptionally accessible. Lots of mineral, cassis fruit, leather, tobacco, toast/graphite tones, very smooth and that unmistakable really first-rate Bordeaux. Could have asked for nothing more.
Un monument sur papier (combien de fois Parker l’a noté 100 points!?) mais qui s’est révélé totalement bretté comme bien d’autres bouteilles des 1990 de ce Château. Nez de band-aid très envahissant, des arômes qui se retrouvent heureusement peu en bouche. On peut déceler le monstre sous les bandages, mais le tout est nu peu gâché.
Cindy's 30th Birthday Party (Chicago IL): From Magnum. Decanted for 2 hours before consuming. Very dark color. Bright dark red cherry/berry with cassis and damp earth and leaves on the nose. Some very nice chocolate and cedar notes as well. Outstanding texture on the palate with refreshing acidity and an extremely long finish. A beautiful wine.
Lumber Comes To Minneapolis (La Belle Vie Lounge, Minneapolis): Third time tasted. Single decanted about two hours. Luscious, intense dark fruit, leather, soy, and smoky meat flavors. Slutty, hedonistic and buttery smooth, with a super-long finish framed by ultra-fine, suave tannins. Another beautifully clean, brett-free bottle.
This did not get much air time, so it was still a little flat when first served. The bretty nose upon opening was there as usual. Great tannins, but low acidity. You got a little more fruit with each sip, which would have really shown through with more air time, but the bottle was gone before we knew it.
Montrose vertical (Dylan Prime, NYC): Big, full fruit with some acid. A bit sweet and candied. A huge, expansive wine that I think will improve with some more age, is drinking well now, and will last for years and years. A
earthy nose, dark maroon color w/ no hint of brown on the edges of the glass. on the palate, gobs of sweet dark fruits w/ nicely concealed tannins, minerals toward the back palate, and a long finish. i don't see perfection here (RP 100 - i think it lacks the complexity of a perfect scoring wine), but a phenomenal bottle of wine none the less! seems like it's got 10 years if not more left in it. thank you TIGER for sharing this w/ us as we move on to the next chapter of our lives.
With its cedar, cassis, tobacco, black fruit and smoke filled nose, caught my attention. Full bodied, concentrated and filled with dense black fruit. The structure was there to age. The wines finish was long. Still young, this is a wine to see what happens to it in the future
The easiest Bordeaux to sip this evening -Soft and very enjoyable. The 90 Montrose has always had that" Box of Chocolate" syndrome: While this never reached the highs of other bottles sampled over the years, it was a nice example of mature hedonistic St Estephe. Judging by the consumption pattern it was the group's favorite yet I kept being drawn to the more complex 89.
Magnums for Dave (Jean-Georges - New York, NY): From magnum. Massive black cherry and black currant on the nose with exotic spice. Same ripe fruits on the palate with alluring, opulent spice. Incredible fruit concentration and density but still complete balanced throughout. This evolves over a full minutes from something massive and primary into a very sensual, exotic wine. I look forward to revisiting this wine from time-to-time over the next two decades.
MOPA 100 Point Wine Tasting (Rancho Santa Fe, CA): This one is a brett-bomb. Some people would hate it, but I didn’t mind so much, since there was still some fruit. I’ve had other bottles of this wine where it wasn’t so apparent. Long finish. Saddle leather covered with horse sweat. Giddyup, Girl!
Amazing wine, with intense aromatics and an exotic flavor profile. And yes the horsey-leathery quality is so powerful, it will either be compelling or a total turn-off. So vivid, just like removing the saddle from a sweaty horse.
The Big "Four-O": 40+ Wines for 40 Years: And on the 5th time having this bottle, I finally was disappointed. This was not the sweet, slutty, in your face, horsey wine that I had 4 times before. First there was no horse, which is better than too much, but not as good as a little. The texture and body were still there, but the extreme fruit of the vintage was not. Group #4 of the blind tasting.
A wine with many faces. At first as my TN of February this year. The next day it seemed to have lost part of its complexity, but it was still developing. Later the juiciness came back and it was as complex as in the beginning. What a great wine!
Pre-Nuptial Eve Get Together (Wink Wine Bar): Sensational wine, but not as good as the last bottle. Of course, there's the tell-tale Brett, although this bottle wasn't all that bretty. It was wild and rustic, and powerful on the nose and kept showing something new every few minutes, but this bottle seemed more tannic and maybe a little shut down. Gave up less on the palate than my prior encounter with this wine. Overall, this probably still needs a few more years if it's been stored very cool. Nevertheless, an amazing wine that is in my personal hall of fame and "wines to drink before you die" list.
This is the 4th time I have had this wine and all were from different sources and all were consistently great. This is a big sweet, hedonistic, slutty wine. I don't normally use the words fruit bomb and Bordeaux in the same sentence when talking about older Bordeaux wines, but this is an exception. When I decanted it, there was a beautiful sweet cherry perfume. However, on my first sniff from a glass, the cherry was replaced by a little bret. I was concerned after the first hour of decanting because the bret grew bigger, and frankly approached NYC subway urine smell on a Sunday morning, but that was just a temporary phenomenon, and smoke and leather took over the nose for the rest of the night. The palate had a lot of big dark fruits, including blueberry, blackberry, sweet dark cherry and plums. There was also some sweet spices including cinnamon, birch and licorice. The tannins were still big but velvety smooth. The acidity was playing a supporting role, but enough so to help keep the wine refreshing. This must have been a monster when it was younger. I would have liked a little more complexity, especially on the nose, but even still this was a real guilty pleasure.
Mouton Madness: SDR's BWE Thursday Night Dinner (Equinox Restaurant, Washington DC): Dark red to rim, though lighting was dim. Really rich forward nose of layered ripe fruit, saddle leather funk (but clean funk), meat and minerals. Very full bodied, mouth coating ripe fruit, richer than expected for a St. Estephe, a little linear at first despite being decanted 3 hours earlier, it continues to open over the coursre of the evening to become much more complex. Long smooth finish. Still young, but fabulous now, this will go for decades.
Dark ruby, no bricking at rim. Beautiful, brooding nose of t and a, sweet red fruits, and earth. In the mouth, spices, strawberry and earth with mouthcoating tannins and a long finish. beautiful wine. ****/*****
Decanted just before serving. Violet and cassis aromas leap out of the glass. The mouthfeel is initially chewy with sweet tobacco, chocolate, rare meat, black cherry and charcoal. As this opens, it becomes more silky and linear (in a good way) with a tight coar of graphite and dark fruit. This is extremely fun to drink as each subsequent new pour makes the same transformation. For my taste, this is early peak, with its youthful color and dark fruit profile. The only nit picking distraction is the hint of green herbs that emerges on the nose over time. For some, this may add more complexity. Not a 100 pt bottle for me, but an extremely high quality wine.
Rustic, barnyard and also freshness and black fruits in the bouquet. Very juicy cassis, good tannin, which is mature but also still powerful. Pleasant bitterness. Intense, full bodied and complex wine with a very long finish of ripe cassis flavors. Beautiful balance. Beautiful drinking moment now and for several years to come. (Although I would not wait until the drinking window's 2029 which is entered in CT at this moment)
Pratt's Bordeaux table and then some: A bit of a polarizing bottle. Some folks at my table had this as their favorite wine of the night. I found it a completely atypical and not so good a showing. Normally, this wine shows a dry port-like character that’s just dense and maybe a little too much in character. I actually usually prefer the ’89 to it, but this wine is never really a slouch. Yet I found this bottle to show a lot of greenness, most especially from the wood tannins. I found precious little fruit here and even very little Brett, which this wine normally exhibits plenty of. There are still some things to like here, but this is unlike any showing I’ve had of this wine. Doesn’t seem like bad storage. Perhaps barrel variation? B+/B.
Montrose Vertical Blind balanced open very elegant just lovely. has all the montrose characteristics from before, stones and leaves, smoke and lead pencil the difference is the extra complexity and sweet fruit on the taste, just incredible, the unctous, thick sweetness is dizzying YumYum, I could drink it all day, but when this gets old, it will best all the rest
Licorice, blackberry and blueberry, a hint of cedar and lead pencil. Perfect balance, excellent delineation, tannin is noticeable but fine and nicely integrated. It is so silky and the perfect balance gives the impression that the wine is light, I can quaff this stuff all day. It is still very primary but just so easy to drink. Compare to the other two in this flight, it is not as concentrated but IMO, easiest to drink.
Plummy, dark fruit, cedar, dirty/earthy. Perfect balance, ripe fruit on palate; clean on the palate unlike the nose. long, almost sweet finish. Still youthful. Given the complexity and balance here I can see why some consider this a perfect wine, but the mild fecal notes on the nose drop it a couple of points for me.
Ruby red to the edge with no browning. Reticnt nose. Still youthful with a solid core of structured fruit. A beatiful wine but not quite at peak yet. Huge dark toned fuits of blackberry, cassis and a hint of plum but still cool without over ripeness or excess alcohol. A tad four square as the tannins are not fully resloved. Classic St Estephe rusticity that needs another five years to smooth out. Noticable so following a sublime La Mission HB 1990. A very good wine but wait a few more years.
Tasting Group Dinner w/ Kevin Sidders - Steaks & Bordeaux (Our House): Decanted about two hours. Really special, and even better than the bottle I tasted last year. Incredibly rich, yet almost weightless flavors: dark fruit, leather, smoke, meat, earth, spice. There was some horse, too, although this bottle was totally clean and brett-free. Gorgeous structure, with perfect interplay between the fruit, acidity, minerals, and perfectly ripe tannin. Oh-so-smooth in the mouth, with a finish that goes on and on. Improved with air. This wine is incredible and has a long future ahead. My WOTN.
Bordeaux at Siggy's: Double decanted about an hour or so before serving and this was rocking from the moment it was poured. The nose delivered a divine mixture of red fruit, mineral, saddle leather, pepper and floral notes. There was a touch of brett on the nose, but its smells were well integrated and added to the complexity instead of detracting. The taste is unbelievably good, with complex flavors built around a core of concentrated, perfectly ripe fruit. The mouth feel is also special, with perfect balance and excellent weight, yet produces a lithe impression on the palate. The finish is long and extremely satisfying. It's a perfect match for Manlin-style steaks, and an amazingly good wine. Thanks for sharing Steve.
Dinner at Carlos' (Carlos'-Highland Park, IL): Wine of night. Barnyard at first but than most blew off. Dark in color and big and mouth coating. Very complex but what really hits you on this wine is that despite its size, the tannins are well resolved and it is incredibly smooth and elegant leaving a wine that is just layer upon layer of tasty goodness. I can understand the 100 point scores on this wine and it remains a relative value.
Dinner with Friends (Carlos' Resturaunt, Highwood IL): nose: right off the bat you get the Mr Ed horsey smells, but as the wine opened up, it reavealed much more complexity and an insane amount of depth. Very muscular and precise tones of graphite, dark cherry, sour cranberry, chalk, roasted herbs, smoke and toast tones
taste: insanely dense and filled with layer upon layer. This is the kind of feel that stops you in your tracks and you just want to enjoy the moment. The tannins are fairly well resolved but the flavors are still fairly primary. Loads of leather, tobbacco, sour cranberry, dark cherry, smoke, and toast unwind in your mouth with each layer providing more complexity
overall: this is a stunning wine that still hasnt reached it's peak. The layers just unfold in your mouth and its the layers that make the wine. An amazing supple attack that then leads into a muscular mid palate and finish that doesn't quit. This is an absolutely stupendous wine that lived up to my expectations
The Blind Drunks monthly tasting (Chateau Lay): Notes of roasted bell pepper, red fruit and cedar, with a subtle soy quality as well. NIce mix of dark and red fruit flavors on the palate, with cedar and herb tones. Mayb just a bit thin thorugh the finish, but that's really being picky. Excellent overall. 93-94 pts. Guessed '94 Napa Cab.
Post-tasting edit: This is the 3rd or 4th time I've had this, and the first time the wine wasn't overwhelmed by brett, and thus the first time I have really enjoyed this wine.
Strong horse tinged aromatics are the first thing a taster will notice. Powerful, dense, thick levels of black fruit, minerals and spice fill your palate. This remains extremely young. Full bodied, dense and concentrated.
Holy wow. Served at the TWC 4th anniversary. A bit of crazy funk on the nose intermingled with followed by pure cassis, graphite and leather on the palate. In perfect balance with an exceptional finish. My only complaint is that I drank my glass too fast.
IWFSC 731st Dinner (Les Nomades): This just keeps getting better every time I taste it. Eleven bottles at this dinner, all in perfect shape. Opaque black red color. Incredible nose of black fruit, saddle leather, cedar, pencil, and spice. Incredible rich strucutred black fruit, blood, and coffee on the palate, but starting to round out nicely. One of the best Bordeaux I've had in a long time - spactacular.
Very nice wine. Perfect age. A little bit bitter, maybe I should have let it stand longer. I waited about one hour after decanting. At times it was almost flawless. At times is made my tounge go ouch. Definetly a great wine but maybe should be left open several hours before drinking. Perfect nose. Perfect rust color when pouring. Very little sediment. Great wine!!
Tasted at a "pop and pour" dinner, with no opportunity to decant, which I think this could have used, perhaps 20 mins. Right out of the bottle, nose is like a pencil factory surrounded by a horse farm. Some leather, manure and lead. The palate is softer, lighterand more integrated, still plenty of tannins to work off but enough fruit to make them acceptable. Unclear how this will evolve. Fruit is there, but not way out in front; something tells me this wine should be drunk within the next five years. Hopefully the fruit will outlast the tannins as they continue to integrate.
My 40th and some notes...Bordeaux, CdP, Quilceda, etc. (Seattle): I’m the second owner of this bottle and I know its provenance. It was kept in a passive cellar from release until a few years ago. As this might suggest, it is a bit more evolved than most notes that I’ve read suggest. I’ve never had this wine before so I was quite nervous about the widely reported brett issue. Nyah. Pretty clean (a whiff…) and just exceptionally powerful. The nose and the attack are almost intrusive (in a pleasant way). Enormous, sweet and completely mouthfilling black cherry fruit leads to a reverberating finish. Stunningly balanced for such a behemoth. Analogies fill the mind. The nitrous of Bordeaux, this reminds me of that gut-wrenching moment in Star Wars as they launch into hyperspace. A clear cut above the other players in this flight and a standout moment in my days of drinking and appreciating wine.
Patrick Stella dinner with Manlin (Custom House): Again, this Montrose is not nearly as tannic or wound up as I expect it to be. A really nice big rich bordeaux with spices, coffee, and pencil lead notes. Will probably continue to improve, but actually drinking pretty well today.
Tasting Group Dinner - Steaks & Montrose (Dave's House): Intense black fruit and charred meat on the nose. A bit more horsey than the 1989, tasted side-by-side, but not overwhelmingly so. Fantastic, multi-layered, rich dark fruit, iron, minerals, and leather. Incredibly silky, suave texture. Endless finish. Amazing stuff.
Another Tuesday Night in Minneapolis (Montrose 82, 86, 89, 90, 95, 01, 03, 04): The nose offered a beatiful blend of dark fruit, mineral, saddle leather, and some floral notes. I re-affirmed my high tolerance for brett by noting that this seemed to be pretty clean and having everyone at the table disagree with me. Upon further review they are correct, there is a pretty strong brett presence here, but I thought it was wll controlled and added to the enjoyment of the wine. The taste displayed awesome fruit concentration, and smooth enjoyable texture, perfect balance, and a long lingering finish. What an amazing wine.
A bit of brett, but not overwhelming. Great juice. Drank it in a flight with the 89, which was for my tastes slightly preferred to the 90, but hey, who's complaining. Would drink this anytime with pleasure.
This comes in two styles and there is no way to know which you're going to get until you pop the cork. Either you find a stable full of horses, or you discover a glint of horsiness. Personally, I prefer the subtle, gentle hint reminiding me of standing in the winners circle at the Kentucky Derby. I got lucky as this bottle was the latter. I got lucky last night too, but that's a different story. Adding complexity to the horse aromas was wonderful layers of cassis, black fruit, herbs and truffles. Huge, massive and concentrated in the mouth. Every nook and cranny of your palate enjoys an ocean of dense, ripe, rich, deep, black fruit. The long finish was a pleasure, very fresh and clean with great follow through from start to finish. Still some tannin to resolve.
Craig and Wendy Collins Visit London (Caldesi): I have been lucky enough to try this four times in the last couple of years, once together with Steve and a bottle of the 1989, fantastic to compare. Darker than the 1970, almost black in the glass, so dense and textural, perhaps lacks a bit of freshness, not heavy but getting there. Sinister.
Graduation wines (Columbus, OH): My first time with this wine and, yes, it is totally full of brett. Really big for Montrose, with full-bodied ripe red fruits and graphite...once one gets by the sweat and manure. Young wine. A bit unclean for me, like a Bordeaux/Beaucastel blend. OK.
Overindulgence after the Madeira (Seattle, WA): As 1990 Montrose goes, this was a very clean example with almost no discernible brett. Lots of flint and mineral, very clean. I love the richness of the palate, just so intense. A great example, thanks Chuck!
This was an extraordinary wine. We had our first bottle 3-4 years ago and it seemed way too soon, even after decanting. Based on other notes in CellarTracker, we decided to try again for NYEve, and als based on notes, we did not decant. The nose just exploded out of the glass with the prototpical bordeaux lead-pencil graphite, but with sweet fruit as well. We got only a hint of this horsey thing...it in no way reminded me of Rhones with their frequent barnyard elemeents in the nose. In the mouth it seemed almost perfect...tannins were very evident but soft and complex flavors of fruit, tobacco, even a bit of mocca to us. While I think it will last for decades, it is frankly drinking extremely well right now.
Dark berries,earth and a little horse. A touch sweet but otherwise good balance and length. My 10 year old son said it smelled like piss but tasted good soon after the bottle was opened. The wife appeared to like it more than the bottle we had last year.
saw this on the wine list at MGM grand at a very cheap price so I new I had to have it. Won a few blackjack hands and had it paid off. WOW is all I can remember as I am posting this a few days later. One of the best wines I have had in a real long time, maybe even the best ever BDX I have had.
Was Mr. Ed in the house, or was this bottle only slightly horsy? Well, the horse was in the barn, but he was sleeping as this bottle was not too bretty. Huge, dense and very concentrated. Still relatively primary, this beefy, concentrated, thick, masculine wine demands at least 15-20 more years before it reaches full maturity
A huge soaring nose, with plenty of brett, but an unbelievable amount of fruit as well. I've had this wine a half dozen times, this being the best. We labeled the decanter 'Mister Ed', but there was no mistaking which wine this was. Drink now to 2020.
Tasted blind against 1989 Montrose after reading the Spectator Montrose verticle review a few issues ago. My palate tends to match Parker more often than the Wine Spectator but the night these two were tasted I have to admit I thought WS was right on the mark. The 1989 was the star of the two. 1990 Montrose had more earth, in the nose, less fruit driven and taste older and not as big as the 1989. I would have given the 1989 the higher score, plenty of life left in both though.
This was horsy. Lots of barnyard scents in this bottle. Upon pouring, a conversation ensued discussing if this smelled more like horseshit or cow pies and the difference between each. Erudite, no. But fun. After the strong barnyard aromas, beefy, dark, spicy fruit notes were apparent. This is a huge, hulking wine than remains tannic and shockingly youthful.
Tasting, brief note. Incredibly lush, alluring black fruit aromas with great spice. Lots of concentration and power with still assertive tannins. Great now, but I expect this will really stand out from 2015 forward.
Seattle Tasting Group 'End of Year Dinner' #3 (Sammamish, WA): This was a serious Mr. Ed wine with big, big notes of horse and game. Some soy sauce and black fruit are also there, and I wrote in my notes that it reminded me of the 1989 Montrose, as, double blind, it was obviously from this producer. The palate was gripping, powerful and extremely tight, and despite the apparent ripe notes on the nose, this seems to emphasize structure more than fruit which is why I assumed this was the 1989. It was a nice showing, but the fruit was less on display than I am used to for this beast of a wine.
Superb wines with a superb dinner- Trimbach, Chave, L'Angelus, Montrose, ZH & more. (Applewood): While I’ve had the ’89 a number of times, this was actually the first time I’ve had the ’90. It certainly lived up to its star billing, but I was surprised by how backward and primary it was compared to many ‘90’s I’ve had. The wine is monstrous, massively extracted and as dense as a neutron star, but is by no means monolithic. Its solid iron core is surrounded by layers of dense black fruit, cocoa, grilled meat and sweat. Extremely tannic and drying, but there’s plenty of fruit in the wine, but this wine is really all about the future. Wish I had some in my cellar to watch it evolve as it’s going to be a fun long-term project. A+/A with solid A+ potential.
2nd Annual Cellar Treasures Tasting (Long) (Asti Trattoria): My first 100 point wine. And it surely deserved it. Incredibly sexy, seductive nose of game, rustic, almost wild fruit. Cassis, elegant sandal wood. Descriptors really don't do this wine justice. It has raw power that is literally incredible, yet it manages to be light on its feet and elegant at the same time. An awe-inspiring wine that (as crazy as it may sound given my score) will still get better with additional bottle age I think. What a treat. Thanks Greg.
Wine and Dinner with Brad England and Scott Manlin (Brad England's House): Served side-by-side with the 1989 with dinner. This wine was dark red, but lighter than the 1989. This had a classic Montrose nose with some horse/brett showing (although not as much as the 1989). The nose was more diffuse with a lot more going on, but nothing quite as specific. In the mouth this seemed slightly lighter, but still balanced and excellent. This was drinking very well, and at least 2 of the 4 participants preferred this wine over the 1989.
Dinner with Jill (Home): Oh my this is a great wine. It was closed for about 2 hours. No sign of bret. Pitch black color that just got darker and more dense with time. Aromas of leather and tobacco do not even hint of what is waiting on the palate. Enormous, massive black fruit, licorice, saddle leather and a bit of salt cote the tongue with just a hint of tannin. Amazing finish that just keeps on going. I would love to try this wine next to the 89 Haut Brion.
Tonight I went to see the Mariners blow another game, this time to the Yankees. At least there were a lot of happy New Yorkers in the crowd! I was a little distracted though, as CellarTracker was getting ready to hit a very special milestone, more than 1,000,000 bottles in stock across the more than 7,500 registered users. (Back in June the millionth bottle was added to the system, but users have consumed more than 125,000 from the database, hence the lag to the million 'in stock' milestone.) I actually ran into Jason Goldberger in the 5th inning while the site was teetering at a tantalizing 999,999 bottles, and finally, at 8:25pm, the count bumped to 1,000,001! Anyway, with only beer to celebrate at the game I begged off until I could get home and open something special. I hadn't put a lot of thought to it, but I figured that the wine should be Bordeaux, as that is what I love. Some 2001 Pavie beckoned, but it was already late and I didn't have time for the wine to open. I also wanted something sturdy that would improve overnight in case I didn't finish it up. Ahhh, the 1990 Montrose looked like just the ticket...
This was a pop and pour affair (with the remainder into a decanter), but the wine was ready to play from the moment the cork came out. At first pour the nose was horsey but otherwise reticent. The palate though was immediately rewarding, endlessly deep and loaded with rich, black fruit, leather yet all in an amazingly structured package. I love this wine! Ahh, what an hour has done though, as the nose has EXPLODED, now an insane melange of horse, mineral, leather, and loads of spicy cedar. As exotic as the nose is though, it absolutely PALES in comparison to the now unreal palate. I can't believe how ripe this is, teetering towards the New World in its sheer massiveness of fruit expression, yet with such an unmistakeable element of Bordeaux, shit and earth, leather and spice, cinnamon and cedar, man oh man, this just keeps attacking you a minute after you have swallowed with waves of coffee and lightly bitter chocolate, a hint of herbs and some of the sneakiest and most jaw-crushing tannins you will ever meet on a wine. Wowza, a nice way to celebrate!
I have had worse bottles of this wine and one better, but this is right there on the balance, a nearly perfect effort. You clearly have to love Brett to handle this wine, but it is amazingly unique, powerful and quirky, a wine that grows on me a bit more each time I have it. Cheers!
At home. Decanted for 2 hours. Totally different from 2 years ago. It has emerged from the tunnel. Gorgeous looking: C:88, M:75. Color all the way to rim. Huge nose with jammy black cherries, saddle, tar and a touch or vanilla. On the palate it is thick and viscous with a very long after taste. Sweet black fruit and lots of dark “Rhonish” flavors of saddle, meat, tar and stone. Very impressive - can’t wait for next time we try a bottle. Maybe in another year....
More backward. Violet. Beautifully sweet fruit, damson jam, and the tannin to back it up. Dry port. Menthol. Hugely rich 60 second finish. Vanilla. Developed some brettyness towards end after an hour.
Drunk with the 1989, what was very interesting is that after a couple of hours, there was a marked convergence between the two wines, with the fruit sweetening in the 1989. Interesting to see what will become of this pair, perhaps the 1989 will age better, but the 1990 was singing last night.
87 Guigal La La's, 90 la Chapelle, 90 Montrose, 89 Palmer, 90 Tertre Rôteboeuf (Montrachet): 1st off – Man - are there a lot of notes on this wine in CellarTracker. Dark opaque purple. The nose started with a touch of stinky horse, leather, earthy and dirt. It shortly blew off. Its one hell of a big wine, almost knocking me over after the Rhone flight. The tannins are massive, thick and mouth coating. The wine almost grabs at you at you and is concentrated beyond belief. Still though it is just a pup and needs lots of time. The Montrose offers a glimpse into its perfect world and its like a sneak preview to an upcoming blockbuster movie. Get your tickets now – this is a winner.
The 3 Tenors of Saint Estephe (Calon, Cos & Montrose): 1982, 1990, 1995, 1996 & 2000 (New York City, NY): Wine No. 3 (1990 Montrose) Very dark, opaque ruby wine that was clearly the darkest in the flight. Nose packed with new world fruit, cigar box and a hint of oak. Layer upon layer of blackberries and blueberries in this full bodied, sexy, low acid trophy of a wine. Still has noticeable ripe tannins and an endless finish. This wine was singing tonight and is a testament of how great Bordeaux can be. I, as well as (I think) everyone else picked this as the Montrose. 98 points . This wine got twenty four 1st place votes for the only unanimous WOTF as well as wine of the night.
A 98 point dinner at Steve Cramer's (West Seattle, WA, USA): This was my fourth try of this wine in the past 5 months, and this was the taste I was waiting for. The difference was extended decanting which really opened this one up. This sat in a decanter from 11am-3pm and then went back into the bottle to ultimately be served after 10pm. Start beeping and back up the horse baby, as this has to be one of the brettiest wines ever. Horse, leather, smoke with layers and layers of rich, black fruit and spice. The palate is massive with structure, balance and overall weight unlike any other Bordeaux I have ever tasted. There is so much minerality and complexity hiding under the waves of structure and fruit. Amazing!
This displayed the bretty, horse aroma it’s famous for. Very powerful, probably the most concentrated and backward wine of the night, the 90 Montrose was so dense, you could cut it with a knife. This needs at least another decade before becoming civilized.
Bordeaux Legends with Leve at Sona (Los Angeles, CA): It's not a bad four day stretch when you have the 1990 Montrose twice! Like the bottle last Friday at Citronelle, this one was impressive yet also somewhat marred by a massive, nearly overwhelming brett element. This stuff smells, actually reeks, and tastes of horseshit. Interestingly, a bottle enjoyed a few months ago showed no brett?!? Still, with air the remarkable fruit and extract on this rise to the challenge and try to swallow up the horse. Maybe more decanting is required. The grip, power and natural extract here is off the charts, easily the biggest Cabernet-based wine I have ever tasted.
HDH Pre-Auction Tasting (Chicago IL): Wine tasting. Powerful black fruit aromas with hints of emerging mushroom. Same black fruit on palate with acid and tannins in great balance already, providing great length and textures all the way through to very long, powerful finish.
I tried this three years ago and this wine is even more of a mac-daddy. Restrained opulence. Thick and rich fruit with tannins acting like a thin bitter chocolate covering on a berry liqueur center. Leather and earth. Makes you want to close your eyes with every sip. I was tempted to run home and pull another one out of the cellar. Thank goodness I have more.
Two bottles consumed, both double decanted two hours before drinking, second bottle started 45 minutes after the first. With each glass the nose got better and better. Intoxicating scents of incense, bulls blood, cedar and the merest hint of barnyard. The palate was rich, dense, but with notable tannins underneath the body and with a good thread of acidity. After 2 hours of drinking the tannins became very obvious - this is still a baby. This is an incredibly good, but elegant claret, which screams great Bordeaux.
Accompanied by roast forerib of Devon beef, aged to perfection and cooked rare to medium rare.
No fading of this wine, it seemed to go from strength to strength, as if drawing power and finesse from some inexhaustible reservoir. On the nose, pure notes of tobacco, horse sweat, and leather beautifully infused with cassis extract that seemed only to intensify with time in the glass. In the mouth, equally compelling power, balance, and structure, again with that sensation that the wine was only tapping part of what it was or could be. One had the impression of sitting over the top of some seething volcano, now showing only that swarm of minor earthquakes in advance of a major eruption. And the long, brooding finish of dark fruit, leather, and incipient minerality seemed to go on for ever—there must be transuranic-series radionuclides that decay away faster than this wine did. In discussions later, some tasters mentioned an almost overripe quality to the wine, comparing it to a southern Rhone—maybe not a completely off target comparison, is this a Beaucastel made with Cabernet? Still, the acid balance and tannins and sheer structure of this wine seemed to more than balance that touch of ripeness or overripeness, so for me, tasting it was unmitigated pleasure.
Wow. This wine had one of the great noses ever. Those that say you can't drink it because of the brett can ship all their bottles to me. I found blackberry liqueor, horse leather, smoke, minerality, and rosemary. It is an understatement to say the palate is lush and very thick. I find tastes of sweet black and red fruit, rosemary, and spicy tannins. The finish is truly endless. Thank you, Eric.
Steak and big reds with the guys (Seattle, WA, USA): OMFG! I took a tiny sip after the initial decant, and this is one of the most dense and powerful wines I have ever tasted. What a remarkable bruiser! We let this air for about two hours and then dipped in. The nose was dense with cranberry, iron, horse (far from overbearing), leather, soy sauce, and loads of black fruit. The palate was massive, enveloping and monolithic with huge layers of black fruit, dense, endlessly deep, and freakishly powerful. This is just so intense, ripe, and layered with waves of sweet fruit covering gravel and gorgeous minerality. The finish is beyond belief, 60 seconds of complexity dance on your palate, and then the mouthfeel and structure continue for about 3 minutes. The closest benchmark I can think of is the 1986 Mouton, and this wine makes that seem puny. I am rating at 98, as this is just so unbelievably primary right now. It is packed with so much, but it could be a decade or more before this even begins to gain focus. Lots of upward potential here.
Dark purple-ruby with no thinning at all. Fantastic, sexy nose of blackberry, cloves, dark roast coffee and a hint of thyme. A layered, multi-dimensional palate with tongue-coating fruit, bacon, dry herbs, velvet tannins and a long finish. Superb and similar to the one I tasted a month ago.
The 90 Montrose is opaque, with an inky black, purple hue. A slight, horsey aroma blew off in a few moments revealing a powerful perfume of spices, jammy red & black fruit, licorice and cedar and black cherries. This is so dense and thick, you could eat it with a spoon! It's amazingly concentrated! Dense, full bodied with soft tannins that are buried in an ocean of fruit. The almost endless finish is absolutely seamless. This is a huge wine, but not overpowering. It's like an elephant that can dance.
Dark red with a blue hue. Scents of cough medicin. Initially the bouquet of this wine seemed very alcoholic and heavy. In the mouth the wine was incredibly concentrated with stupendous power and mamoth structure. However, I found this wine to be quite low in acid and with no real signs of Bordeaux character to it. To me, this was a very unusual example of Montrose ‘90. On other tries with this wine I have found it to be juicy and fleshy and with a round and warm character to it. Last night it seemed overly powerful. Still, who can complain.
It is no secret that this is one of my favourite wines. This was my first time tasting this, and as I am entering this two year old tasting note, I can still remember the sensation of my first of many encounters with 1990 Montrose. There will be plenty more, that's for sure.. The wine was dark red with a brown rim. Extremely complex bouquet with the classic "elephants cage", barn, whatever you wanna call it. Extremely large bodied, dense, chewy and juicy with ferocious power, tannin, and intensity. Packed with ripe fruit and revealing endless layers of complexity, and a delivery that seemed effortless and thoroughly convincing. Long, delicious aftertaste. 98+ points.
Wine tasting. Big black fruit on very, coming across as fresh and energetic. Black cherry, cassis and plum with cocoa and fresh leather. Powerful but fruit, tannins and acid all in harmony. Started showing a fair amount of age after about two hours, but still a sensational wine at that point.
On the nose, earth, spicy oak, cassis, truffles, coffee, cuban tobacco and clay. Dense, full bodied wine with very tannic finish. Mountains of black fruit fill every nook and cranny of the palate. 40 second finish. This is a bigger wine than the 89, but IMO, the 89 is almost as good, and 1/3 the money! Blind I guessed Gruaud Larose. Close, but no cigar. The 90 Montrose will outlive everyone at the table. The wine made dramatic improvements after two additional hours in the glass.
Consumed with beef tenderloin at Ken Johnson's Big Bear cabin. Bottle provided by Ken Johnson. Bright disc. Deep garnet robe with brick rim. Clean nose, showing moderately intense aromas of black currants, brier, scorched earth, smoke and anise. There is additionally a whiff of bret (which carries through to the finish). Full-bodied on the palate, with low-to-medium acidity, big ripe tannins and similar flavors as for the nose. Long, smooth finish. Nice, but not a 100-point wine in my opinion.
Dark red appearance. Smells like cigar box, and boy do I love that! The intense flavours range from cherry liquer to orange-chocolate-truffle and seduce and please. Brutally tannic, large bodied yet contained in an iron fist of a structure. This wine tastes like it can last for 100 years, yet it is a pleasure to drink now. This is my third Montrose 1990 in about two years and it still rules. The finish goes on and on.
Tasted blind at home. Perfect looking wine. C:87, M:75. Color all the way to rim. Nice nose with jammy fruit and some animal/leather. It feels like a sleeping giant - it is clear that it is still in a tunnel, but close to emerge. Try in two more years.