Had a glass for lunch next to Leoville Poyferre 2005. I had a clear preference for the latter (which I rated 95). However, the Montrose is certainly a fantastic wine but it feels that this one will really benefit from another 5-10 years before you get rewarded. It feels a bit (too) reserved and diplomatic right now - compared to the Poyferre the fruit was barely noticeable. Although a good wine I really hope this one improves with age as I have almost 2 cases left. Time will tell... I have a half bottle left of this one as I accessed via Coravin - I will look to give the remaining bottle a healthy decant of 5 hours + (for this tasting it was pop and pour and left in glass for half an hour). .
A big, juicy, mineral driven, blackberry filled, tobacco, smoke, cigar box, Asian spice, Cuban cigar and cassis filled perfume lets you know you’re not in OZ anymore. This is concentrated, full bodied, powerful, rich, intense and very tannic. Yet, the tannins are so ripe, there is so much rich fruit, the wine can be enjoyed today if you like a primary drinking experience. It’s lush, mouth filling, regal and refined.
A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, and a bit of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot shows excellent complexity and also massive tannins. Very rustic nose and palate (reminds me of an obscure Languedoc). Medium body with notes of barnyard, lead, raspberry, eucalyptus, chocolate covered blueberries, and minerals. A 5 hour decant only hinted at this wines future potential.
Bordeaux Confidential USA, nose of cigar box, black currants, mocha, and allspice, more of the same on the palate, big body, mouth coating fruit, just lovely, at it's best with a minimum decant to promote the bouquet, almost elegant, great complexity, long, long finish and flavorful aftertaste.
Bordeaux Confidential SF (SF): decanted 3 hours in advance) 54% cab 46% merlot Star-bright gorgeous ruby-red in the glass. On the nose, bretty, and a bit of lambic character (some refermentation in the bottle?). On the palate, undeniably great balance. Alcohol is only 13.2% but feels a bit more elevated. It makes sense to me that this is dominated by cabernet - it’s ripe, it’s full, but with less of the fur coat of Merlot. Less plummy, dominated by tart dark cherry. But still a bit plush. Oak isn’t apparent to me. Good structure, aggressive tannins, ripe fruit. Score: Around 9.
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(Chateau Montrose (St Estèphe)) A fine opportunity here to taste this, as I have some in the cellar. The aromatic profile consists of a very rich but well-honed presence of fruit, clearly very youthful, but pleasingly still open to assessment even though we are now at five years of age. On the palate the fruit has an intense but still very primary character, well polished despite its youth. Having had such attractive aromatics lull me into a false sense of security, the palate is more as I would expect at this moment, showing all substance and structure and no pleasure at the moment. The texture has a great, polished style, very firm and composed, bitter almost, with firm and ripe tannins which are actually very well hidden, together with an appropriate seam of acidity. Very savoury, restrained, masculine and in need of time. Perhaps a couple of decades, or maybe more, will do it?
(Montrose) The 2005 Montrose had a bigger nose with much more fruit. It was concentrated and rich with big, buttery flavors, coffee again and some toast while Alexander The Great noted ‘bitters.’ Despite its bigness, it maintained elegance and had softness. Although its tannins were long, they were fine (94).
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