(Decanter FWE 2016) :: Alongside the '11 & '13. The best of the mini vertical. Leans on notes of earth, leather and cigar box, atop a dark berry core. Expressive but not especially complex. The palate is dark and brooding; quite lush and with a good "bite". Med+ finish.
The 2008 Montrose is one of the insider choices at this address. Notes of ripe cassis, black cherry, tobacco, and rich soil tones are framed by a gentle signature of cedary new oak; on the palate the wine is dense and concentrated, with abundant but ripe tannins and nice acidity. I could see this ending up rather like the wonderful 1996 some day.
Corravinned from a bottle that's been mostly empty for a year. I think the slight amount of air that got into this wine has helped it age well. The nose is just fabulous with tons of dark fruit, pencil lead, floral notes, oak, and smoke. It's so expressive. It did start a bit austere on the nose and palate but it really opened up. I recommend decanting. This is certainly enjoyable now but I can see it getting better. My score is factoring in it's youthfulness, but it's one of those wines you can really appreciate at this stage.
Oct 14, 2016: Finished the bottle today. Still amazing with added notes of forest floor, herbs, and spice. Definitely more acidic and tannic at this stage then ideal, but I see this smoothing out with age.
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(Chateau Montrose St Estèphe) This is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, and comprises 60% of the estate's production. Harvest ran from September 29th to October 15th, average yield 44 hl/ha. The character here is very reticent, with withdrawn berry fruit on the nose. The palate doesn't have a great impact, but it has freshness, and a lot of structure. big, grippy tannins, a lot of extract, but no sweetness. If you need fruit, generosity or texture look elsewhere.
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