WA 100: Surpassing the 2019 and rivaling the 2016 as this estate's finest vintage of the last few decades, the 2020 Montrose is a monument in the making. Wafting from the glass with aromas of violets, dark berries, licorice, loamy soil, black truffle and subtle spices, it's full-bodied, deep and layered, with a seamless, elegantly muscular profile, terrific purity and energy, beautifully powdery tannins and a long, resonant finish. It checks in at 13.7% alcohol, the same as the superb 2009, but it is even deeper, more vibrant and more complex than the 2009. This will be worth a special effort to seek out and only confirms Montrose's status as one of the contemporary Médoc's leading estates and a de facto first growth.
JS 99: The nose is really fantastic with lead pencil shavings, iron shavings, blackcurrants and lavender. Full- to medium-bodied with ultra-fine tannins that run the length of the wine. Wonderful persistence and personality. Juicy and savory finish. Always classy and sophisticated at the end. Organically grown grapes. 71% cabernet sauvignon, 23% merlot, 6% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot. Best after 2028.
WA 97: The 2019 Montrose has turned out very well in bottle, wafting from the glass with a dramatic, perfumed bouquet of wild berries and cassis mingled with notions of lilac, violets, pencil shavings and warm spices, framed by nicely integrated new oak. Full-bodied, layered and seamless, it's deep and multidimensional, with lively acids, beautifully refined tannins and a long, resonant finish. Checking in at 14.4% alcohol (rather higher than, for example, the brilliant 2009's 13.7% or the 2016's 13.3%), this is an undeniably powerful, ripe Montrose, but for now everything appears to be kept in check.
JS 97: Blueberries, cracked white and black pepper with dried flowers. Some crushed stone and slate, too. Full-bodied with tannins that grow on the palate and continue on. It’s polished and very fine with lovely length. Drink after 2027.
WA 90: Tasted at the château, the 2011 Montrose is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot picked between 2-27 September. The nose does not possess the exuberance of the 2008, a little conservative and lacking personality by comparison. It does repay aeration though and after some time, there are attractive cold stone/limestone notes that begin to emerge. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, grippy tannin. It is a solid Montrose, quite stout, perhaps not the greatest fun you will ever have with a Claret, yet with admirable depth on the lightly spiced, cedar-infused finish. Whilst I prefer the 2008 Montrose, the 2011 is a decent off-vintage that should offer 20 years of drinking pleasure. Tasted September 2016.
JS 92: This is a tannic, chewy Montrose with lots of spice, berry and earth character. Full body, chewy and fruity. Intense tannins. Try in 2018 when the tannins soften.