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Chateau Montrose, St Estephe 2000
Cabernet Sauvignon 65%, Merlot 25%, Cabernet Franc 10%
For many, wines from Second Growth Chateau Montrose are their go-to wine for a very special occasion.
This top wine from the very good 2000 vintage displays aromas and flavours of sweet blueberry, smoky blackberry, crushed rock, liquorice and some floral notes. Plush and dense, this beauty is medium to full-bodied, rich and powerful. Ripe and chocolatey, it has kept freshness by nicely integrated acidity. The finish is long and big, with powdery tannins and lovely aromatic persistence. Extraordinary indeed! Drink now or within the next ten years.
The grapes, first selected in the vineyard at the time of cutting, arrive at the vat room. Built in 2000, the latter is equipped with three harvest reception lines. For the sake of quality, the bunches are sorted manually by a team of nine people before being destemmed, then screened by optical sorting and manually sorted again by three people. The berries are finally put in vats.
All the plot work carried out in the vineyard, during the tasting of the berries and the harvest, continues in the vat room. 92 thermoregulated stainless steel vats of different sizes allow the production of “made-to-measure” wines. The vinifications are carried out with pure respect for the raw material. Each step aims to reveal the expression of the terroir and seeks a typicity, a style, that of Montrose.
The vatting, lasting a maximum of 25 days, is carried out with respect for the fruit and the material. At the time of runoff, all the batches are kept separate, in order to have all the diversity of tank profiles at the time of assembly. The marcs are carefully pressed, then lowered into barrels and selected. The noblest presses will join the Grand Vin.
From December, the assembly tastings begin. All the samples, almost 60 different batches, are tasted and then classified according to their profile and their style. They will then be selected and then assembled according to the personality sought for each of the wines.
Descended in barrels in January, each vintage is aged in a specific cellar. The Grand Vin, Château Montrose, is aged for 18 months in 60% new French oak barrels from eight different coopers.
During the aging in barrels, racking operations are carried out approximately every three months. In Montrose, the traditional dodge racking method is still required. It allows the clear wine to be perfectly separated from the lees which are deposited naturally at the bottom of the barrel.
Fining, in barrels, is carried out in the traditional way using fresh egg whites, to refine the wine and soften its tannins.
Chateau Montrose, a classified Second Growth, is one of the leading wine properties of Saint-Estephe, and produces some of the longest-lived wines in the Medoc. Montrose, owned by Martin and Olivier Bouygues, of the construction company of the same name, is located in the east of the appellation, just north of the hamlet of Marbuzet, on a gravel knoll only 800 metres from the Gironde estuary. The proximity of the estuary ensures a microclimate that protects against frost. The vines, which lie on deep clay-gravel soils, benefit from a south-easterly aspect.
The Montrose terroir corresponds to what geologists call “elite cores”. Over millions of years, a complex process of geological layering resulted in the creation of outcrops, ideal for making fine wines and ensuring natural drainage towards the estuary.
The soil on these terraces consists of gravel mixed with sand on the surface over a clay-rich subsoil in which natural reserves form at depth, providing the vines with the water they need.
At Château Montrose, the largest parcel is two hectares (five acres), the smallest only a few hundred square metres, but each has its own personality, its own particular soil or subsoil, and vines whose age, yield, variety or rootstock are different from those of its neighbour. In the end it is the wine itself which, in its own way, brings this amazing patchwork together, since it is both the result and the synthesis of each micro-terroir.