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Château Montrose
Both one of the youngest and one of the most famous Bordeaux wines, Château Montrose is a St Estephe legend in its own right. Named after the pinkish hue of the heather that covers the hills (“rose” referring to the colour, not the flower), production only began in 1815, yet the wine was already so good, so quickly that it was given a “Super” Second status (a modern term- official term is Second Growth) in the 1855 classification. Today the estate is owned by the French billionaires Bouygues family, who have their sights very firmly set on turning their wine from an excellent one to an exceptional one.
2009 - A pivotal year
Already at the head of two huge business empires, the Bouygues brothers looked at running their Bordeaux winemaking venture in the same way they ran their construction and telephone businesses. After the purchase of the estate in 2006, they invested a massive 55 million in renovation, hiring key personnel (including the directors of Mouton Rothschild and Haut Brion) and made environmentally conscious upgrades. Evidence of the renovation benefits can be seen in the 2009 vintage that saw the Bouygues really hit their stride, earning a 96/100 aggregate critic score including the magical 100/100 from Robert Parker Jr. The Bouygues also redefined their production; just 40% was given over to the Grand Vin for an average of about 15,000 cases (versus 30,000 in 1982). Today, a second wine La Dame de Montrose takes up 30% of production.
Going completely green by 2025
The year of estate purchase, 2006, the wine went on sale at about €872 a case (today the same case is worth €1,277, an increase of 46% in 12 years). 2017 was released at €96 per bottle, a shade lower than 2016 (€106 per bottle). Many believe that by going green (much of the energy at Château Montrose is generated through sustainable means) the wines have a better tenacity in years of extreme heat, such as 2009, 2010 and 2011. Thus, for those looking for a Bordeaux wine which will stand the test of time in difficult years, Montrose is worth considering.
Notable facts and vintages
  • In May 2019, luxury auction house Christie’s listed 1990 Château Montrose in the article “5 of the best Bordeaux vintages to own and collect”. Once undervalued, partly due to release during a financial downturn as well as being overshadowed by the 1989 vintage, Jancis Robinson noted Bordeaux wines of the 1990 vintage “are currently showing even better than the 1982s in many cases”.
  • In 2019, Neal Martin awarded 2016 Château Montrose 99 points, "The first facet of this wine that strikes you is the freshness that lasts from start to finish. This is an animated, vivacious Montrose that starts in almost understated fashion yet builds in the mouth towards what is almost a sensual finish, not a descriptor often applied to Montrose. It is a disarmingly and hauntingly beautiful 2016, extremely long and the aftertaste lasting two or three minutes".
  • Château Montrose 1990, 2009, and 2010 vintages earned Robert Parker’s perfect score of 100.