Today’s Story: Château Montrose
Château Montrose is a historical Bordeaux wine estate located in Saint-Estèphe on Bordeaux’s Left Bank. The estate was established in 1815 by Etienne Théodore Dumoulin on a patch of land his family purchased from Nicolas Alexandre de Ségur, but it was largely forgotten. At the time of Etienne’s death in 1861, the estate spanned 95 hectares though his heirs sold it in 1866 to factory owner Mathieu Dollfus who quickly redeveloped and modernized the buildings and winery with the best technology of the time. One of Mathieu’s most interesting achievements, in my opinion, was the construction of a windmill to pump water aboveground and flood the estate which ultimately saved much of the vineyards from phylloxera. After Mathieu passed away in 1886, the estate fell to the Charmolüe family who, from 1896 to 2006, guided Château Montrose through wars and financial crises while crafting some of the best vintages and providing stability. Martin and Olivier Bouygues acquired the estate in 2006 and engaged in a massive renovation project, propelling Château Montrose to ever increasing heights for decades down the road. Montrose, one of fourteen Deuxièmes Crus (Second Growths) in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, produces world-class wines and even placed third with their 1970 vintage in the Judgment of Paris in 1976.
I previously wrote about Château Montrose when I reviewed the 2016 La Dame de Montrose and the 2012 Château Montrose, so feel free to revisit those tasting notes if you would like to compare them to today’s wine.
Today’s Wine: 2014 Château Montrose
61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot; 13.5% ABV
The 2014 Château Montrose is deep ruby in color and completely opaque. This is incredibly tight, so I decanted it for 10 hours and drank it over the following two hours. Even when I checked in at the five hour mark it was still pretty tight. Aromas are of pronounced intensity and patience is rewarded, however, as the nose showcases aromas of crème de cassis, wild blackberry, spiced black plum, cigar box, pencil shavings, crushed violet and lavender, scorched earth, graphite, eucalyptus, cedar, and a touch of oaky spice. Flavors are also of pronounced intensity, with the palate displaying notes of blackberry, black plum, blackcurrant, tobacco, anise, graphite, iron, charred green herbs, chocolate, and vanilla. This dry red is full-bodied with high acidity, high but tightly-knit tannins, medium alcohol, and a long finish. I suggest cellaring this for another 5 years or so, then drink over the following two decades. Very tense and precise.
Price: $150. Though not inexpensive, this bottle offers solid value in my opinion especially compared to stronger vintages like 2015 and 2016 that push closer to or above $200. This is another example of the underrated 2014 vintage showing incredibly well, though patience will be strongly rewarded with this one.