Montrose 1989

SubregionSt Estephe

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Tasting Notes

For many years I have vehemently argued that the 1989 Montrose is a benchmark wine for the estate. Having tasted it several times over the last couple of months, I have never found a single occasion to alter that view. Tasted at the vertical in London, it continues to shine, having never lost any of its luster in recent years. It is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc that was picked from 11 to 28 September. Lucid in color, the aromatics do not hold back with vibrant blackberry, blueberry and black truffle, hints of sous-bois, all with sensational precision that few can match in this vintage (indeed, its precision lends it a veneer of modernity since "precision" is now more commonplace across Bordeaux). The palate is brilliantly balanced with filigree tannin. There is wonderful backbone here, extremely fresh and tensile, crystalline even with an exceptional detail, mineral-rich finish that lingers in the mouth. Difficult to fault, this might well be the greatest 1989 Montrose that I have tasted, and certainly wishing to take nothing away from the 1990 Montrose that I tasted alongside, the 1989 is now the one I would pick. Is this the greatest Saint Estèphe of the 1980s? I would put it within the top five Bordeaux of the 1980s. Could this be inching its way to perfection??? Tasted June 2016. Drink 2016 - 2060.

Score: 100Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, March 2017

Another magnificent wine is the 1989 Château Montrose, which might now be at a stage where in some tastings it may eclipse the faster-maturing and more evolved 1990. This was youthful, young and earthy, with copious quantities of black fruits, stunning richness and a full-bodied mouthfeel and finish. This could easily go on for another 25-30+ years.

Score: 99Robert Parker, Hedonists Gazette, May 2016

This was not in the tasting at the chateau, but I opened two bottles on my return home, because this is another near-perfect wine from Montrose. It is an unusual two-grade blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot. The wine emerged from another very hot, sunny, dry growing season, with early, generous flowering. Harvest in Montrose took place between September 11 and 28. The wine has never had any issues with brett, making it a somewhat safer selection than the more irregular 1990. Like a tortoise, the 1989 has finally begun to rival and possibly eclipse its long-time younger sibling, the 1990. The wine is absolutely spectacular and in auction sells for a much lower premium than the 1990. That should change. This is a magnificent Montrose, showing notes of loamy soil undertones, intermixed with forest floor, blueberry and blackberry liqueur and spring flowers. It has a full-bodied, intense, concentrated mouthfeel that is every bit as majestic as the 1990, but possibly slightly fresher and more delineated. This great wine should drink well for another 40-50 years.

Score: 98+Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (214), August 2014

1989 Château Montrose stole the show. A wine of unreal depth, it is armed with a powerful personality that glides across the mouth like liquid silk. A seductively sensual wine, it drowns the palate in waves of seamless dark fruits. One of the greatest Saint-Estèphes I've ever tasted, this wine will give the 1990 Montrose a run for its money when both are at full maturity! To me there are six great left bank 1989s, Lynch-Bages, Pichon-Baron, Palmer, La Mission-Haut-Brion, Haut-Brion, and the aforementioned Montrose. 98 points.

Score: 98Robert Parker, Hedonists Gazette, December 2005

Score: 97Robert Parker, Bordeaux Book (4), December 2003

It possesses an opaque dark ruby/purple color, a sweet nose of minerals, black fruits,cedar, and wood, dense, medium- to full-bodied, highly extracted flavors, low acidity, and moderate tannin in the low finish. It has layers of sweet fruit as well as an elevated level of glycerin.

Score: 96Robert Parker, Bordeaux Book (3), November 1998

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.