Montrose 1990

RegionBordeaux
SubregionSt Estephe
ColourRed
TypeStill

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Tasting Notes

The final blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc was harvested between September 14 and October 3. The spring was cold, yet summer was extremely hot and dry - one of the hottest vintages since 1949. The fact that virtually no rain fell in September served as a catalyst to get all the grapes ripe and in cellars. Some bottles of this wine have a definite brett population that gives off the notes of sweaty horses, but this one did not. The ones I have had from my cellar - where I have had it frequently - are quite pure and clean. I suspect that the brett population is in all of them, but unless the wine hits some heat along the transportation route or in storage, the wine will not show any brett. This one tasted at the chateau, as well as those I've had from my cellar, have been pristine and not showing the sweaty horse notes that can be in evidence in brett populations that have flourished in the bottle because of external temperatures. This wine has an incredibly complex nose of spring flowers, blackberry and cassis liqueur, scorched earth and barbecue spice. It is full-bodied, majestic and opulent, with low acidity and fabulous fruit. It is close to full maturity. The wine should continue to drink well for at least another 30 or more years, but it is showing secondary nuances in the perfume. The wine is absolutely magnificent, broad, savory and mouth-filling. This is one of the all-time modern legends from Bordeaux as well as Chateau Montrose.

Score: 100Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (214), August 2014

I have had the 1990 Montrose on four separate occasions over the last several months, and I have consistently rated it either 99 or 100. Three of the bottles came from my cellar, and one was tasted at the chateau. None of them revealed any brett, which is not the case with bottles that were exposed to heat, or had bad storage issues. The wine remains a blockbuster, an inky/ruby/purple-colored effort revealing stunning concentration, amazingly high glycerin, and abundant amounts of sweet black fruits intermixed with notions of earth and spice. It is a fleshy, full-bodied St.-Estephe with atypically high amounts of fatness and fruit extract, but it is settling down nicely and seems set for another 2-3 decades of longevity. Many have felt the 1989 Montrose is better, and it is getting closer to meriting a three digit score, but it remains more tannic and backward.

Score: 100Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (183), June 2009

This Majestic wine is remarkably rich, with a distinctive nose of sweet, jammy fruit, liquified minerals, new saddle leather, and grilled steak. In the mouth, the enormous concentration, extract, high glycerin, and sweet tannin slide across the palate with considerable ease. It is huge, corpulent, awesomely endowed wine that is relatively approachable, as it has not yet begun to shut down and lose its baby fat. Because of its enormous sweetness, dense concentration, high extract, and very low acidity, the 1990 Montrose can be appreciated today, yet this is a legend for the future. Anticipated maturity: now-2030.

Score: 100Robert Parker, Bordeaux Book (4), December 2003

Score: 100Robert Parker, Bordeaux Book (3), November 1998

The 1990 Montrose revealed its incredible complexity and massive character. The wine is remarkably rich, with a dinstinctive nose of sweet, jammy fruit, liquefied minerals, new saddle leather, and grilled steak. In the mouth, the enormous concentration, extract, high glycerin, and sweet tannin slide across the palate with considerable ease. It is a huge, corpulent, awesomly endowed wine that he still relatively aproachable, as it has not yet begun to shut down and lose its baby fat.

Score: 100Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (109), February 1997

Score: 18.5Farr Vintners, October 2004

Score: 16.97Group Tasting, Blind 1990 Tasting, September 2000

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.