A candidate for a perfect score, the 2003 Montrose has been a superstar since the first time I tasted it in barrel. Showing no signs of weakening, it is an amazing wine from this fabulous terroir. It boasts a deep blue/purple color as well as a stunning perfume of blueberries, black currants, blackberries, licorice and camphor. Dense, full-bodied and rich with an unctuous texture, well-integrated, melted tannins, and a long, heady finish, this big, brawny, super-intense, gorgeous 2003 is just beginning to enter its plateau of full maturity. It should remain there for at least two decades. Drink: 2014-2034
|Score: 99||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (214), August 2014|
We next moved to the totally perfect 2003 Château Montrose, which was decanted well in advance. With the spring lamb and gateau of eggplant, it was another incredible wine and food marriage. I have had this wine several times in the past, but it always seemed totally shut down, and in need of a decade of cellaring. This dinner proved how aeration and the correct food can bring out the best, even in such a young, surreally concentrated wine. It is a quintessential Montrose, and does not reveal any of the pruny, baked characteristics that can afflict some of the wines of Graves, Pomerol, and St.-Emilion from sandy, gravelly soils. The clay soils of St.-Estéphe were the perfect antidote for the searing heat and drought of 2003. The result is a superb wine that should last 40-60 or more years.
|Score: 100||Robert Parker, Hedonists Gazette, May 2008|
The enormous 2003 Montrose is built along the lines of the 1989 rather than the 1990. It boasts a dense black/purple color in addition to an extraordinary bouquet of scorched earth, blackberries, and cassis, fabulous purity, a skyscraper-like texture, and substantial tannin in the finish. This superb, huge, ripe wine is one of the vintage’s most prodigious offerings. However, patience will be essential for anyone purchasing this 2003. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2035.
|Score: 97+||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (164), April 2006|
Certainly one of the vintage’s most colossal wines and clearly one of the estate’s greatest efforts, rivaling the 1989, 1990, and 2000, this wine, which tips the scales at 13% alcohol (the 1990 was 13.5%), has an amazingly opaque purple color to the rim, and a big, sweet, exotic nose of blackberry liqueur intermixed with acacia flower, creme de cassis, smoke, and hints of truffle and vanilla. In the mouth the wine is full-bodied, opulent, but offers surprising definition and finesse, which is something it was showing less of nine months ago. Brilliantly delineated in spite of its amazing concentration and unctuosity, this is a thrilling, exceptional effort that should prove to be a modern-day legend. I tend to think this wine will actually be approachable in 5-6 years but capable of lasting for at least three decades. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2030+. To reiterate what I said last year, this is a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, and the rest equal parts Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
|Score: 97/100||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (158), April 2005|
A whopping 78% of the production made it into the prodigious 2003 Montrose. Harvested between September 11 - 26, this 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot blend was fashioned from low yields of 35 hectoliters per hectare. The pH is high (3.9), and the alcohol is 13.2%. Reminiscent of a hypothetical blend of the compelling 1989 and 1990, this inky/purple-colored 2003 boasts a spectacular, flamboyant perfume of creme de cassis, new wood, smoke, crushed rocks, and white flowers. Magnificently rich, unctuously textured, and full-bodied, with huge presence on the palate, and a finish that exceeds 60 seconds, this is a legendary effort from Montrose. It is capable of rivaling the wines produced in 2000, 1990, and 1989. Given its low acidity and incredible performance already, it should drink well in 5-6 years, and last for 25-30.
|Score: 96/100||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (152), April 2004|
Montrose 2003 - Having tasted this three times this year—twice blind—this is clearly a candidate for wine of the vintage, equal to if not surpassing the First Growths
| ||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, June 2017|
The Montrose '03 puts the Calon-Segur in the shade with tightly coiled earthy black fruit, briary, graphite, hot steaming espresso and Provencal herbs that are all beautifully defined. The palate is medium-bodied with firm but fine ripe tannins, a crisp seam of acidity and wonderful focus on the multi-layered finish. It represents a long-term Montrose for sure - enormous persistency and grip on the aftertaste. This is a barnstorming Saint Estephe! Tasted March 2013.
|Score: 97||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, May 2013|
Aromas of blackberry, toasted oak, spice and tobacco. Loads of plum. Dark in colour. Builds on the palate.
|Score: 95||James Suckling, Wine Spectator, February 2006|
|Score: 95/100||James Suckling, Wine Spectator (April 04), April 2004|
Dense and rich and with lots of vibration. Velvety. Good triumph over the vintage character. (Average group score: 17.6)
|Score: 17.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, October 2010|
Not quite as youthful looking as the Calon Ségur but a decent mid crimson with some signs of ageing at the rim. Complex, confident, ripe nose with some dusty tannins and real minerality on the finish. As with the Calon, the wine grows in the mouth. Pretty good drink already! A lack of real intensity on the mid palate though – where’s the fruit? There are certainly dry tannins on the finish but I can’t see what will increase in volume and come to fore when these tannins fade. One of the few complex wines but this bottle certainly wasn’t as wonderful as this wine’s reputation.
|Score: 17||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2008|
Very dark crimson, the deepest of all the wines back to 1989 with colour all the way out to the rim. Young, fresh, very frank aromas – still distinctly unevolved. Extremely dry, savoury and mineral – not a hint of the raisiny sweetness that dogs so many 2003s. Wonderfully rich and layered yet dry and savoury on the finish. A hint of unsweetened chocolate with a floral topnote. Great hit on the front palate, then something dry and scrunchily appetising on the finish. Very very long.
|Score: 19||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, September 2005|
Fabulous stuff. Extremely deep purple. Very deep and dense in every way yet with wonderful freshness and vivacity. Rich, animal and meaty at first on the nose but then on the palate it's miraculously well defined and delineated
|Score: 19||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com (April 04), April 2004|
2003 Montrose placed fifth overall, out of 100 wines tasted blind, at the 2003 Farr Vintners Blind Tasting held in October 2010.
For more information, please visit www.farrvintners.com/blog.php
|Score: 17.5+||Farr Vintners, Farr Vintners 2003 Blind Tasting, October 2010|
|Score: 17+||Farr Vintners, Southwold Bordeaux Tasting, January 2007|
|Score: 17.5/18||Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (1), April 2004|