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Montrose 2008

SubregionSt Estephe
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon

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Tasting Notes

One of the superstars of the vintage, this classic Montrose is not as showy or opulent as the 2010, 2009 or 2003, but it offers a dense purple color followed by gorgeously sweet black raspberry and black currant fruit intermixed with loamy, earthy, forest floor notes, a floral component and a long, full-bodied finish. The 2008 was fashioned from yields of 44 hectoliters per hectare which is slightly less than the 2010's 45 hectoliters per hectare. Forget it for 5-8 years and drink it over the following 20+.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (194), May 2011

An undeniably great Montrose, after some time in wood, the 2008 should achieve the heights of the 2003, 1990, and 1989. Stylistically different from those wines, the 2008 harvest took place between September 29 and October 15, and yields were a modest 44 hectoliters per hectare. This superb terroir west of the Gironde River possesses a remarkable amount of gravel in the soil base. Sixty percent of the production made it into the 2008 Montrose, and the person responsible for so many great Haut-Brions, Jean-Bernard Delmas, came out of retirement to take charge over the last several vintages for proprietor Martin Bouygues. An inky/purple color is accompanied by sweet, pure aromas of black fruits and spice. This full-bodied wine exhibits superb concentration, sweet tannin, and a multilayered, textured, full-bodied mouthfeel with no hard edges. The sweetness of the tannin, the extraordinary purity of fruit, and the intense aromatics suggest a year of great ripeness. The difference between the 2008 and the 2003, 1990, or 1989 is the freshness and purity of expression. This should be a long-lived wine (35+ years), yet it will drink surprisingly well at a young age. For some reason, it comes across like an even more pure example of the 1989, even though there is nothing essentially comparable between the two harvests.

Robert Parker, RobertParker.com (182), April 2009

The 2008 Montrose has a lifted perfumed bouquet with blackberry, bilberry, iris and limestone scents, nicely defined and opening with time. The palate is medium-bodied with a firm backbone, layers of cedar-tinged black fruit, spicebox and white pepper, leading to a persistent, structured finish that probably needs another year or two to soft. Impressive. 2020 - 2050

Neal Martin, vinous.com, February 2018

Tasted ex-château and single blind in Southwold. I was originally a little mean in my score when tasted blind, but the longer I left this in the glass the more it seemed to blossom. There is a fine sense of transparency on the nose with crushed stone underneath those pure black fruits that soars. It exudes very well integrated, high quality new oak on the medium-bodied palate. Quite succulent with ripe tannins, a little more open than many Montroses at this early juncture, but undeniably very well crafted with touches of black pepper on the finish. Tasted January 2012.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, January 2012

A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, cropped at 44hl/ha and representing 60% of production. It has a deep garnet core. The bouquet is very "classic" - rather aloof and austere. Again, there are dominant sous-bois and tobacco aromas. Moderate vigour: conservative. The palate is medium-bodied, quite sharp on the entry, austere and foursquare. Holding something back perhaps? A touch of salt and pepper on the finish. Very linear. A serious Montrose that could do with more joie-de-vivre. I regret being able to taste this just once, as others are more positive about this wine. Tasted March 2009

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2009

Shows blackberry and black licorice, with hints of mint. Full-bodied and fruity, with very fine tannins, good acidity and a nice intensity of mineral and spices.

James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, April 2009

Satin crimson and deep. Some richness on the nose. Mellifluous initially and then quite dry and tough. Aggressive tannins and not much flesh in the middle. Very dry and almost glorying in its austerity and unfriendliness. Very dry finish. Picked from 29 Sep to 15 Oct - some of the fruit picked just a bit too early perhaps? Very hard finish.

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2009

The black fruited mix is rich and powerful a lovely depth of flavour. Black plum and blackcurrant
are back by black cherry all enriched by chocolate and coffee. The tannins give structure but feel
ripe so that the back palate is full of richness. 2016-2035.

Derek Smedley MW, November 2012

There is a very attractive mix of black fruit on the nose, its ripeness giving it weight. The fleshy voluptuousness is there on the palate. The tannins form a cage at the moment but there is nothing aggressive about them allowing sweet fruit to enrich the finish.

Derek Smedley MW, April 2009
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.