2018 Chateau Montrose

Year: 2018
Appellation: Saint-Estephe
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 96-98
Vinous Media: 95-98
James Suckling: 98-99
Jeb Dunnuck: 97-99--Wine Enthusiast: 96-98--Jeff Leve: 98-100
Red Wine


Price :


"Composed of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, harvested from September 17 to October 5, the 2018 Montrose has a very deep purple-black color and opens with tantalizing notes of crème de cassis, Black Forest cake, hoisin and mocha with nuances of molten licorice, fertile loam, cast iron pan and incense. Big, rich, full and powerful in the mouth, the voluptuous fruit has a rock-solid backbone of very firm, very ripe tannins to match with tons of freshness and an epically long, exotic spice finish. A magnificent monster of a Montrose!

“Yes, the early part of the season was a challenge,” Communications Manager Hélène Brochet confessed. “Sixty-five percent of the vineyard is organic. We didn’t give up—we stuck to it, and now we have decided to go 100% organic. 2018 proved to us we could be organic without suffering too much. The organic blocks needed 15 treatments this year. Non-organic required 12, which is not such a big difference. The results were the same.”

In the end, yields were still pretty low at Montrose at just 26 hectoliters per hectare, mainly due to coulure (flowering/fruit set problems) and smaller berries (20% below average) rather than mildew.

“2018 was hotter than 2016,” Brochet went on to tell me. “We had very tiny berries. The juice was completely black the first day of harvest. Extraction had to go easy—we had to be careful to extract only what we needed. We had to stop the extraction early. We created six different levels of press wines."" (WA)

"The 2018 Montrose balances finesse and power to a degree I don't think I have seen in a recent young Montrose. The 2018 has plenty of depth, intensity and thrust - all signatures of Montrose - but it also has a striking sense of elegance. Crème de cassis, lavender, spice, menthol and licorice meld together in the glass. Although it is naturally very young, the 2018 Montrose appears to have a tremendous future. The blend is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, which is to say more Cabernet and less Merlot than is the norm. Readers will have to be patient with the 2018, but it is a stellar wine in the making. Montrose presents an en primeur sample aged 100% in new oak (while the final wine is aging in 60% new barrels) to show a wine that is more ready to taste young." (VM)

"This is a big and muscular wine with great structure and depth of fruit. Blackberry and blueberry character. Hints of fresh leaves. Cool earth. Incredible depth, yet so polished. Concentrated." (JS)

"The top wine of the estate as well as one of the wines of the vintage, the 2018 Château Montrose is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc brought up in 60% new French oak. Crème de cassis, smoky oak, graphite, and violet notes all emerge from this magical Montrose that has thrilling purity, building, layered tannins, integrated acidity, and a blockbuster finish. Deep, concentrated, and built for the long-haul, yet with the sexiness of the vintage, it’s in the same league as the 2016 and will be drinkable in just 4-5 years and keep for 40+." (JD)

"96–98. Barrel Sample. This superb wine offers intense, spicy tannins and rich black fruits that yield an impressive, ageworthy bottling. Its black plum flavor and juicy acidity are enhanced by the firm tannins, with a touch of nutmeg on the finish." (WE)

"When you taste a barrel sample and the first thought that comes to mind is 'I want this in my cellar' you know you're tasting a rock star! The color of a pitch black night, this beauty is completely opaque. The wine is powerful, concentrated and palate staining. The fruits vary from black to dark red. The tannins are incredibly soft and sweet plus there is a polish that feels fantastic in your mouth. As the wine coats your palate, teeth and gums, you experience a beautiful purity of fruit, intensity and volume with lift and a finish that crosses the 60 second mark. Like all the top vintages of Montrose, you need to allow it time in the cellar, at least 10 to 15 years or if you're have patience 20. It is hard to fathom that Montrose has been able to put together an unequaled run of vintages at this high-level of quality. A vertical of 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018 is going to be fascinating to experience. The wine was made from blending 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, reaching 14.8% alcohol with a pH of 3.7. The Grand Vin was made from 52% of the harvest, which took place September 17 to October 5. The yields were quite low here due to issues with mildew, so the estate only realized 26 hectoliters per hectare. " (JL)