The big news in Bordeaux is the potential sale (it had not been finalized at the time of publication) of Chateau Montrose. The 2005 Montrose does not quite measure up to the 2003, but it is a beautiful effort. A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc as well as a dollop of Petit Verdot, it possesses an inky/blue/purple color in addition to a sweet, provocative nose of creme de cassis, crushed rocks, graphite, and subtle wood. Medium to full-bodied, elegant yet powerful, fresh, and nuanced, the acids are higher and the pH lower in 2005 than in 2002. The 2005 should be a long-lived classic, but patience will be required despite the relatively high alcohol (13.2%), which is counterbalanced by some of the highest tannins ever measured. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2035. RP Jr. 92-94
Saint -Estèphe, with 1,377 hectares under vine is the largest of the major Bordeaux appellations in the Medoc. Located in the most northern part of the Left Bank, on average, 585,000 cases of wine are produced each year. The soils see a rich mixture of rocks, clay, limestone and gravel that rests on the surface and of course below, deep in the terroir. Beneath the surface lies a complex blend of different soils, sub soils and terroir. Over the past several decades, the general trend in the Saint -Estèphe vineyards has been to add more Merlot, which has added a lot of softness to the tannins and the wines. Merlot works well in the appellation due to the large amount of clay found in the soils. in the appellation due to the large amount of clay found in the soils.