Region, Subregion, Country:
Saint-Estephe, Bordeaux, France
Château Montrose is a leading estate of the Saint-Estèphe commune of the Médoc region in Bordeaux. It was ranked as a second growth in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification, and is regarded as one of the very best properties at that level. The grand vin, composed largely of Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot, is typically deeply colored, powerful and firm when young, but has superb aging potential. The second wine is La Dame de Montrose; the third is Saint-Estèphe de Château Montrose. (© Copyright material, Wine-Searcher.com)
The 95-hectare (235-acre) vineyard exists, unusually for modern Bordeaux, as one single entity. It is sited on an exposed site of deep, coarse gravels with sand and a little clay, overlooking the Gironde. The immediate proximity of the water has a moderating effect on both frost and summer heat, and the pebbles in the soil retain daytime warmth into the evening, aiding ripening. The estate is situated around a mile from Cos d'Estournel and the border with Pauillac. The vineyard is planted to a range of the classic Bordeaux varieties: 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 32 percent Merlot, 6 percent Cabernet Franc and 2 percent Petit Verdot.
Grapes are hand picked, beginning with Merlot and ending with Cabernet Sauvignon. A first selection is made in the vineyard and a second before vinification, which takes place in stainless-steel vats over 20 days with several pump-overs per day. Components of the same grape variety and quality level are blended before malolactic fermentation. In January the wine is moved to oak barrels to age – the grand vin is matured in 60 percent new oak for 16 to 18 months. Since 2006, there has been considerable investment in the environmental aspects of the estate, including recycling rain and waste water and the use of geothermal refrigeration, solar power and low-usage buildings.
Montrose is correctly pronounced with a silent "t". While many château names show Celtic connections, this one is named after the pink heather originally covering the hillside in Bordeaux rather than the Scottish town. The château is unusual in that it is more of a small hamlet than a single castle, due to extensive facility developments in the late 19th Century.