In 2013, a year where tasting through the vintage was more of a challenge than usual, Montrose made a wine, indeed three wines: Tronquoy-Lalande, Dame de Montrose and Montrose itself, that seemed to have come from an entirely different vintage. The wines had weight, sweet fruit, balance and more. I asked Hervé Berland what the trick was. He just smiled and said “terroir”.
In 2014, Montrose have pulled it off again, albeit with the help of a much, much stronger vintage. Throughout “EP week”, the week that the trade spends tasting the wines from the previous year’s vintage, Montrose was the name that came up most often when paths crossed and the qualities of the vintage was discussed.
It is clear that 2014 favoured the Northern Médoc, and the big three of St Estèphe have all performed well. Where Montrose edges it is style. Cos have made an excellent 2014, a wine quite different from those made in the Jean Guillaume Prats style – a classic, elevated wine with a typical St Estèphe backbone. Calon-Ségur have tweaked their austere, lifted style into something a little denser (and very impressive it is too). Montrose is all about fruit. Focussed, clean and fresh fruit with a typical St Estèphe background of structure. Everything is correct, and this is a wine with not just a sense of place in that it is clearly quite excellent St Estèphe, it is excellent Montrose. It is a wine with a character.
“More depth to this than the Dame, though it is quite closed today. Some lift, and some weight to lovely sweet fruit. In the mouth the sweetness and lift return and this is polished rather than glossed. The hint of some latent depth, This is impressive, and one of the wines of the day. Excellent. 94-96.” Joss Fowler, FINE+RARE