Peter Maude Fine Wines

2020, Château Montrose, SAINT-ESTÉPHE, 2ème Grand Cru Classé


Bordeaux Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc.

The 2020 Montrose is epic. Dark, rich and brooding, the 2020 possesses remarkable intensity, and, yet it is somehow not excessively heavy. Time in the glass brings out the wine's more elegant sophisticated side. All the elements are so well-balanced. Red/purplish fruit, lavender rose petal, gravel and spice are all accented by veins of intense minerality that lend shape and energy. The 2020 is a modern-day classic for Montrose and one of the great wines of the Left Bank. 99 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.

The 2020 Montrose was bottled in July 2022. The alcohol is 13.4%, a while degree less than the previous year but with the same concentration (IPT is 80). It has a fabulous bouquet that delivers on all that promise from when I finally tasted the wine around a year earlier from barrel, a cornucopia of blackberry, bilberry, crushed stone, Indian ink and loamy/undergrowth scents. Very mercurial in the glass, it seems to shape-shift with every minute. The palate is medium-bodied with such a precise entry. This is far more detailed than either the 2019 or 2018, a symmetrical Montrose with unerring detail and mineralité, its silky texture belying the power underneath. This is unequivocally a brilliant wine and a benchmark in recent years. Contender for wine of the vintage. 99 Neal Martin, Vinous.

A serious wall of blueberry and blackberry compote, and a ton of savoury Cabernet sinew and freshness. This is a great Montrose, inky broad-shouldered and structured. It needs time to aerate and open in the glass, then you see the precision, the heft, the chiselling of the fruits with a ton of graphite, cigar box and campfire smoke - huge persistency. This will need a long time and will reward patience. One of the few where a 1986, 2016 and 2010 comparison makes sense. A yield around 30hl/ha. 1% Petit Verdot, 3.86pH, IPT 80.45% of the overall production. 98 Jane Anson, Decanter.

Scented and perfumed on the nose with a delicate charm. Striking, full, round, juicy and crisp - this has bite and a sense of strictness in the frame that keeps things relatively narrow at this point but comes with excellent definition of elements. Great classicism with lots of freshness. Really very seductive, the black and blue fruit, graphite and touch of smoke grow and expand with richness and intensity but staying friendly at the same time thanks to the soft sweetness and juicy acidity. I just love the interplay between being serious and generous, structured but racy, intense yet precise. Such purity, and focus. Energetic and pent up, this is raring to go to show off its beauty but just being held back. Effortless, complex and compelling. I loved it a tiny bit less than the 2019 but it's still one of the best in 2020. 98 Georgina Hindle, Decanter.

Surpassing the 2019 and rivalling the 2016 as this estate's finest vintage of the last few decades, the 2020 Montrose is a monument in the making. Wafting from the glass with aromas of violets, dark berries, liquorice, loamy soil, black truffle and subtle spices, it's full-bodied, deep and layered, with a seamless, elegantly muscular profile, terrific purity and energy, beautifully powdery tannins and a long, resonant finish. It checks in at 13.7% alcohol, the same as the superb 2009, but it is even deeper, more vibrant and more complex than the 2009. This will be worth a special effort to seek out and only confirms Montrose's status as one of the contemporary Médoc's leading estates and a de facto first growth. 100 William Kelley, Wine Advocate.

Drinking Window: 2030 - 2070

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