Classification: Second Growth (2ème cru)
Château Montrose is located in the east of St Estèphe (the northern most of the great Médoc communes), just north of the hamlet of Marbuzet, on a gravel knoll only 800 metres from the Gironde estuary. As far as the great wines of Bordeaux go Château Montrose is somewhat of a youngster having been founded in 1815. However this beautiful vineyard has produced one of Bordeaux's most consistent and respected wines for over 150 years. It is considered to be one of the top St Estèphe's and is known as the “Latour of St Estèphe”.
The Château dates back to 1778 when Etienne-Théodore Dumoulin purchased the gravel ridge Alexandre de Ségur (who owned vast swathes of vineyard in the Northern Médoc and gave his name to several properties such as Château Calon Segur).
Dumoulin's son saw the potential for wine making in the heather covered slopes of the moor named La Lande de l'Escargeon, cleared the scrub and planted his vineyard. He built Château Montrose in 1815, named after the pink haze of heather that had once covered the gravelly knoll. After Dumoulin's death Château Montrose was sold to another enlightened man – Mathieu Dollfus. Dollfus built the estate into a thriving community, offering profit sharing and health care to his employees – an unusual act for those times. His heirs sold Château Montrose to the owners of Château Cos d'Estournel and it then passed on to Louis Victor Charmolue – where it has remained for over 100 years until recently. In 2006 ownership passed to Martin and Oliver Bouygues who employed Jean-Bernard Delmas, once the wine maker at Château Haut Brion.
The vineyards cover 160 acres and the grapes grown are 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The closeness of the estuary ensures a micro climate that protects against frost, and the vines, which lie on deep clay-gravel soils, roll down the slope towards the river and benefit from a south-easterly aspect. The soil is a mix of gravel, black sand with a subsoil of clay and marl.
The wines age incredibly well and are some of the longest lived in the Médoc. Château Montrose wines are traditionally deeply coloured, austere and powerful when young, but when mature are quintessential St Estèphe clarets. They are highly prized for their prune and cherry fruit flavours and classic, well structured style.
Owner: Martin and Oliver Bouygues
Château Website: www.chateau-montrose.com
Oenologist: P Ribéreau-Gayon