Chateau Montrose   Montrose

1986 Montrose

By Chateau Montrose

1986 Montrose from Château Montrose, St-Estèphe, Bordeaux

In the world of fine wine investment, certain vintages resonate with fervour across the echelons of collectors and connoisseurs. The 1986 Montrose from Château Montrose represents one such epochal year where the serendipity of climatic conditions in St-Estèphe bestowed upon us a wine of resounding opulence and structure.


The Oenological Odyssey of 1986

The 1986 vintage stands out as a paragon of Bordeaux's winemaking prowess, particularly within the robust terroir of St-Estèphe—a district known for producing wines with prodigious longevity and depth. Known for an unusually dry and warm summer, followed by an optimal harvest season, 1986 offered a textbook blueprint for creating wines destined for longevity.


Tasting Notes: A Sip Through Time

Upon recent uncorking, one finds that time has been benevolent to the 1986 Montrose. The profound garnet hue promises complex layers of olfactory delight—from a bouquet replete with blackcurrant, cassis and earthy tones to hints of truffle and leather that speak to its seasoned evolution. On the palate, a harmonious interplay between precise tannin structures and mature fruit profiles underscore this vintage's cellaring triumphs. A touch of spice and smoke leading to a magnificently sustained finish reaffirms its distinction within a collector's portfolio.


Investment Potential: A Vintage Graced by Time

The investment narrative surrounding the 1986 Montrose is strewn with accolades and desirability. With each tasting, I am reminded that this vintage from Château Montrose stands as a testament to the remarkable cellar-worthy nature of St-Estèphe's offerings. It is, unequivocally, one to overshadow lesser years; it possesses investment gravity for those eager to weave historical significance into their collection's tapestry.

In conclusion, one cannot help but advocate for the 1986 Montrose as a cornerstone addition to any serious wine portfolio. This vintage exemplifies the confluence of climatic perfection and winemaking virtuosity—cementing its status as one of Bordeaux’s investment-grade treasures with compelling provenance to satisfy both palate and portfolio alike. As it continues to unfurl its story in the glass, collectors should heed the call to secure this piece of vinous history before its scarcity becomes but legend.

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Scores and tasting notes


Tasted at the château, the 1986 Montrose is a wine that I had not tasted for many years and up until now, I was concerned about whether there was sufficient fruit to balance its sturdy, obdurate tannins. A blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc picked between 30 September and 16 October, it has a similar core to the 1986 Cos d'Estournel, albeit with a slight wider bricked rim. The nose is pleasant and quite floral, not as rich or as opulent as the Cos d'Estournel, quite refined with cedar and undergrowth aromas, then pencil lead that becomes more dominant with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannin, a fresh line of acidity, a little more leather coming through towards the finish with commendable weight and focus, if not quite the exuberance of the best 1986s. It is drinking perfectly now. Though a long way behind the 1989 and 1990 Montrose, this conservative Saint Estephe will continue to give 15-20 years more pleasure. Tasted July 2016.

Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate, 31 March 2017


This wine has turned out to be better than I originally thought. Made during a period when Montrose was flirting with a lighter style, the 1986 is one of the beefier efforts from that short-lived, stylistic detour. The wine reveals a dense ruby/purple color with only a hint of lightening at the edge. Fleshy, muscular, and powerful, with aromas of red and black fruits, earth, and spice, this medium to full-bodied, still tannic, brawny Montrose is not yet close to full maturity. It possesses a layered, chewy character, along with plenty of unresolved tannin in the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2000-2025. Last tasted 10/97

Robert Parker Jr - Bordeaux Book, 3rd Edition Jan 1998


First tasted in December 2001 at my first Offline at Chez Max. Nose still tight: herbal and minerally. Firm tannins. Lacks the flesh I would expect. Pencil-lead. Lacks some complexity although it may reveal more in 5 years but maybe not enough ripeness?

Neal Martin - Wine Advocate - Wine Journal

Vintage performance