Chateau Montrose   Montrose

1990 Montrose

By Chateau Montrose

1990 Montrose from Chateau Montrose, St-Estephe, Bordeaux

The 1990 vintage is a sterling example of the unique and storied terroir that is the Chateau Montrose's hallmark in St-Estephe. This particular year is a luminous beacon in the estate's history, crafted under conditions that flirted with perfection. It was a year that set a benchmark for the decades to come, establishing the 1990 Montrose as a masterpiece welcomed enthusiastically by fine wine investors and connoisseurs alike.


Legacy of the 1990 Vintage

The conditions of 1990 blessed Bordeaux with an early flowering, followed by a warm but not scorching summer and an ideally timed September rain that gave the vines just what they needed. This harmonious climate dance yielded grapes of profound ripeness and balance, steering the course for wines rich in colour, structure, and complexity.

The 1990 Montrose presents an arresting nose; an aromatic kaleidoscope of black fruits, tobacco and an earthy truffle essence that sweeps you into its embrace. On sampling, one's palate is graced with tiers of cassis, plums, and hints of graphite—a reflection of the gravel-heavy soils found within the vineyards of the estate. The tannins have mellowed exquisitely over time but still provide a robust backbone. It's a balancing act of maturity and vitality, of depth and precision—a true hallmark of the 1990 Montrose.


A formidable investment vintage

With numerous vintages under scrutiny during one's tenure, certain years resonate more profoundly than others; 1990 stands as one such milestone. For investors seeking to diversify their portfolio with an exceptional vintage, 1990 Montrose stands as a testament to the potential longevity and appreciation in value. A judicious acquisition from Chateau Montrose now could very well be lauded as prescient in years hence.

In conclusion, the 1990 Montrose from Chateau Montrose is not simply a wine; it is a gleaming jewel within its vintage lineage. Its expression is distinctive, its poise remarkable; making it an invaluable addition for those with an eye towards investment in wines with extraordinary ageing potential. Its grace today will undoubtedly burgeon into tomorrow's legend.

Current market price



Highest score


POP score


Scores and tasting notes


I have had the 1990 Montrose on four separate occasions over the last several months, and I have consistently rated it either 99 or 100. Three of the bottles came from my cellar, and one was tasted at the chateau. None of them revealed any brett, which is not the case with bottles that were exposed to heat, or had bad storage issues. The wine remains a blockbuster, an inky/ruby/purple-colored effort revealing stunning concentration, amazingly high glycerin, and abundant amounts of sweet black fruits intermixed with notions of earth and spice. It is a fleshy, full-bodied St.-Estephe with atypically high amounts of fatness and fruit extract, but it is settling down nicely and seems set for another 2-3 decades of longevity. Many have felt the 1989 Montrose is better, and it is getting closer to meriting a three digit score, but it remains more tannic and backward. Release price: ($350.00/case)

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #183 Jun 2009


Tasted at the Montrose vertical in London, the 1990 Montrose is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc (almost identical to the 1989 Montrose) and picked between 14 September and 3 October. It has a formidable reputation and for years it overshadowed the 1989. That said, it is well known that there are incidences of brettanomyces that compromise some bottles and the one bottle in London showed just a tincture of this. It still merited a score of 97/100, though it only served to highlight the ethereal delineation of the 1989. Then literally a couple of days later. I was served blind a magnum of the 1990 Montrose in Cape Town, which had been purchased on release and stored in perfect conditions. Now, here was the real deal, unfettered by any infection, a regal Saint Estèphe. It shows approximately the same evolution as the 1989 in bottle, but unsurprisingly showed less bricking in magnum format. The bouquet is cut from a different cloth to the 1989 and attests to that warm vintage: hickory, clove, undergrowth and wild fennel, later garrigue-like scents and terracotta, the latter two more pronounced on the bottle format compared to the youthful magnum. The palate is full-bodied and powerful, yet the balance is perfect, a ballerina-like poise with the structure of the Forth Bridge. It is a multi-layered Montrose that offers enormous length, fresh and vibrant with the magnum demonstrating tangible mineralite and tension as it fans out on the crescendo of a finish—a fanfare for Saint Estèphe in all its glory. Improving all the time in the glass, this example of 1990 Montrose is a privilege to behold. One can speculate whether larger formats are a "safer bet" in terms of experiencing this behemoth without any brettanomyces. Perhaps. However, if you do come across the 1990 Montrose like this, you are in the presence of a king. Tasted January 2017.

Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate, 31 March 2017


Although undeniably this is an impressive Chateau Montrose, I would swap it any day for the 1989! The nose is backward at first before developing scents of tobacco, cedar and asphalt. The palate is just huge, incredibly concentrated with muscular tannins, huge grip and layers of black fruits. But it is a wine that ticks all the boxes if you seek dimension, less if you seek poise and tension, whilst it tends to dominate any dish foolish enough to compete. Is that what wine is for? An outstanding achievement in terms of pushing the envelope of the vineyard, but that does not necessarily mean an enjoyable drinking experience. Drink 2020-2050. Tasted July 2007.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal Mar 2008

Vintage performance