Tasting Notes Montrose 1989
This was not in the tasting at the chateau, but I opened two bottles on my return home, because this is another near-perfect wine from Montrose. It is an unusual two-grade blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot. The wine emerged from another very hot, sunny, dry growing season, with early, generous flowering. Harvest in Montrose took place between September 11 and 28. The wine has never had any issues with brett, making it a somewhat safer selection than the more irregular 1990. Like a tortoise, the 1989 has finally begun to rival and possibly eclipse its long-time younger sibling, the 1990. The wine is absolutely spectacular and in auction sells for a much lower premium than the 1990. That should change. This is a magnificent Montrose, showing notes of loamy soil undertones, intermixed with forest floor, blueberry and blackberry liqueur and spring flowers. It has a full-bodied, intense, concentrated mouthfeel that is every bit as majestic as the 1990, but possibly slightly fresher and more delineated. This great wine should drink well for another 40-50 years.
Tasted at Handford’s 21st anniversary tasting. One of the great wines for this Saint Estephe “king”, the 1989 continues to offer immense pleasure. It has a very fragrant bouquet with blackberry, sandalwood, mint and sloe all with very fine delineation. The palate has a Pauillac-like structure with firm tannins, cedar and freshly rolled tobacco dominating the middle, the finish very harmonious and natural. It has such beguiling freshness and class and though not a powerful Montrose like the 1990, it is one of those graceful things: a graceful Saint Estephe. Drink now-2025+ Tasted October 2010.