Tasting Notes Montrose 1996
First tasted in October 2000: deep ruby colour. A complex nose with fleshy, meaty fruits. Super-ripe. Firm and typically austere now. Quite chewy with spice and choc notes. Still immature - this will be a classic Montrose. A great wine for those who really love classic Bordeaux. Tasted again in October 2003 - this is developing along the lines of the classic 1989. A rich chocolaty nose mixed with roasted herbs. The palate is decadent, well-knit tannins that do not obtrude like so many other 1996's. Rich, supple and rounded with complex black fruits, cigar-box and espresso coffee. Very long. This is a wonderful Montrose.
This was a very strong year for the Medoc, as opposed to Graves and the Right Bank. The vintage has a very irregular reputation, but not so much for the Cabernet Sauvignon grape in the Medoc. Harvest occurred September 23 and finished October 6, a relatively short period, even at a large estate such as Montrose. The wine has sweeter tannins than the 1995, but doesn't have quite the ripeness noticeable in 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2010. This wine is the classic, or more traditional style of Montrose, with dusty loamy soil notes intermixed with blackcurrant and blackberry fruit. Licorice, underbrush and floral notes were all present in this wine, which has good acidity and is not far from entering its plateau of full maturity. This was a year where Montrose used a lot of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend – 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.