Tasting Notes Montrose 2012
This shows a lovely finish with ultra-fine tannins and pretty fruit. Refined and long. Plenty of ripe and clean fruit. Tangy and fresh. Shows careful viticulture and winemaking.
The inky/purple-colored 2012 offers up scents of white chocolate, creme de cassis, acacia flowers, crushed rocks and forest floor. The tannins are surprisingly soft as the pH is about 3.7, which is slightly higher than the 2010's 3.6. This dense, full-bodied wine is still somewhat monolithic, but it is loaded with concentration and power as well as a long finish. While not totally formed, all the component parts are present. The 2012 will not match the level of the 2009 and 2010, but it should stand out as one of the highlights of 2012. Only 52% of the production made it into the 2012 Montrose, a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon (harvested between October 13 and 20), 37% Merlot (picked during the third week of September) and a tiny amount of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The pH was 3.7 and I suspect the alcohol level pushes 14%. It is one of the top successes of the vintage. As new administrator Herve Berland indicated, the severe six-week drought caused the Cabernet skins to become very thick, thus resisting the huge rainfall that fell between October 7 and 9. The late harvest dates suggest very ripe Cabernet Sauvignon, which appears to be exactly what has occurred.
Tasted as a barrel sample at the chateau. The Grand Vin, representing 53% of production, is a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. It is being matured in 60% new oak. The nose offers plenty of fruit, perhaps even more than Cos d’Estournel with ebullient dark cherries, dark chocolate and black plum scents, although at this stage it does not have the complexity of a top Montrose. The palate is medium-bodied with fleshy ripe tannins that are obviously fully ripe. It is not a complex Montrose, perhaps just a little one-dimensional compared to others. But there is certainly good volume, soft in the mouth (some prudent pumping over here in the winery) with plenty of primal black fruit to enjoy on the finish. It will probably constitute a more approachable Montrose, but it is well made. Tasted April 2013.