Chateau Montrose St. Estephe [Pre-arrival] 2018
JS98: Purity and beauty on the nose with blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, crushed-stone and violet character. A full-bodied red with masses of polished tannins and intense flavors of currants and blackberries. Juicy finish. Super depth to this. Goes on for minutes. Try after 2027.
JD100: A full-bodied powerhouse as well as a perfect wine, the 2018 Château Montrose is a final blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 6% Cabernet Franc that was raised in 60% new French oak. Boasting a deep purple hue as well as awesome levels of crème de cassis and smoky blackberry fruits and notes of tobacco, lead pencil, scorched earth, and chocolate, it's deep, opulent, and incredibly concentrated on the palate, with no shortage of mid-palate depth, tannins, or length. It reminds me a little of a fresher version of the 2003, although there's more Cabernet Sauvignon in 2018 as well as less Merlot. It has that classic Montrose minerality and backward, mineral-laced style, yet I suspect this will be drinkable in just 5-6 years and should evolve into a modern-day legend from this terroir.
WA98+: The 2018 Montrose is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Very deep garnet-purple in color, it needs a good amount of air to unlock the vibrant scents of crushed blackberries, preserved plums and cassis with suggestions of star anise, cedar chest, underbrush, Indian spices and iron ore, plus an emerging waft of violets. The full-bodied palate features the most exquisitely ripe tannins, offering a rock-solid backbone with tons of freshness lifting the taut, muscular fruit, finishing long and mineral laced. Going back to this wine over a period of hours and then days further reveals a Montrose of great opulence, richness and depth. Incidentally, the IPT level this year is 82, which indicates a very high level of tannins, and yet they are so, so ripe. The alcohol is around 14.5%. But sit back, close your eyes and forget the numbers—this is pure hedonism in its youth with a fantastic 40+ years of cellaring ahead of it, during the course of which do not be at all surprised if you are blown away by a three-digit experience.