TN: 2005 Chateau Montrose, St. Estephe

This is a phenomenal wine.

But fiirst, do not touch this wine for another five years minimum, and only with a long decant!

When we think of the unfortunate modernization of so many historic Chateau, this is not it. Montrose, in 2005, remains unabashedly classic, old school. This is a behemoth wine with no glossy trappings. It’s what one expects from an estate like Montrose in a year like 2005. Has a massive Cabernet profile, big bold dark cassis, hints of pencil cedar shavings, and earthy and leathery aromas and tobacco just starting to reveal. The mouthful is burly big ripe fruits with great tannic and acidic structure. Like having a fantastic, juicy seared ribeye with a little Pittsburg-style on it. I generally look askance at critics timing the finish, but damn does this wine go on forever. Decanted one hour, enjoyed it over a 2.5 hour dinner. A remarkable left bank wine. A wine of 50+ years easy.

(97 pts.)


I remember this wine en primeur. Massive and very closed even then. I’d say five years is pretty liberal, as a recent note echoed yours. Perhaps 2030, perhaps longer. A wine you grandchildren will enjoy.

This is a Leve/Alfert Venn Diagram wine, which I suppose is a testament to how utterly great it must be!

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Terrific wine! We drank it recently alongside the 1989 and 1990, and I think it will prove to be better and more consistent than both at maturity.

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05/10, and 15/16 Montrose vintages will go down in history. I can’t really think of anything better in St. Esteph in those years.

Thanks for posting, I have an OWC that I need to pry open one of these days. It is interesting that the auction price of the 03 and 09 Montrose exceeds 05.

Given the prevalence of brett-contaminated bottles among the 1989 and 1990, saying the 2005 would be more consistent is not necessarily high praise.

Have not had the 05 but remember when the 01 was a BOGO at a local wine shop for like $35 a bottle. Those were the days.

Yes but when they shine, those are some of my fave Bordeaux ever. A kiss of funk is ok in my book.

I’m not sure why you would find that surprising. Parker scored the 2005, 94, 95 and 96, while he scored the 2003 97+ and 99, and the 2009 100. For better or worse, you would expect that the 2009 would go for significantly higher prices.

The 2005 is dramatically better, IMHO.

I’m a big fan of 2005 Montrose. That being said, I think 2003 is better and the 2009 is better still. It’s an extraordinary wine. Probably not for you, but I think it’s mind blowing stuff.

Crickey… At some point in time consumers taste the wines set the market price. They no longer pay based on older critics notes. This happens all the time elevating prices or pushing them down.

I had the 2005 a few years ago as part of a vertical of their wines and thought it was fantastic.

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Thanks for the great notes on the 2005! I look forward to many bottles in the future.

I’ve had the 1989 probably about six times. No flawed bottles but maybe I was lucky? I certainly have heard more about brett problems with the 1990.



The Venn Diagram is fracturing!!

I’ve had several bottles of the 2003. It’s about as good as an 03 as one can find - Lafite is better - but it’s not in the same camp as 2005. It’s flashy for sure, but definitely not evolving the same way.

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I believe I said interesting not surprising. Interesting in the way of an undervalued wine if many collectors prefer 05 to 03 and 09, the price of 05 should rise and 09 drop a little. That makes for an interesting (not surprising) arbitrage play.


I certainly hope that comes to pass!

Agreed. I did not think the 2003 or the 2009 were anywhere near in the same class as the 2005 (or the 2010 for that matter).


Have had 2003 in a couple of Montrose verticals already, one was blind tasting, and in both cases it stood out and don’t recall itself endearing to any of the tasters. Although, I’ll add that it is fine within the stereotypical vintage.

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Yeah, and that is the big fly in the ointment for those vintages. 1990 for me is the better of the two, but more likely to be (for my brett threshold) catastrophically tainted. I had a brilliant bottle of 1989 this Spring in Champagne, but last week a lackluster and overtly medicinal bottle from perfect provenance over dinner in Beaune… so one’s mileage varies. Beyond any brett issues, to me the 1989 is a bit too overly low acid / high pH and as a result often ends up being somewhat flat; and to me, as the tannins melt, that tendency is more obvious. The 2005, however, is a truly brilliant wine!