1989 Montrose

With two huge scores from Robert Parker and James Suckling and both suggesting this might be better than the "legendary" 1990, the powerful 1989 Château Montrose appears to be a wine well worth revisiting…


In Hedonist’s Gazette in January 2016, Robert Parker praised the youthfulness of the 1989 Château Montrose, scoring it at 99 points and saying that it “might now be at a stage where in some tastings it may eclipse the faster-maturing and more evolved 1990.” Parker has previously scored the 1990 Montrose at a perfect 100 points.


In his review in June 2016, James Suckling is in full agreement with Parker, also awarding it 99 points and saying: “it seems to be getting younger with age, not older! Decant an hour before. I think it’s better than the legendary 1990. It’s certainly cleaner and more consistent quality.”


As Jeff Leve, The Wine Cellar Insider, puts it “Wow! Seldom are wines in the Oh My God category. 1989 Montrose is the real deal… If you love Bordeaux, this wine belongs in your cellar.”

Size Availability? price? Qty
£323.00 DP

Average critic rating : 98.67 points



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. Aug 2014, www.erobertparker.com, Drink: 2014-2064



This was yet another wine I drunk with wine collector friends in Bangkok – the city is truly buzzing when it comes to wine and when you know where to look! On the nose, there were intense aromas of iron, pot iron and dried fruits, as well as hints of nuts and wet earth. On the palate, it showed a gorgeous texture of ripe tannins and lots of spicy and currant fruit character. A full-bodied, very soft and silky Bordeaux with lots of flavors and a superb finish. Just right now – indeed it seems to be getting younger with age, not older! Decant an hour before. I think it's better than the legendary 1990. It's certainly cleaner and more consistent quality. Jun 2016, www.jamessuckling.com



Another magnificent wine is the 1989 Château Montrose, which might now be at a stage where in some tastings it may eclipse the faster-maturing and more evolved 1990. This was youthful, young and earthy, with copious quantities of black fruits, stunning richness and a full-bodied mouthfeel and finish. This could easily go on for another 25-30+ years. Jan 2016, www.erobertparker.com

Graphs indicate market price trends as calculated by FINE+RARE’s internal market making system and are for guidance only. E&OE.

Chart showing (to 17/10/2016) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

Montrose 1989
+£3,058.00     (+372.93%) Latest price:  £3,878.00
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Along with Châteaux Calon-Ségur and Cos d’Estournel, Château Montrose is one of St Estèphe’s top three properties. It is one of the great wines of Bordeaux. Recent years have seen some brilliant wines produced: both the 2009 and 2010 vintages are scored 100 points by Robert Parker, as is the 1990. 2003 Château Montrose, from an extraordinary vintage for the northern Médoc and St Estèphe in particular, is something of a young legend. The château is classes as a deuxième grand cru or second growth.

The vineyards, which lie on a rolling slope that runs down to the Gironde estuary, are planted to 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The proximity of the Gironde makes for a unique microclimate which protects against frost, and also helps with rot in vintages such as 2013. The harvest, which takes place slightly earlier than elsewhere in the Médoc, is done entirely by hand.

Château Montrose has been owned by the Bouygues family since 2006, and much investment has been made since. The cellar has been completely renovated and, since 2012, the property has been run by Hervé Berland, previously of Mouton-Rothschild.

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