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“Picked before the rain”: the 1964 Chateau Montrose, Saint-Estephe

During the summer I particularly enjoyed a lower-fill bottle of 1964 Chateau Montrose, Saint-Estephe.  Of the vintage, I only knew it did not share the hype of 1961 and 1962.  However, given the robustness of these old traditional vintages of Chateau Montrose I simply remained pleased.  It turns out that this was a good bottle not just because of traditional winemaking.

The 1964 vintage in Bordeaux yielded a very large volume of wine similar in quantity to 1962 but not of the same overall quality.  While there was exceptional summer weather, the middle of October experienced localized, torrential downpours that lasted for two weeks.  Many estates, particularly in Pauillac and Saint-Estephe, had not completed their harvests so they went on to produce inconsistent wines.  Fortunately for me, Chateau Montrose produced according to David Peppercorn, “probably the best St Estephe” in a vintage that at its best made “wines of great class.” This particular bottle, with its mid-shoulder fill, was in a very stable state offering up seamless flavors of clean, red fruit accented by an attractive cedar note.  The bottle drank well all evening so much so that I believe well-cellared versions will last for some time.  I would not cellar these any further, rather I recommend you look forward to pulling the cork.  This wine was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


1964 Chateau Montrose, Saint-Estephe
Shipped by Pierre Cartier & Fils.  Imported by Monsieur Henri Wines.  Alcohol 12%.  Mid-shoulder fill.  There was a subtle nose followed by bright and tart red fruit in the mouth.  The flavors took on a slowly building cedar note in a wine that remained seamless.  The flavors were driven by watering acidity with some tannic roughness in the finish.  Overall the wine remained pleasing with its clean, tangy red fruit and a dry citrus note.  *** Now but will last.


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