Robert Parker 96
The 1989 Montrose can be a brilliant wine, but it’s also subject to notable bottle variation. I drank this wine twice in 2021: the first was the best bottle of some two dozen I have encountered over the last decade, and the second (from a cold English cellar where it had been stored since release) was the worst. At its best, this is a remarkably rich, lavish Montrose, bursting with aromas of ripe berry fruit, cigar box, black truffles and grilled meats, delivering a full-bodied, voluptuous, low-acid profile on the palate. When the Brettanomyces dominates, the wine’s aromas are marred by medicinal, band aid-like aromas and the finish is a touch dried out. My score reflects the wine at its best, but readers’ mileage may vary.
Anticipated maturity: 2009-2039
Rich, round, almost treacle. Pretty impressive. And by no means fading.
Anticipated maturity: 2003-2028
The 1989 Montrose is a magnificent wine and this represents one of the best bottles I have encountered – one that was purchased on release and not moved from Berry Brothers cellar since. I have encountered perfect bottles of the 1989, and this flirts with that magic figure. It is blessed with a captivating bouquet of blackberry, raspberry, sous-bois and black truffle, the veins of blue fruit just toned down a little compared to previous bottles. The palate is supremely well balanced with those filigreed tannins that in some ways are atypical of Montrose. It delivers silky-smooth texture and an intense finish that glides across the senses. I cannot give a perfect score on this occasion, but without question, this is one of the great Montrose releases. Tasted at the 1989 Bordeaux dinner at Hatched in London.
Anticipated maturity: 2019-2050