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1979 Montrose Bordeaux Blend
Bordeaux Blend: 750ml
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Château Montrose one of the eminent estates in Saint Estèphe, the northern most commune bordering the Gironde estuary. At the end of the 18th century, the land where Montrose is presently located was moorland, that belonged to Etienne Théodore Dumoulin, whose son entertained the thought of turning it into a vineyard. He began clearing small parcels in 1815 that revealed gravel soil and later constructed a modest two-storey château-building.
Expansion continued unabated and by 1866 the estate covered 237 acres through astute purchases and exchanges with neighbouring properties. The property then passed through many different families until it was recently purchased by Martin Bouygues, the 8th wealthiest man in France.
The property consists of 68-hectares under vine which slope down towards the Gironde, planted with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and just 2% Petit Verdot (there was more in the 1950's.) When I visited the property, I was told that the soil is more clayey than surrounding vineyards and therefore the ground is able to retain more moisture than those with a sandier terroir, a crucial factor in dry vintages such as 2003. The soil also contains Pyrenean gravel which absorbs the summer heat and prolongs the daily ripening period.
abridged from Neil Martin's producer profile on eRobertParker
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