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September 01, 2014

Montrose 2010, 100 Points Parker

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In March last year we sent out an offer entitled, ‘What is in a point’, advancing the idea that Montrose 2010, would eventually join the 100 point club, after all Parker announced when he gave his scores out of bottle that he was ‘leaning toward giving it a three-digit score, which it may ultimately merit’. On June 10th, 2014 Robert Parker undertook, at Chateau Montrose, the enviable task of a vertical tasting of Montrose’s greatest vintages since 1920. Parker’s Montrose report and updated scores were released late on Friday evening which has created a real buzz in the market. Montrose 2003, which previously scored 96 points was marked up to an exceptional 99 points.The biggest news however, was the 100 point score awarded to Montrose 2010, which along with the 2009 and 1990 makes up the three exceptional, unforgettable and incredibly collectable 100 point wines.

Vintage

Price

Current Parker pts

Previous Parker pts

2010

£1,675

100

99

2009

£1,925

100

100

2006

£545

94+

n/a

2003

£1,600

99

97+

1996

£1,100

95

91

1990

£4,950

100

100

As a result of this rescoring, the 2010 has seen frenzied trading, pushing the market price on Friday night instantly to £1,675 a case, where it remains hugely undervalued against the equal scoring 2009, which is trading at £2,000 a case, a 20% premium to the 2010. We have seen constant trading at this level, yet have managed to keep a small ten case parcel in reserve to offer out before the price of 2010 rises to match the 2009. The 2009 and 2010 100 point twins could become the two greatest back to back vintages of any chateau, while the rise from 96 to 99 points makes the older and more mature 2003 a very strong buy at £1,600 a case. The 2010 is an obvious buy today for short-term returns, while both the 2009 and 2010 have a lot of ground to make up on the £4,950 Montrose 1990. However, we are also delighted to offer a few cases of their greatest ever wines, including the 1996 which was marked up from 91 points to 95 and the 1990, which of course, is destined for a lifetime as a 100 point classic.

Robert Parker makes no secret that he adores Chateau Montrose, a sentiment solidified by his resent tasting. In his write up he states that ‘Château Montrose is a wine that has always possessed first-growth potential. It has one of the most glorious expositions/terroirs in all of Bordeaux, with a view of the Gironde River’. The estate was owned by the Charmolue family since 1896, however, in 2006 they sold to Martin Bouygues, the tele-communications giant, today the world’s 214th richest person. Montrose has led the Second Growth pack for a century, however the advent of Bouygues reign began a new era of investment and improvements, including a breath-taking new wine cellar. In addition the new proprietors sought Bordeaux’s leading winemaking talent, bringing Jean Bernard Delmas, who made all vintages of Haut-Brion between 1959 and 2003. He oversaw the remarkable 2009 and 2010 vintages, producing arguably the estate’s greatest run of vintages ever. He retired in 2012 and was replaced by Hervé Berland, one of the leading lights at Mouton Rothschild. Taken together this, in the words of Parker ‘fine-tuned an already profound wine’.

2010 Montrose will forever be considered one of the estate’s greatest wines, on par with the 2009 and 1990, hugely investable and three of the greatest wines ever made. However, in 2010 they also made their greatest ever La Dame de Montrose, a wine made from the same vineyards and with the same precision as the first, representing 35% of the estates’ total production and made from a higher percentage of younger vines.

To put this into perspective, Montrose’s staggering 1995 effort – we recently tasted this and it is a magnificent wine – scored 93 points and costs £1,100 a case. The 2010 La Dame de Montrose eclipses most vintages of their first wine and offers an extraordinary opportunity to buy wine from a leading estate in their joint greatest ever vintage for £310 a full case, that’s £25.83 a bottle. It can be drunk now or cellared for another 20 years and as Parker proclaimed; ‘It’s a wine to buy in abundant quantities and drink over the next 10-15+ years.’

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