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Chateau Montrose

Ranked as a 2nd growth in the 1855 classification of the Left Bank, its inclusion as a 2nd growth was a spectacular achievement for a vineyard barely 40 years old at the time! Château Montrose is one of the leading wine properties of St-Estèphe, the northernmost appellation of the Médoc. The property is located in the east of the appellation, a little north of the hamlet of Marbuzet, on a gravel knoll just 800 metres from the Gironde estuary. Founded in 1815, the story of Château Montrose belongs to three families of owners spanning two centuries. In 1815, on his father’s death, Etienne Théodore Dumoulin discovered a patch of heathland that had been forgotten. He cleared the scrub, planted the vineyard and built the necessary facilities to run the estate and make wine. On his death in 1861 he left his heirs an estate spanning 95 hectares, which is its current size. Mathieu Dollfus, a factory owner from Alsace, bought Montrose in 1866. He redeveloped existing buildings and built new ones, modernised the facilities and introduced new viticultural and winemaking methods, furnishing Montrose with the best technology available at the time. He was also a pioneer in human resources, creating philanthropic working and living conditions for his staff, including housing on the estate, free healthcare and profit sharing. A visionary entrepreneur, he managed to halt the plague of phylloxera by installing a windmill which pumped water from an underground well and flooded the land, thus saving the vineyard. The windmill has been preserved by successive owners and is now one of the symbols of Montrose. In 1896 the Charmolüe family acquired the property and for over a century steadily enhanced Montrose’s reputation. It remained in the Charmolüe family despite a severe economic crisis and two world wars for three generations. Then, in 2006 Martin and Olivier Bouygues bought the estate. They own the eponymously named construction firm Bouygues and, unsurprisingly, set about a spectacular renovation which took seven years to complete, endowing Montrose with the finest facilities, whilst preserving the overall architecture of the 18th century château. The entire 95 hectare vineyard surrounds the château, the winery and the outbuildings in a single continuous sweep, which is an exceptional and historically extremely rare feature. Château Montrose has one of the region’s most privileged wine-growing terroirs, corresponding to what geologists call “elite cores”, consisting of gravel mixed with black sand on the surface over a clay-rich subsoil. The vineyard is planted with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The wines are aged in oak for 18 months, 30% new. The Montrose style produces some of the longest-lived wines in the Médoc, combining a purity and intensity that is seldom found in other Bordeaux wines. Deeply coloured and powerful when young, they evolve into elegant rich and complex wines. There second wine is called La Dame de Montrose.