India's First Wine, Food and Hospitality Website, INDIAN WINE ACADEMY, Specialists in Food & Wine Programmes. Food Importers in Ten Cities Across India. Publishers of delWine, India’s First Wine.
Skip Navigation Links
About Us
Indian Market
Wine & Health
Wine Events
Retail News
Contact Us
Skip Navigation Links
Wine Tourism
Book Review
Photo Gallery
Readers' Comments
Video Wall
Media Partners
Ask Wineguyindia
Wine & Food
Wine Guru
Gerry Dawes
Harvest Reports
Mumbai Reports
Advertise With Us
US Report on Indian Market Released
Top Ten Importers List 2015-16
On Facebook
On Twitter
Delhi Wine Club
Flavours of Ch. Montrose and Tronquoy Lalande in St.-Estephe

Posted: Wednesday, 03 February 2016 12:16


If you Like this article, please click

Email This Article

Flavours of Ch. Montrose and Tronquoy Lalande in St.-Estephe

Feb 03: Chateau Montrose is a Second Growth Chateau in Saint-Estephe in Bordeaux with the ageing wines in their library going back to 1880 and beyond but the guests had a treat with their winemaker Hervé Berland taking us through the vertical tasting of 2009, 2000, 1998, 1982 and 1975 along with the Second wine, La Dame de Montrose 2010 and a couple from their second Chateau Tronquoy Lalande also in Saint-Estephe, writes Subhash Arora who was one of the 20 attendees who shelled out Rs. 10,000 a head for the rare and value-for-money wine dinner at Amaranta, Oberoi

Click For Large ViewIn Formula-1 races, one remembers the top driver in the race; seconds and thirds don’t count even though they share the podium- metaphorically speaking. Let’s jog our memory to the Judgment at Paris 1976. The very fact that Chateau Montrose 1970 was selected as 1 of the 4 top French red wines to compete against 6 Californian Cabernets by the curator Steven Spurrier who then sold French wines in Paris, was compliment enough to the Chateau. Stag’s Leap Cellars 1973 topped the list, rocking the fine wine world for ever. But not many would remember that Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1970 came second and hold your breath-Chateau Montrose was at the third spot- followed closely by another First Growth, Chateau Haut-Brion 1970. Many of the judges including Aubert de Villaine of DRC, Burgundy, rated Montrose as the top wine in the blind tasting!

Is it coincidence then that the winemaker Hervé Berland who visited India to conduct a Vertical Tasting of Chateau Montrose wines, joined the Estate as the winemaker after 36 years experience at Mouton Rothschild? When the Estate was bought over by the construction barons Bouygues in 2006 with more money than wine domain knowledge, they invested cash and hired top talent including Jean-Bernard Delmas, the winemaker from Haut Brion.

Chateau Tronquoy Lalande Bordeaux Blanc 2012

No wonder that the first wine of the evening Chateau Tronquoy Lalande Blanc 2012 was  a limited- production Semillon (58%) and Sauvignon Blanc (42%) blend- very crisp, medium bodied wine with oaky notes in the back layer, that finished fast in your mouth, leaving good impression on the palate. Hervé confided that the style of this wine was exactly the same as that of Haut-Brion. A Bordelaise since birth and at heart, he lamented that white wine producers in Bordeaux were shifting to Sauvignon Blanc due to its increasing popularity. He said there was a time when Bordeaux used to make 100% Semillon wines (still in fashion in Australia). It turned out to be outstanding appetiser wine and went surprisingly well later with Kanjivaram due to the fruitiness and body. 90/100

Chateau Tronquoy Lalande Saint Estephe Rouge 2010

Chateau Tronquoy Lalande is an acquisition of Montrose and understandably the wine quality is on the increase, as I discovered in the 2010 Rouge, even though this was an outstanding vintage in which it was difficult to make a poor quality wine. Well perfumed, with floral notes and red berry bouquet, full mouth-feel and a persistent after-taste, the wine was full of ripe tannins and though young it should age for 10 years or more. 94/100

Chateau Montrose 1975

Click For Large ViewClosest to the 1970 vintage that was a French star in the Show (Judgement of Paris) and harvested only a year before this competition, the wine was the first red to be served. Deviating from the traditional pouring of younger wines first , the curator of the evening Sanjay Menon of Sonarys had decided to reverse the serving order, because of his assumption that as we progress with the food courses, the texture gets fuller-bodied requiring powerful and younger wines to balance. Hervé felt that younger wines when tasted after matured wines, felt even younger and more tannic. However, Sanjay had prevailed but both were proven right during the evening. The 1975 was earthy, dusty and though complex, the fruit seems to have started declining. It was decanted for 30 minutes but the flavours deteriorated gradually in the glass. I presume that that the 1970 must have been a better vintage or a better structured wine. 91/100

Chateau Montrose 1982

This was the vintage that catapulted Robert Parker to the moon when as a starting journalist he took a contra stand and predicted that it was going to be an excellent vintage and was proven right. Not a favourite label of his, this wine had liquorice, leather and tar flavours, good structure and balance and was still drinking very well. Obviously, there were not many Robert Parkers in the crowd of 20 because this was almost the best liked vintage-fresh, elegant and well-balanced. I noticed myself taking refills-and finishing them, matching various dishes. 92/100

Chateau Montrose 1998

Another awesome wine, it was still slightly young on the palate but the perfumed bouquet, with earthy flavours (like the earth after rains in Kerala as my colleague at the table suggested), berries and liquorice ruled the flavours. It evolved and changed character in the glass gradually. 91/100

Chateau Montrose 2000

Some people find Montrose very similar to Latour in Pauillac in the South as it is intense, tannic and deeply flavoured. This was a classic example with great structure, full bodied, lots of berry perfumes, a powerful and yet elegant wine. Also still young, this could have been either longer in the decanter or could have been served earlier to let it breathe longer so we could enjoy the evolution.

By this time, Herve’s paradigm was in motion and the wines started feeling younger. 92/100

La Dame de Montrose 2010

Classified Growths of Bordeaux reds generally need meats, especially in the red category and are sometimes too tannic for the vegetarian dishes. I firmly believe that one of the few Click For Large Viewexceptions is mushrooms. Organically grown king mushrooms at the Oberoi Farms with croquettes made from potato and mushrooms were in attendance for this wine, thanks to the brilliant Chef Tejas who has returned after a 4-month stint with Noma in Denmark and is extremely creative, thus validating my belief. A perfect and rare vegetarian food-wine match, that! The wine was easy drinking, dancing on the palate with the dish orchestrating the opera. I wasn’t even thinking then that it costs merely A SIXTH of the Real McCoy if you choose to categorise the Chateau wines as such. Rating 95/100

The SWAAD Rating-a food/wine rating that I have evolved to indicate the pleasure on the palate by the wine and a particular food would be 99/100

Chateau Montrose 2009

In 2011, I attended the Wine Future Conference in Hong Kong as a panel speaker on the Indian wine industry, where Robert Parker had presented 20 magical 2009 wines from the Classified Growths. He was ecstatic about the vintage. The wine was still closed tonight and did not get a chance to show off but as Sanjay Menon claims, Parker’s personal cellar is heavy on Montrose. I am not sure whether he gave 100 points to the wine because he has stored a huge quantity of this vintage or the other way around but suffice it to say, we need to wait a few years to enjoy it. Rating 100/100 RP
In his marketing mail Sanjay Menon had also included Chateau Montrose 2005. He had also mentioned that both the 1975 and 1982 as well as the white wine would be en Magnum. But apparently, due to some logistics issues, that did not happen and was deferred for the dinner in Mumbai the next day. Those who attended the Gurgaon event missed out on an interesting opportunity to see how the wines evolved in the Magnum bottles but were well compensated by generous pours of wine across the board. The excellent preparation by Chef Tejas and willingness of the ever-so-attentive wait-staff to oblige to the encores for several dishes, made the Montrose dinner quite memorable.

Subhash Arora

If you Like this article please click on the Like button   

Tags: Chateau Montrose, Saint-Estephe, Bordeaux, Hervé Berland , Chateau Tronquoy Lalande, Amaranta, Oberoi, Chateau Montrose 1970 , Steven Spurrier, Stag’s Leap Cellars 1973, Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1970, Chateau Haut-Brion 1970, Bouygues, Chateau Tronquoy Lalande Blanc 2012, Judgement of Paris, Sanjay Menon, Chef Tejas, Chateau Montrose 2005


Want to Comment ?
Please enter your comments in the space provided below. If there is a problem, please write directly to Thank you.

Generate a new image

Type letters from the image:

Please note that it may take some time to get your comment published...Editor

Wine In India, Indian Wine, International Wine, Asian Wine Academy, Beer, Champagne, World Wine Academy, World Wine, World Wines, Retail, Hotel


Copyright©indianwineacademy, 2003-2020 |All Rights Reserved
Developed & Designed by Sadilak SoftNet