Chateau Montrose is a Classified Second Growth in the Saint-Estephe appellation. It is known for having owners that were unafraid to push limits and do things differently. This still holds true today with the Bouygues brothers as owners.
Ground-breaking in the Medoc
Chateau Montrose’s history begins in the early 19th century. Chateau de Calon’s owner, Etienne Theodore Dumoulin, fell in love with Montrose’s allure. He believed that the terroir had unexploited potential, and was drawn to the pink flowers on the hill. In 1815, he cleared then land, planted vines and built a castle. After selling Chateau de Calon in 1824, Chateau Montrose became his sole priority. Montrose was classified as a “second grand cru” in 1855, the same year that the chateau was reconstructed. The chateau has been owned by several owners over the past few years, each adding their own style to the property.
Mathieu Dolfus, was one of the many innovative and progressive owners of Chateau Montrose’s trendsetting history. In 1866, he improved Montrose’s winemaking facilities and technical practices. More importantly, he sought to improve the quality of life for his employees. Dumoulin provided housing and social security for his employees through profit sharing. By doing so there was a new standard of living in Bordeaux for owners and employees.
Montrose was also owned by the Charmolue family, who were owners of several estates including Cos d’Estournel. The chateau has been owned by the Bouygues brothers since 2006.
Chateau Montrose’s diverse terroir
Chateau Montrose is situated on a gravelly rump off the Gironde estuary. The property is a completely unified 95 hectare plot of land, which is very rare for the Medoc. The vines are planted in ideal conditions, they are on small hills of gravel and have excellent sun exposure. The estuary regulates extreme changes in temperature and protects the wine from potential frost. The hills of gravel are terrific for water drainage. There are 4 different styles of land, based on the distance from the estuary. The grape varieties planted are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. On average, the vines are 40 years old.
Innovation: the Bouygues brothers
In 2006, the chateau continued pushing innovative and technological limits. New owners, Martin and Olivier Bouygues, wanted to respect the environment and enhance the terroir of Montrose. They sought out to reduce energy consumption by 50%! Montrose obtains much of its energy through the use of solar, wind, and water power.
For the 2014 vintage, Chateau Montrose used drones to capture clear high resolution images and to analyse the state of the vines. Herve Berland (CEO of Chateau Montrose) said that tools, such as these assist in the attainment of finer wines. With the drones, there is greater precision and finesse in its tannic structure. These varieties thrive in this terroir and are able to express the full potential of their complexity and individuality. Chateau Montrose produces a first wine, “Chateau Montrose”, and a second wine “La dame de Montrose”.