Montagne-Saint-Émilion (AOC) Bordeaux Wine
With a privileged location in the heart of the Saint-Émilion region, Montagne is a commune with a rich history, but it deserves attention as much for its wine production and its inhabitants deep-seated attachment to their terroir as for its past and its sights. So strong is its attachment to wine that the commune boasts a Maison do Vin, a Musée du Vigneron Paysan (Museum of the Country Wine-Grower), and the agricultural college of Libourne-Montagne, one of the best in France for training in wine-growing and winemaking, and for higher level wine studies. Montagne’s soil is similar to that of the Saint-Émilion appellation. The hills are generally limestone or clay-lime- stone on a subsoil of starfish limestone.
Also on the hillsides and plateaux are found siliceous-clay soil, and subsoils that sometimes have an iron content. Like its celebrated neighbor Saint-Émilion, there is not one, but rather many Montagne-Saint-Émilion wines. All of them are delightful, to a greater or lesser degree-especially enjoyable are those of Châteaux Maison-Blanche, Faizeau, Montaiguillon, Calon, and Petit-Clos du Roy.
Depending on their origin, their color is lighter or darker and ranges from cherry to vermilion or ruby, or even purple. The nose can be fresh, lively, floral, powerful, and rich, but is always suave. In the mouth they can be more or less tannic, but they always express their pedigree with smoothness, generosity, and distinction. Recent vintages go well with any food; older wines reveal their richness, bouquet, and strength with game, poultry, and sauces.
Montrose (Ch.) Bordeaux Wine Region
The land of Château Montrose was sold by a ruling of the Bordeaux parliament to Etienne Théodore Dumoulin by Alexandre de Ségur on March 6,1778. At the time, this gravelly hill of more than eighty hectares was a heather-covered moor. Dumoulin started to have the château built in 1815, and he planted the vineyard at the same time. In 1825 only five to six hectares of vines had been planted, but by 1832 there were 35 hectares. In 1855 Château Montrose was classified a Sec-ond Growth. At that time, it produced 100-150 tonneaux of wine. It remained in the hands of the Dumoulin family until 1866, when Mathieu Dollfus bought it for 500,000 francs. Dollfus did some rebuilding and enlarged the vineyard. By 1880, it covered 65 hectares and produced 200-250 tonneaux. When Dollfus died his heirs sold the property to Jean Hostein for 1,500,000 francs. A few years later, Hostein sold it to his son- in-law, Louis Charmolüe, whose family has owned the property ever since.
The estate is remarkably well arranged. The vineyard, which has only one tenant, is divided into big squares separated by broad alleys, which are planted with selected grape varieties such as Cabernet Franc, Caber-net Sauvignon, and Merlot. This is why the Château Montrose Grand Cru is considered a model vineyard. The property also owes its great reputation to its gravelly soil and to its unusual exposure. Connoisseurs rank the wine as one of the best of its category, a favored status which seems justified given its consistently high quality. Those in the know say Montrose is the “Latour of Saint-Estèphe,” which hardly seems an exaggeration.