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Something is always happening in Montrose Village...


Winegrower Bordeaux

Something is always happening
in Montrose Village…
It will probably never be said enough… “Wine is made in the vineyard!” Jean-Bernard Delmas will tell you this time and time again. In 2006, he acquiesced to the pressing request of Martin Bouygues and is now responsible for the management of Château Montrose, a Médoc Second Growth, classified in 1855. It undoubtedly took a great deal of persuasion from the new owner of Montrose to convince Jean-Bernard Delmas to start again! But a wine of such noble birth cannot be left in the hands of an apprentice … Beyond a certain feeling of having accomplished his duty (more than forty years spent drawing Château Haut-Brion to its peak of excellence), Jean-Bernard Delmas was already contented by his previous achievements at such an illustrious classified first growth of the Graves region, but was nonetheless willing to start the adventure all over again.

The temptation was too strong!

Saint-Estèphe is a northern winegrowing appellation of the Médoc area, situated on the edge of the Gironde estuary. The major influence this waterway brings to the great growths of this region is well-known… A perfect geographical position, “made to measure” conditions formed by Nature, that nevertheless grant Man the power to perfect this work of art, by selecting for this terroir the most suitable grape varieties. This position in the northern Médoc constitutes a small world apart within the Gironde winegrowing area as a whole, particularly due to Tertiary geological formations found here. Saint-Estèphe’s specific features lie in its limestone bedrock and the benefits provided by pebbly layers of alluvions (eminently generous gravel) which leisurely soak up sunshine during the daytime and therefore protect vine stocks from the vagaries of weather conditions at night. At just the right moment, these pebbles will release the heat they have stored up and this is extremely beneficial for perfect ripening.


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From vines to wine cellars …
Jean-Bernard Delmas’ methods

The “young” manager had to take a very close look at this estate, fully understand it and plan the future of Château Montrose (gracefully bestowed its name by the ancestor of this domain, Théodore Dumoulin, in the distant past when red wine lee-coloured heather roamed across this land despite bouts of harsh weather …) Today, this estate covers 70 hectares in one single piece of land (this represents 1/6th of the total appellation), lying on the edge of the estuary, especially rich in layers of pebbles at low altitude which form a series of distinct, well-cleared hill crests that present the advantage of natural drainage.

Such a splendid location does not call for profound transformations, just a little good sense, hence the presence of Mr Delmas’ infinite wisdom… Alterations began with a minimal amount of changes made to the lay out of the storage buildings to ensure the best conditions for conserving the divine wine of this estate. In the vineyard, growing methods now encourage deep rooting for the vine stocks, forcing roots to dig down to seek water that rises by capillarity, in the event of hydrous stress. Vines which are too old or affected by wood diseases are uprooted (every 30 to 40 years) in order to purify the soil. After a period of three years, vines are planted again. The decision made for high density plantation (9 000 vines per hectare), necessitates encouraging competition between vine stocks, restricting each branch to holding three grape bunches; this has the result of preventing grey rot and enables the grapes, by their concentration in sugar, to reach a perfect stage of ripeness…
This particular strategy naturally requires harvesters to be extremely well-informed so that when picking they are able to gather selectively. Such are the perfectible adjustments inspired by Jean-Bernard Delmas…
When the time comes for transforming these grapes endowed with such tremendous quality, the wine-maker’s role is to achieve his alchemy as gently as possible. Then the ultimate stage, when the wine is skilfully placed in barrels (avoiding an excessive amount of new wood) to prepare its maturation in the dark shadows of the cellar … It is here that this divine nectar will begin its long slumber diligently watched over by its creator …

Enlightened enthusiasts or amateurs, restaurateurs, sommeliers… take your glasses!

Because they are undoubtedly the finest ambassadors of wine all over the world, Jean-Bernard Delmas has introduced specific tastings for each category of consumer as well as for professionals in the industry, with specialised tasting sessions for restaurateurs and sommeliers.

Jean-Bernard Delmas is undoubtedly one of life’s modest geniuses working in favour of excellence and good taste worldwide!
The wines of Château Montrose …
• Château Montrose (Medoc Second Growth, classified in 1855): Its complex aromas and very smooth flavours on the finish are a perfect match for red meat and game … A powerful wine with marvellous ageing potential!
• La Dame de Montrose (second wine): An extremely stylish, suppler wine, which should be enjoyed in its prime!

Annemarie Nouaille

Château Montrose
33180 Saint-Estephe
Tél. : 05 56 59 30 12