Chateau Tronquoy Lalande 2009
Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
This estate, which was acquired by the international telecommunications giant, the French-based Martin Bouygues, has produced their finest wines to date under the guidance of Jean-Bernard Delmas (who made every Haut-Brion between 1961 and 2003). Delmas, who was coaxed out of retirement to apply his enviable talents in St.-Estephe, is a master at attaining sweet tannins, which is always a challenge in this northern appellation.
Wine Enthusiast - "The tannins are very fine, with rich fruitcake and smoky flavors. Red berry and black plums give a fruity character, along with delicious acidity. The wine is structured while still remaining very approachable."
James Suckling - "Intense blueberry and blackberry aromas here. Full body, chewy and very rich, with a lovely balance of ripe tannins and spicy finish, with character of nutmeg and cloves. Best ever from here. Try it after 2018."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2009 Tronquoy Lalande, a blend of 51% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot, is the finest wine they have yet produced. It reveals an opulent bouquet of mulberries, blueberries, raspberries and spring flowers, full body, silky tannin, low acidity and a lush, pure mouthfeel. This uncharacteristically round, generous, sumptuous wine should be drinkable early on."
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Chateau Tronquoy Lalande Winery
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About St. EstepheView a map of St. Estephe wineries (saint ess-TEFF)
St.-Estèphe is the northernmost of the 4 communes hugging the Dordogne river in the Northern Haut-Médoc area of Bordeaux. While the appellation has no premier crus (first growths) of its own, it's southernmost chateau, Cos d'Estournel, is a highly acclaimed second growth, geographically separated from the famed Lafite-Rothschild in Pauillac by only a stream. Many believe Cos d'Estournel consistently produces wine of a first growth level.
Notable FactsWine from St-Estèphe typically matures more slowly than its southern counterparts. The soil is heavy and rich with clay, leading to wines with firm, muscular tannins and high acidity. Dark and opaque in color, the wines can be a bit austere in their youth, though most get softer as they age. Cabernet Sauvignon is the primary grape in most of the region's blends, although Merlot is important in helping to soften the wines. In volume, St-Estèphe creates the most wines of the top four Haut-Médoc communes. There are quite a few Cru Bourgeois properties, which are more approachable when young and, even better, lower in price. To get a feel for St-Estèphe, look for Cru Bourgeois like Chateau Haut-Beauséjour.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.