Chateau Troplong Mondot 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This is stunning. Troplong never has trouble conjuring up wonderfully rich fruit, but here it is plump and dense without being pumped up. The tannins are chewy rather than chalky, but the elegance of the vintage is unmistakable, and the rich chocolate flavours are dusted with mint. There is a very pretty salinity on the finish that lasts for minutes. I had a fascinating visit here at the start of the week, and retasted several times as this is a wine that I sometimes have trouble understanding. My main takeout is that the majority of the richness here is found naturally in the terroir - limestone on the plateau but with cool clay over the top, which explains why they are such late harvesters.
Premier Grand Cru Classe in Saint-Emilion, Chateau Troplong Mondot stands out with refinement, boasting a strong wine identity, a perfectly-controlled vineyard and an innate sense of welcoming. Located on the highet point of Saint-Emilion's famous limestone plateau, the 43-hectare estate held in one piece stands on some of the most enviable and unique terroirs of the Right Bank, with ideal geological conditions and exposure, The unique diversity of the soils is revealed through balanced wines combining strength and elegance, complexity and precision. Troplong Mondot's history has been enriched with charismatic and cultured figures who have led the estate towards excellence with a different vision. By trusting Aymeric de Gironde for the executive management, the company SCOR bring a fresh boost since 2017 while respecting the values and spirit of the estate.
Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.
St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.
Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.
The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.
Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.