- Reference #:
- 14 ABV
- Bottles per Case
- 6 bottles
- Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
Chateau Troplong Mondot Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2018
The 2018 Troplong Mondot is blended of 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc, with 15% alcohol. Deep garnet-purple colored, with considerable coaxing and swirling it slowly emerges from the glass like a waking giant, building to a towering bouquet of preserved plums, blueberry pie and Morello cherries with gentler wafts of violets, star anise, fruitcake and cast-iron pan. The concentrated, full-bodied palate possesses impressive purity and brightness of fruit commingled with richer, riper elements and supported by firm, velvety tannins, finishing with lovely freshness and on a lingering ferrous note. It’s a wine that’s not just delicious, it’s seriously interesting too. 96 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate, Mar 2021
It’s always difficult to know how people are going to respond to change. There are those that embrace change for the sake of it, others who run for the comfort and safety of the familiar. And there are a lot of folks who use change to validate their own views, for or against. Aymeric de Gironde was the talk of Saint-Émilion last September, when his pickers marched into the vineyards on September 7th and began harvesting. It was a good week before anyone else was ready to even think about picking. There was no rain on the horizon. Was he insane? This was Troplong Mondot, after all. That’s right: big, rich, so-ripe-you-could-stand-a-spoon-up-in-it Troplong Mondot. He may have just come from some chichi glitzy château over in the Médoc, but who did he think he was? “If you pick early, you can get precision and the aromatic typicity of this region,” de Gironde told me. “We began picking on September 7th, and 70% of the harvest was done in a week and a half. Then we waited about a month for the Cabernets. This year was a question of choices. Not every year do you have the choice of what to do. This year we could make a choice based on our beliefs. I was looking for purity of aromatics. I was a little afraid because the skins were quite thick. I think I could have waited until Christmas and they wouldn’t have moved. During the growing season, we kept a lot of leaf canopy to protect the grapes from the sun. There was nearly no de-leafing this year. We did very little green harvesting. We left a lot of grapes on the vine. And then in the winery we used no SO2 until the wine was put into barrel. This was scary because you have to protect against oxygen, but I think it worked this year.” I had, of course, heard most of this through the rumor mill before I visited Troplong Mondot to taste the 2018. So, I was prepared. Nonetheless, it was a bit like meeting up with a friend a year later and seeing that they’d lost 80 pounds and chopped their waist-long hair into a pixie. It’s still your friend, but oh man have they changed! The wine is good. It’s better than good; it’s outstanding. I don’t think the transformation here is complete yet, but the path has been firmly set. Rather than the opulent spices, fruit preserves and plush unctuousness that Troplong Mondot has become known for, fans of this estate can expect brighter, crunchier black fruit, loads of earth, savory and mineral nuances and a tauter structure with compelling freshness. The new style will not be for everyone. Some lovers of the “old style” may well go elsewhere. And that’s OK. Today’s maturing wine world continues to branch out into more and more stylistic preferences. Great wine like this will find a market.