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A very youthful wine that probably will never hit the heights of the 1990 (but how many wines do?), this dense ruby/purple-coloured wine has a very pure nose of roasted espresso, black cherry jam, blackberry, mineral, and even a hint of blueberry. Some smoke and high-quality toasty new oak are there, but now that seems to be fading into the background. Quite full-bodied, powerful, and concentrated, yet at the same time elegant, this wines still seems very young and unevolved.
The 1989 Troplong Mondot is an extraordinary wine. It is slightly less evolved than the 1990, with more muscle and tannin, but equally rich and compelling. The color is an opaque dark ruby/purple, and the wine offers up aromas of licorice, prunes, black cherries, and sweet cassis fruit intermingled with high-quality toasty new oak and smoke. This is a full-bodied, rich, layered, concentrated wine that should evolve more slowly than the 1990. It is a spectacular achievement in this vintage! Anticipated maturity: 2003-2025. Last tasted, 12/97.
The amazing performances of both vintages of Troplong-Mondot came as no surprise, although I had never scored either vintage this high. Both are broodingly backward, opaque purple-colored wines with masses of fruit, extraction, and power. Both reveal chocolatey, blackcurrant, weedy tobacco-scented noses, and classic, full-bodied, powerful flavors. Both of these wines possess massive finishes that coat the mouth with extract, glycerin, and tannin. In addition, both wines are so opaque that it is impossible to see through them. The 1989 is more tannic, and potentially longer-lived. I suspect the 1990 will mature more quickly because of its lower acidity. It is also more flattering to taste than the less developed, dense 1989. These are two spectacular efforts from one of St.-Emilion's most noteworthy overachievers. Both wines should be given another 8-10 years of cellaring; both will age for three decades. Owners of these wines should feel smug about their purchases.
If ever a wine should be garlanded with a tag that says "Don't Go Near For Ten Years" then this is it. The nose takes an hour to reluctantly open after decanting with black cherries, cassis, a touch of black coffee (none of the ginger elements of last time.) The palate is full-bodied, extremely tannic and surly, though smooth in texture. Black chrries, cassis and iodine: this is going to turn into one decadent wine but my God, just give it 5-6 hours decanting or leave it in your cellar for a few years. Drink 2015-2030+. Tasted December 2008.