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Troplong Mondot 2018

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > St Emilion
Grape VarietyMerlot/Cabernet Sauvignon

The very well situated Troplong Mondot vineyard of 33 hectares contains 85% Merlot with 2% Cabernet Franc and 13% Cabernet Sauvignon (high for St Emilion). This Chateau used to produce concentrated St Emilions under the control of consultant wine-maker Michel Rolland and his team. The black coloured wines made here were not for those who prefer the more classic, subtle style of St Emilion but were popular with certain American critics. However the property was sold in the summer of 2017 and Aymeric de Gironde (formerly of Pichon Baron and Cos d'Estournel) brought in by the new owners to take charge. The new wine-making consultant is Thomas Duclos who also advises Canon. There have been massive and revolutionary changes here, as we expected, with picking at a much earlier date and all the manipulative extraction techniques abandoned in favour of more traditional wine-making. The harvest started on September 7th and was 70% complete within 8 days. The 2018 blend is 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc. 20% of production (all Merlot) will go into the second wine - Mondot. Elevage in 60% new oak. Congratulations to Aymeric who has transformed the style of Troplong Mondot and produced one of the finest and purest wines of Saint Emilion. A fabulous achievement.

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Tasting Notes

The 2018 Troplong Mondot takes its time to unfold; this particular sample was afforded 90 minutes to open. It then reveals its exquisitely defined bouquet of black cherries, shucked oyster shells and black currant leaf. It is transparent, almost Burgundian in style. The palate is beautifully defined with fine-boned tannins and wonderful tension and mineralité. You can feel the limestone terroir percolating through this Saint-Émilion, and it retains captivating spiciness on the almost crystalline finish. This is one of the finest Troplongs in recent years, and it has a long and prosperous future ahead. 2023 - 2045

Neal Martin, vinous.com, March 2021

This is a very linear red and layered at the same time, showing blackberry, blueberry, black-truffle, bark and stone character. Chalk and minerality, too. It’s full-bodied and well framed with gorgeous intensity and freshness. Muscular with wonderful structure and brightness. Salty and savory notes on the finish. Try after 2024.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2021

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. 2025 - 2050

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (End of Mar), March 2021

One of the stories of the 2018 vintage in Bordeaux was Troplong Mondot bringing in its first grapes on 7 September. Proof, many suggested, of director Aymeric de Gironde going too far in his quest to rewrite Troplong's powerful style. It certainly made me excited to try this wine, and I hope the sceptics were too, because this is a brilliant Troplong. Oh, and although around 80% of the grapes did come in during those first 10 days, the final harvest date was 10 October.

There's clear depth just in the colour alone, and impressive complexity on the nose. There's still a whole lot of Troplong strength and concentration here, you can't get away from that with these clay and flint over limestone soils, but now it is softer, with more minerality. The relatively high alcohols are apparent in the texture but not as heat. I love the persistency here, as it drags things out in the most delicious of ways, with a slate and white pepper finish.
Of the new vineyards bought (4ha from Clos Labarde and 6ha from Bellisle Mondotte), everything is in the second wine this year. The château will probably ask for some sections to be included in the grand vin in the next classification in 2022. 3.56pH. Thomas Duclos consults.

Drinking Window 2027 - 2042

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2019

Tasted blind. Weaker crimson than most. Sweet and bloody on the palate – one of the wines that most resembles the pre-Rolland (winemaker) St-Émilions. Not exaggerated and offering lots of sweet fruit. Good balance and length. 15%
Drink 2027 – 2044

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2022

Glowing purple rim with black core, so glossy. Colour stands out for its incredible brightness – technical director (since Sept 2017) Aymeric de Gironde says this is to do with low sulphur additions. Darker fruited and still a touch floral on the nose. Some stony/mineral notes. Very fine texture, really pure black fruit, chalky (limestone-derived) texture. Great finesse and juicy freshness. Intense fruit but full of energy and brightness. Tight, so much tension from that early harvest even though the fruit is perfectly ripe. Dry finesse and fresh persistence. I think you could enjoy this younger than many wines in this vintage.
Drink 2023-2038

Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019

Deep ruby in colour, with a wonderfully fragrant and red-fruit accented nose of cherries, plums and creamy vanilla. The palate is peppery and floral, with violets, fleshy bramble fruits and waves of bright acidity. The oak has clearly been used sparingly - the savoury and sweet spices are subtle and wonderfully well integrated. The tannins are chalky and bold but well defined, providing the structure to give this wine real pedigree and ageworthiness. Pure and long on the finish, this is a complete transformation and a remarkable turnaround in such a short timeframe. Bravo!

Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019

Deeper colored, the 2018 Troplong Mondot is a blend of 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Cabernet Franc brought up in 60% new French oak. Its vivid purple color is followed by a beautiful perfume of black raspberries, cassis, crushed flowers, and beautiful earthy minerality. Medium to full-bodied, ultra-pure, balanced on the palate, it has a beautiful chalky minerality on the finish. While the style has changed dramatically with the arrival of Aymeric de Gironde, the quality is nevertheless world-class.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019

This offers a lovely display of boysenberry, cherry and plum fruit, yet stays refined and focused, relying on purity as this glides through. Has weight but feels silky, with a flinty mineral hint adding cut on the finish.

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, March 2019

(85 Merlot, 13 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2 Cabernet Franc) | 60% new oak | 14.5% alc | 49 hl/ha This was harvested on 7th September - much earlier than almost everyone in the region. The initial attack is strident with mineral tones leading the way over a core of plum and blackberry and in spite of the richness of the alcohol the fruit is cool, long and honed. They do not toast the barrels here and they cleaned them thoroughly before use so that there is little oak flavour impact and simply an oak influence. This wine has a slippery feel about it and alongside this there is a stony freshness. ‘At the height of the mildew we only lost 20 clusters’, Aymeric de Gironde stated and they worked through the weekends using bio-control, to help the vines protect themselves. The result is the highest yields they can remember at extremely high quality, too. The new regime at Troplong is certainly making impressive wines and this is a striking example.

Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019
Read more tasting notes...

The 2018 Troplong Mondot was picked from 7 September until 10 October with 60% of the Merlot harvest completed in one week, then a long process to obtain full maturity. It has a gorgeous bouquet with black cherries, cassis, marmalade and orange pith. With time it reveals a strong shucked oyster shell tang. It is very different to the 2017 but shows much more fruit intensity and harmony. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannins. There is more body and mass compared to the 2017, fine grip with blackberry, black pepper, sea salt and a tang of Indian spice. It is an excellent Troplong Mondot that will give 20 to 30 years of drinking pleasure. 2023 - 2045

Neal Martin, vinous.com, November 2019

The focus to this wine sets a new standard for Troplong Mondot with density and minerality that I have not encountered for decades. Lots of slate and white-pepper character. Tight and very dense. Full body. Balanced. Wild mineral character and freshness here. Precise.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019

The 2018 Troplong Mondot is blended of 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc, with 14.5% alcohol and a pH of 3.56. Deep garnet-purple in color, it begins slowly with bold, bright black raspberries, ripe black plums, fresh blackberries and Morello cherries notes, giving way to underlying scents of tobacco, wild sage, Sichuan pepper, black olives, truffles and Marmite toast with hints of crushed stones and iron ore. Medium to full-bodied, the palate offers wonderfully fresh, energetic black fruit with a downright racy line of freshness (uncommon for this vintage) and firm, rounded tannins, finishing long with lots of mineral, earth and dried herbs layers giving beautiful electric sparks.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.