|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > St Emilion|
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 château 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) was 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. Aymeric is to applauded for his radical re-styling of Troplong Mondot and the return to a classic and pure St Emilion style. The 2019 and 2020 produced here are undoubted stars of the vintage.
The 2022 is another brilliant example of the new philosophy and style here - picking started on August 29th. The yield was a very healthy 50 hl/ha. This will result in 10,000 cases of the grand vin and 5000 cases of Mondot (the second label which is 90% Merlot). Troplong this year is 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc. 55% in new oak and 21% in foudre. A fascinating feature here is that a whole day's harvest is put in a cold room at 5 degrees centigrade before the gentle wine-making process begins.
A wine that transcended both my lofty expectations and anything produced at this address in the last 50 years, the 2022 Troplong Mondot realizes all the potential of this striking terroir. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of dark berries, cherries, exotic spices, bay leaf and orange zest, it's full-bodied, deep and multidimensional, with incredible concentration without weight, supple tannins and a seamless, complete profile, concluding with a long, saline finish. All the work of the last few years in the vineyards and winery makes itself felt, as Troplong Mondot's vineyards took the hot, dry conditions in their stride, and the quality of the fruit that they produced has been preserved by a gentle vinification and a discreet élevage, featuring only 55% new oak and some 20% of the volume in large foudres.
The 2022 Troplong-Mondot was picked from 29 August when it was 31° Celsius, which according to estate director Aymeric de Gironde, felt cool compared to the rest of summer. The alcohol is 14.9% with the pH of 3.48. It sees no SO2 until it is transferred into barrel. The nose is very attractive and certainly very expressive of its limestone terroir: blackberry, briary, crushed iris petal and light marine scents. The palate is medium-bodied with crunchy black fruit, quite chalky in texture, that acidic spine governing its overall mouthfeel. Sapid on the finish, this Troplong Mondot builds in the mouth and coats it on the finish. De Gironde and I discussed my previous scores. I always said that he would get better and better during his tenure and this is clearly the case in 2022, the best Troplong Mondot...so far. 2032-2068
Another wine to cement the transformation at this estate, the 2022 Troplong Mondot is brilliant, energetic and fresh with a weightless intensity. Bright ruby in the glass, there is an ethereal sweetness of cherry blossom, violet and intense roasted plum. The palate continues in this vein, an intense core of red fruit given the added depth of blackcurrant and lightly toasted spice. An athletic wine, it is fleet footed with real vibrancy, the sinewy muscle of tannin ripe and in proportion with the airy, intense fruit. Chalky and wonderfully delineated in fruit and spice, this is a spectacular effort and unique proposition for the vintage.
Very attractive aromas of plums and chocolate with hints of raspberry bush and hazelnut. So fresh and even savory with medium to full body. Such a wide tannin structure building up on the palate. Shows depth and length with lots of minerality. Floral. Beautiful already. 85% merlot, 13% cabernet sauvignon and 2% cabernet franc.
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2022 Troplong Mondot needs a swirl or two to awaken scents of blueberry compote, juicy blackberries, and Morello cherries, giving way to fragrant wafts of raspberry leaves, wilted roses, Ceylon tea, crushed rocks, and cedar, plus a hint of licorice. The concentrated, big, voluptuous, full-bodied palate is bursting with bright, shiny black and red berry layers, supported by super-plush tannins and fantastic tension, finishing with epic length and loads of mineral sparks. pH 3.48.
Violet edged with an inky core. Expertly delivers the sense of energy that is so key to the best wines in 2022. As powerful as you would expect from these clay-limestone soils, the vintage character shows in dried rosemary and white pepper spice, lacing the fresher blueberry and loganberry fruits. These are big tanins that take a long time to uncurl during tasting and will take a long time in bottle to come around. Contained power, with chocolate block, liqourice, dried roses, delicate but underpinned by menancingly powerful tannins, and a saline twist. Expert construction from director Aymeric de Gironde, carefully containing both the natural power of the soils of Troplong and the natural concentration of the vintage. 50hl/h yield. Harvest began on August 29 through to September 26. Thomas Duclos consultant. Around 3% whole bunch used during fermentation, aged in 55% new oak, 24% one year old, 21% large 2,000l oak casks.
Clearly the finest wine to date under the new team and direction here, the 2022 Château Troplong Mondot reveals a vivid purple hue as well as sensational notes of black raspberries, cassis, acacia flowers, and graphite, with a beautiful underpinning of chalky minerality. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has flawless balance, ultra-fine tannins, no hard edges, and a great, great finish. The purity, precision, and just sheer class are something to behold.
85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample.
Fragrant and fine with red-fruit and liquorice notes. An impressive amount of juicy fruit on the palate, the tannins plentiful but silky and smooth. Builds on the palate providing a long, fresh, chalky finish. Elegant and harmonious. (JL) 14.5%
Drink 2029– 2048
A supremely excellent Troplong in 2022 that has the hallmarks of a concentrated vintage but delivered with ultimate poise and precision. A joy to taste and once again one of my favourites. Sharp, sleek, sour, bright and cool - I love the instant freshness and drinkability of this, tannins are fresh and detailed with both a plush and cool texture underpinned by layers of flavour with depth and concentration. Clearly muscular but pixelated - it’s not tense, lean or austere but generous, charming and playful. Supple and succulent, still with ripe strawberry, cherry and raspberry fruit, a mix of bright red and black berries with wet stone, liquorice, dark chocolate and graphite giving the terroir. Silky, balanced acidity and overall so well controlled and presented. 3.5pH. Ageing 50% new oak, reduced by 5% plus 21% in 20hl foudre, 24% one wine barrels.