Château Troplong Mondot 2020
• Domaine: Château Troplong Mondot
• Appellation: Saint-Émilion
• Classification: Premier Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Right Bank, Bordeaux, France
Château Troplong Mondot is a Saint-Émilion property that epitomizes the classic characteristics of this dynamic and rich terroir. This estate exists very much within a class of its own and has captivated the minds of viticultural giants within the wine industry due to its close proximity to great neighbors like Château Pavie. The property has been in possession of titans like the Thienponts, the Valettes and the de Seze families – all well respected vignerons and négociants who have overseen operations at iconic estates such as Château Vieux Château Certan. There is undeniably something very special about this Right Bank estate, and it was ranked a Saint-Émilion Premiere Grand Cru Classés Class B property – one of the highest of honors.
Château Troplong Mondot hosts a history that is about as rich as its terroir. Origins of the estate date back to the 17th Century, when it was owned by Abbe Raymond de Seze, who built the château on its stunning grounds. The de Seze family were already well established within the wine world, and they owned Château Troplong Mondot for one hundred years. The property was then purchased by Raymond Troplong, who gave the estate its namesake and increased the size of the vineyard holdings to what they are today. Château Troplong Mondot eventually was acquired by the legendary Thienpont family, who oversaw operations at the estate for a long time, but it wasn’t until the estate was purchased by Christine Valette that Château Troplong Mondot really began its meteoric rise in quality.
Christine Valette was a wonderful, kind, smart and savvy woman who started managing the property in 1980. She made a series of sweeping changes to the estate, such as switching everything over to manual harvesting, lowering yields, and removing the copious amounts of Malbec vines that were planted over the grounds. Christine also changed the cellars at Château Troplong Mondot, like adding temperature controlled, stainless-steel tanks in the vat room. It was only a mere matter of time before critics started to take notice of the increased quality of the grand vin coming from this estate. The property was classified as one of the Premiere Grand Crus Classés properties in Saint-Émilion in 2006, and the vintages released during Christine’s tenure at the estate were considered some of the most profound of all time. Tragically, Christine passed away but her legacy at the estate lives on.
Today, the property is managed by the French insurance company SOCR. A massive renovation was done to the cellars, and it was completed as of 2020. The 37 hectare vineyard is planted with a mixture of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon which thrive in the limestone soil. The majority of the vines are 35 years old, but there are some parcels where the plantings are close to 100 years old. The wine from Château Troplong Mondot is formidable, richly concentrated and possess an almost exotic undercurrent in terms of character. It is recommended one give their bottle of grand vin just a little bit of time for it to reveal all of its complexities.
"The 2020 Troplong Mondot is composed of 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc, harvested from 4th September and lasting for about three weeks. The pH is 3.53, the IPT (tannin index) is 75 and the alcohol is 14.5%. Opaque purple-black colored, it opens with a vivacious burst of black fruits—stewed plums, baked blackberries and boysenberries—giving way to a fragrant undercurrent of licorice, ground cloves, cinnamon stick and lilacs, with a touch of bouquet garni. The full-bodied palate is chock-full of plump, juicy black fruits and savory sparks, framed by fantastically ripe, fine-grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing long and opulent." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate (6/17/2020, Bordeaux 2019 Issue), Ratings: (95-97)+, Drink: 2026-2052
"Inky in colour, this is utterly gorgeous, so much purity and definition on the nose. Things start out intense, with crushing tannins, then it steps up and back, with a delicate but juicy slate and crushed rock minerality flooding in. Great physicality, with a push and pull that goes from power to lightness of touch. I assume it will gain a little more weight over ageing, but this is exceptionally well controlled. Crushed blackcurrant and blackberry fruits, with chalky tannins and savoury Cabernet florals. 60% new oak. 3.53pH. The new cellar will be used for vinification from the 2021 vintage, with this vintage aged in the new barrel cellars. No malolactic fermentation in barrel since the 2019 vintage. Just 2mm of rain in July and 30mm in August but the deep clay-limestones at Troplong kept their freshness, and there were no blockages in ripening. Thomas Duclos consultant." Jane Anson, Best Saint-Émilion 2020 Wines Tasted En Primeur (04/30/2021) Rating 97
"I’d wager the finest vintage here since the 2015, then the 2009, the 2020 Château Troplong Mondot is a blend of 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the balance Cabernet Franc. It offers a dense purple hue as well as powerful, unevolved aromas and flavors of pure crème de cassis, black cherries, graphite, gravelly earth, and tobacco. Coming from the highest elevation vineyard in the appellation and deeper, clay soils (which excelled in 2020), it’s medium to full-bodied and has a dense, thick mid-palate, building tannins, and a great finish. It’s not for the instant gratification crowd out there, but it’s going to be incredibly long-lived. Hats off to the team at Troplong Mondot as well as oenologist Thomas Duclos." Jeb Dunnuck, Bordeaux 2020 En Primeur - Part 1 (05/23/2021) Rating: 96-98
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