The 2020 Troplong Mondot is another strong showing from the estate under the direction of Aymeric de Gironde. Exotic and voluptuous, the 2020 is endowed with terrific depth and plenty of layers that unfold over time. Raspberry jam, cloves, kirsch and lavender all flesh out beautifully in the glass. Troplong Mondot has been exceptionally fine since 2017, when the new team headed by de Gironde took over and began to focus on giving the Grand Vin more energy. In the 2020, though, I see less of the vibrancy and brilliance that has defined the new style at Troplong. Tasted two times.
(93-95) points, Vinous (June 2021)
This has superb depth and intensity with very fine tannins that draw you down. So much black fruit, together with black pepper and salt. Extremely well crafted. Vertical and deep. Chalky and salty with black chocolate.
(98-99) points, JamesSuckling.com (April 2021)
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.
(95-97)+ points, Wine Advocate (May 2021)
The 2020 Troplong Mondot was tasted from two samples, both directly from the estate, but with two prelèvements because Aymeric de Gironde was not content with the showing of the first. Indeed, the second, which was tasted the following day (yes, bottles arrived quickly) did show slightly better, even if there was not an enormous difference. It has a deep garnet hue, yet the nose is initially backward and demands about an hour to really open and say what it wants to say. The nuanced bouquet features a mixture of red and black fruit, touches of iris flower, sea spray and a touch of Earl Grey. This is typical of the more elegant, terroir-driven style introduced under Aymeric de Gironde. The palate is medium-bodied with crunchy red fruit, cranberry and raspberry mixed with truffle and a pinch of sea salt. The acidity is well judged and it conveys palpable energy on the finish. This is a delicious and characterful Saint-Émilion, fresh and vibrant, that will fill out and gain depth during its barrel maturation. Excellent.
(94-96) points, Vinous (May 2021)
85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample.
Aromatically a little awkward at present (oak and a bit of oxidation?) but palate clearly defined with crunchy fruit, suave texture and chalky freshness. Impressive structure of finely crafted tannins and a real sense of terroir displayed. Definite potential.
17++ points, James Lawther, JancisRobinson.com (April 2021)
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. Drinking Window 2028 - 2044
97 points, Decanter (May 2021)
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.
(96-98) points, JebDunnuck.com (May 2021)
St.-Émilion is the star of Bordeaux’s Right Bank, north of the Dordogne River. The rich red wines produced in St.-Émilion, based on Merlot and Cabernet Franc, are less tannic and generally more fruit-driven in flavour than the Cabernet-based wines of Left Bank. Merlot thrives on the plateaus high above the Dordogne, where the soil is filled with sand and clay, a perfect medium for creating opulent, fruit-forward wines. With a typically savoury character, St.-Émilion wines are sometimes called the “Burgundies of Bordeaux.” These refined reds, with loads of finesse, are elegant companions to beef, chicken, pork and duck.
The wines of St.-Émilion were not included in the famous 1855 classification of Bordeaux, which ranked wines of the Left Bank. In 1955, St.-Émilion published its own classification, based on soil analysis, wine quality and reputation of the properties. Unlike the 1855 classification, St.-Emilion’s system requires properties to continuously prove themselves. The list is revised regularly, most recently in 2012. There are two tiers within the classification, Premier Grand Cru Classé and Grand Cru Classé. There are currently just 18 Premier Grand Cru properties and 64 Grand Cru Classé properties.
The St.-Émilion appellation is home to hundreds of individual producers, enhancing the variety of wines made there. Many of the properties remain small, family-run enterprises, unlike the large châteaux of the Left Bank. The area is also the base of France’s controversial micro-châteaux or garagiste wine movement; these innovative winemakers operate outside the traditional classification system, making very high quality (and very expensive) highly extracted wines.