"About 20% of the vines were affected by frost this year. A blend of 56% Cabernet Franc, 43% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2017 Trotte Vieille is medium to deep garnet-purple in colour and redolent of warm plums, crushed blackberries and blackcurrant cordial with touches of Indian spices, violets and a hint of menthol. The palate is medium-bodied with firm, grainy tannins and great freshness, with an expressive core and long finish."
90-92 Lisa Perotti-Brown MW
"This shows wonderful depth and tannin quality with incredible elegance and completeness. Medium to full body and racy tannins. Strength, too. It’s the acid that drives the tannins and keeps them serious and fine."
94-95 points, James Suckling
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.