Chateau Troplong Mondot St Emilion Grand Cru [Pre-arrival] 2018
WS98: 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.
Barrel Sample: 95-98
JS98: 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.
D97: 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 Troplong Mondot this year. The officials will probably ask for some sections to be included in Troplong in the next classification in 2022. 3.56pH. Thomas Duclos consults.
JD96: 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. Barrel Sample: 94-96.