- Blend85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Franc
Chateau Troplong Mondot Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2018
“Once again, I am blown away by the wine's total sense of precision.” - Antonio Galloni
We see no lies there. This 98-point (plus two 97s, a 96, and more!) stunner of Saint-Emilion is the real deal – cementing the notion that this historic estate is not only back – it’s better than ever. We were thrilled to get the opportunity to take every last bottle we could from our connection in Bordeaux, and at a price like this...it’s sure to fly!
Chateau Troplong Mondot has a long and colorful history in Saint-Emilion that dates back to the 18th century. In those days, what we know as Troplong Mondot was the property of Abbe Raymond de Seze. It was de Seze who created the beautiful chateau that remains at Troplong Mondot today. When the chateau was constructed in 1745, the de Seze family was already established as major players in the Bordeaux wine community, and this building served as a statement of great things to come.
A few years back, the estate came under the guidance of Aymeric de Gironde who turned heads (and not necessarily in a good way) with some of his choices. Chief amongst those was the decision to pick the majority of the fruit nearly a month earlier than typical – exemplified by this vintage in which 80% of the grapes were harvested during the first couple weeks of September. His peers considered this proof that he had gone too far in his quest to bring elegance to the traditionally powerful intensity of Troplong Mondot. Then the wine soared at Bordeaux’s En Primeur release. Critical praise followed. All of the elegance sought by Aymeric was revealed, and yet sacrificed none of the historic power the estate had become famed for. Then he did it again, both in 2019 and 2020 (each scored 100 points from various critics). Naysayers quieted up after that, and it seems as though the future of Troplong Mondot is secured, and in quite capable hands.
The blend here is 85% merlot, 13% cabernet sauvignon, and 2% cabernet franc. Despite that mix, the cabernet notes are prominent – with deep blackberry, blueberry, and cherry notes, and plenty of floral aromas that range from violets to lilac, and dried lavender. The merlot offers up plum and currants to the mix, and the harmony and complexity here are immediately noticeable. Further expressions of star anise, iron ore, graphite, and black trumpet mushrooms punctuate this long and layered wine, with a tight finish that speaks to the wine’s potential for greatness over the coming decades.
A treat – from start to finish – and something worthy of any Bordeaux enthusiast. Lovers of rich, complex, and powerful wines should take note. Troplong Mondot is an already legendary house that is now rising to ever further heights!
PAIRING IDEAS: I once worked at a fancy hotel in Napa where we saved grape vine trimmings, dried them, and used them like BBQ enthusiasts would cherry or apple wood chips. We’d grab a small handful, throw in some star anise, bay laurel, and cinnamon stick and then light it up into a smoky little ember fire. Lay some duck breast skin up on a rack above the smoke and cover for 25 minutes. Then sear the duck skin down to a perfect medium rare and you have something worthy of 5-star dining.