I tasted this wine four separate times, with three tastings extremely consistent, and one tasting showing slightly more noticeable and astringent tannin. Do I think it is going to be as prodigious as the 2005? No, but it is a compelling Troplong Mondot, and probably more approachable than the 2005 has been in its youth. This is a large vineyard, nearly 80 acres in size, and part of it had hail damage in May. They are late-harvesters, the Merlots were picked through October 10 and the Cabernet finished October 20, with very low yields of 30 hectoliters per hectare, no doubt due at least in part to the hail damage. Alcohols on lots chosen for the grand vin are very high, between 14.5 and 15.5. The wine is inky purple in color, displaying beautiful creme de cassis, licorice, subtle smoke and graphite notes, enormous body, juicy, viscous texture, good vibrancy, a skycraper-like, multi-dimensional mouthfeel, and a whopping long finish of 40+ seconds. This is a great wine, probably more hedonistic and voluptuous than the 2005, but ultimately a tiny notch below that virtually perfect Troplong Mondot, which still gets my nod as the best ever made. This wine should evolve for at least 30-40 years. 94-97/100 Robert Parker Jr.
Intense aromas of blackberry and blueberry follow through to a full body, with well-integrated tannins and a fruity finish. Offers lots of licorice and spice. There's lovely length to this. Reserved and pretty. 94-97/100 Wine Spectator
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.