The 2022 Troplong-Mondot was picked from 29 August when it was 31° Celsius, which according to estate director Aymeric de Gironde, felt cool compared to the rest of summer. The alcohol is 14.9%, with a pH of 3.48. It sees no SO2 until it is transferred into barrel.
The nose is attractive and certainly expressive of its limestone terroir: blackberry, briary, crushed iris petal and light marine scents. The palate is medium-bodied with crunchy black fruit, quite chalky in texture, with an acidic spine governing its overall mouthfeel. Sapid on the finish, this Troplong Mondot builds in the mouth and coats it on the finish.
De Gironde and I discussed my previous scores. I always said that he would improve during his tenure, and this is clearly the case in 2022, the best Troplong Mondot...so far.
Drink 2032 - 2068
Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2023)
The 2022 Troplong Mondot is one of the most elegant wines I have ever tasted here. Seamless and layered, the 2022 caresses the palate with layers of dark-fleshed fruit, spice, leather and mocha. The purity of the fruit is just remarkable.
The typical Troplong stature is present, but the tannins are nearly imperceptible. Clean saline notes extend the long, precise finish. In 2022, the estate was quite selective and only bottled about 70% of the production as Grand Vin, as opposed to the more typical 90%.
Drink 2032 - 2062
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2023)
Violet edged with an inky core. Expertly delivers the energy that is key to the best wines in 2022. As powerful as you would expect from these clay-limestone soils, the vintage character shows in dried rosemary and white pepper spice, lacing the fresher blueberry and loganberry fruits. These big tannins take a long time to uncurl during the tasting and will take a long time in bottle to come around.
Contained power, with chocolate block, liquorice, dried roses, delicate but underpinned by menacingly powerful tannins, and a saline twist. Expert construction from director Aymeric de Gironde carefully contains both the natural power of the soils of Troplong and the natural concentration of the vintage. 50hl/h yield.
Harvest began on August 29 through to September 26. Thomas Duclos consultant. Around 3% whole bunch used during fermentation, aged in 55% new oak, 24% one-year-old, 21% large 2,000l oak casks.
Drink 2030 - 2046
Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com (May 2023)
A wine that transcended both my lofty expectations and anything produced at this address in the last 50 years, the 2022 Troplong Mondot realizes all the potential of this striking terroir. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of dark berries, cherries, exotic spices, bay leaf and orange zest, it’s full-bodied, deep and multidimensional, with incredible concentration without weight, supple tannins and a seamless, complete profile, concluding with a long, saline finish.
All the work of the last few years in the vineyards and winery makes itself felt, as Troplong Mondot’s vineyards took the hot, dry conditions in their stride, and the quality of the fruit that they produced has been preserved by a gentle vinification and a discreet élevage, featuring only 55% new oak and some 20% of the volume in large foudres.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2023)
85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample.
Fragrant and fine with red fruit and liquorice notes. An impressive amount of juicy fruit on the palate, the tannins plentiful but silky and smooth. Builds on the palate, providing a long, fresh, chalky finish. Elegant and harmonious.
Drink 2029 - 2049
James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com (May 2023)
Very attractive aromas of plums and chocolate with hints of raspberry bush and hazelnut. So fresh and even savoury with medium to full body. Such a wide tannin structure builds up on the palate. Shows depth and length with lots of minerality. Floral. Beautiful already.
85% merlot, 13% cabernet sauvignon and 2% cabernet franc.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2023)
A supremely excellent Troplong in 2022 with the hallmarks of a concentrated vintage delivered with ultimate poise and precision. A joy to taste and, once again, one of my favourites. Sharp, sleek, sour, bright and cool - I love the instant freshness and drinkability of this; tannins are fresh and detailed with both a plush and cool texture underpinned by layers of flavour with depth and concentration.
Clearly muscular but pixelated - it’s not tense, lean or austere but generous, charming and playful. Supple and succulent, still with ripe strawberry, cherry and raspberry fruit, a mix of bright red and black berries with wet stone, liquorice, dark chocolate, and graphite gives the terroir. Silky, balanced acidity and overall so well controlled and presented.
3.5pH. Ageing 50% new oak, reduced by 5% plus 21% in 20hl foudre, 24% one wine barrels. 98-100 points.
Drink 2030 - 2050
Georgina Hindle, Decanter.com (April 2023)
Clearly the finest wine to date under the new team and direction here, the 2022 Château Troplong Mondot reveals a vivid purple hue as well as sensational notes of black raspberries, cassis, acacia flowers, and graphite, with a beautiful underpinning of chalky minerality.
Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has flawless balance, ultra-fine tannins, no hard edges, and a great, great finish. The purity, precision, and just sheer class are something to behold.
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2023)
About this WINE
Château Troplong Mondot
Château Troplong Mondot is a St. Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé property that has in the last decade been producing wines that are the equal of many 1er Grand Cru Classé estates. Its handsome château dates back to 1745 and Troplong-Mondot was originally part of one sizeable domaine which included the vineyards of Château Pavie. It became autonomous in 1850 when it was acquired by Raymond Troplong. Later on, it was bought by Alexandre Valette and today it is owned and run by his great-granddaughter, Christine and her husband Xavier Pariente.
Troplong Mondot has 30 hectares of vineyards well-sited alongside the hill of Mondot to the north-east of the St-Emilion appellation. The soils are rich in limestone clay and are planted with Merlot (90%), Cabernet Franc (5%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (5%). The grapes are hand-harvested and then fermented in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks. The wine is then aged in oak barriques (75% new) for 18 months. It is bottled unfiltered.
Guru oenologist Michel Rolland has been a consultant at Troplong Mondot since the mid 1980s.
St Emilion is one of Bordeaux's largest producing appellations, producing more wine than Listrac, Moulis, St Estèphe, Pauillac, St Julien and Margaux put together. St Emilion has been producing wine for longer than the Médoc but its lack of accessibility to Bordeaux's port and market-restricted exports to mainland Europe meant the region initially did not enjoy the commercial success that funded the great châteaux of the Left Bank.
St Emilion itself is the prettiest of Bordeaux's wine towns, perched on top of the steep limestone slopes upon which many of the region's finest vineyards are situated. However, more than half of the appellation's vineyards lie on the plain between the town and the Dordogne River on sandy, alluvial soils with a sprinkling of gravel.
Further diversity is added by a small, complex gravel bed to the north-east of the region on the border with Pomerol. Atypically for St Emilion, this allows Cabernet Franc and, to a lesser extent, Cabernet Sauvignon to prosper and defines the personality of the great wines such as Ch. Cheval Blanc.
In the early 1990s there was an explosion of experimentation and evolution, leading to the rise of the garagistes, producers of deeply-concentrated wines made in very small quantities and offered at high prices. The appellation is also surrounded by four satellite appellations, Montagne, Lussac, Puisseguin and St. Georges, which enjoy a family similarity but not the complexity of the best wines.
St Emilion was first officially classified in 1954, and is the most meritocratic classification system in Bordeaux, as it is regularly amended. The most recent revision of the classification was in 2012
The most widely planted grape in Bordeaux and a grape that has been on a relentless expansion drive throughout the world in the last decade. Merlot is adaptable to most soils and is relatively simple to cultivate. It is a vigorous naturally high yielding grape that requires savage pruning - over-cropped Merlot-based wines are dilute and bland. It is also vital to pick at optimum ripeness as Merlot can quickly lose its varietal characteristics if harvested overripe.
In St.Emilion and Pomerol it withstands the moist clay rich soils far better than Cabernet grapes, and at it best produces opulently rich, plummy clarets with succulent fruitcake-like nuances. Le Pin, Pétrus and Clinet are examples of hedonistically rich Merlot wines at their very best. It also plays a key supporting role in filling out the middle palate of the Cabernet-dominated wines of the Médoc and Graves.