2009 Troplong Mondot
Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JD
Wine Details for 2009 Troplong Mondot
|Type of Wine||
: Picture in your mind a combination of cedar, lead pencil, blackcurrant, plum and mineral aromatics, and texture that caresses your palate like a playful lover. The experience is thrilling from the first whiff to the final seconds of a tannic, generous finish - that is what you'll get from a Bordeaux Red
Red Bordeaux Blend
: The inhabitants of the Bordeaux region of France have been cultivating wine-grapes for thousands of years. Ancient Roman ruins litter the vineyards from Saint Emilion to Graves where the art of blending Bordeaux varietals has been practiced and perfected over a very long history. Bordeaux’s climate, terroir and soils, though varied, provide the optimal growing conditions for the red grape varietals planted in the region.
Rarely listed on the labels as “blend,” the red wines of Bordeaux are perhaps the most artfully designed and celebrated in the world. The calculated art of blending the native Bordeaux varietals is impressively accomplished in the most famous winegrowing region in the world. The phrase Bordeaux Blend which seems to have been coined by British wine merchants in the 19th Century relates as much to wines made from the blend as to the grape variety combination itself.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and occasionally Carmenere are the lead characters in the creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. Each plays a part in their own fashion and implemented in various combinations and percentages in each appellation within Bordeaux. Red Bordeaux Blends are majorly composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, roughly making up 90% of all Bordeaux Blends. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec (occasionally Carmenere) are also important components and vital to the production of the region’s red wines.
For simplicity, the winegrowing region of Bordeaux can be divided into three main appellations producing Red Bordeaux Blends; the Left Bank (Medoc), Right Bank and Pessac-Leognan (Graves). The Left Bank has a terroir comprised of a wide variety of gravel, stones, sand, limestone and clay soils on a natural terrain of gentle slopes. This sets the stage perfectly for the production of Cabernet Sauvignon, which is the dominant grape of the Left Bank. For example, Chateau Lafite (Paulliac) is composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Right Bank is dominated by clay and limestone with sand and gravel, but the clay in the Right Bank is distinctly its own and adds to the health, growth and vitality of the vines of the varietals grown here. Right Bank wines are typically 80% Merlot-based, which are often denser, richer and mature earlier than those of the Left Bank (with exceptions – Petrus for example). Merlot is a vital component to Pomerol winegrowing and making. Cabernet Franc also plays a major role in the Right Bank, most notably, in Saint Emilion, where the infamous vineyards of Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc are planted to 55% and 52% Cabernet Franc, respectively. Chateaux that produce wines with a majority of Cabernet Franc are considered “old school” producers, but have perfected the use of Cabernet Franc, which was originally used as a blending grape.
Pessac-Leognan (Graves) enjoys a temperate climate, natural hygrometry influenced by the ocean, and has a terroir composed of gravelly soil over a clay subsoil on sloping, hilly terrain. Natural drainage due to the hilly terrain as well as the gravelly soil structure are perfectly attuned to the Cabernet Sauvignon grape vine, which prospers under these conditions. Pessac reaps the benefits of having the terroir of both the Left and Right Bank as it contains gravel and clay. The clay sub-soil allows the growth and success of Merlot, as well as Cabernet Franc. It is home to the only First Growth not in the Medoc. The 50-hectare vineyard of Haut Brion is planted to 45.4% Merlot, 43.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.7% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.
The percentage of Petit Verdot and Malbec may be lesser in quantity, but not in quality. They are vital to the region’s creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. The combination of Bordeaux varietals is legendary in the region, around the world and has influenced winegrowers worldwide to plant and vinify wines which resemble those of Red Bordeaux Blends.
: Wine is the lifeblood that courses through the country of France, pulsing with vigorous pride and determination. Viticulture is not just a hobby or an occupation in France; it is a passion, a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations of wine stained hands. Winemaking is a beloved art that has been ingrained in the culture, an aptitude instilled in sons by fathers and the hallmark for which France’s reputation was built, allowing it to be renowned as, arguably, the most important wine producing country in the world.
For centuries, France has been producing wines of superior quality and in much greater quantity than any other country in the world. It boasts some of the most impressive wine regions, coveted vineyards and prestigious wines on earth. The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Sauternes and Champagne have become the benchmark, for which others aspire to become. Legendary producers such as Chateaux Margaux, Domaine De La Romanee Conti, Chapoutier, d’Yquem and Dom Perignon are idolized world-wide.
France has stamped its name on nearly every style of wine, from the nectar-like sweet Sauternes to hedonistic Chateauneuf Du Papes classic Bordeaux and Burgundy, to its sparkling dominance in Champagne. Many of the most infamous grape varietals in the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France and are not only beloved, but utilized in the creation of some of the greatest wines on earth. French wine production commands the attention of the wine market year after year. With over 860,000 hectares under vine, and numbers close to 50 million hectoliters of wine produced annually, France dominates the market and sets the standard for not only product quality, but also quantity.
France’s many contributions to the world of wine have been absolutely indispensable. The country is the originator of the term “Premier Cru,” coined the term Terroir (a French term so complex there is no literal translation) and has laid the blueprint for a structured appellation system, which others have implemented in their own countries. French vineyard techniques and winemaking practices are mimicked world-wide. California vintners have been replicating Rhone style wines for decades, South America has adopted the French varietal of Malbec and countries around the world are imitating Burgundian styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
With vast diversity in terroir, France is home to some of the most hospitable winegrowing locations on earth. The combination of topography, geology, climate, rainfall and even the amount of sunlight combined with the long historical tradition of winegrowing and making, has allowed the vintners of France to not only hone their skills, but learn from nature to create a product that like the world in which it resides… is very much alive.
: Even among the greatest and most reputable wine regions on the planet, Bordeaux stands above the rest. The winemakers of this region have a single-minded dedication to the fine art of viticulture and their efforts never fail to show. If you consider yourself a fine wine enthusiast, you owe it to yourself to visit Bordeaux - life changing. Whether you wish to drink some inspirational and gripping wine as soon as possible, or you want to add some masterpieces to your collection, no region on Earth is a more obvious choice.
The noble and beautiful Garonne and Dordogne rivers surge through southwestern France, enriching the soil in a way very few other places can boast. The limestone-based earth is rich in calcium, and the almost oceanic climate conditions give the staple Bordeaux grape varietals vigor and flavor like nowhere else. For their illustrious reds, Bordeaux winemakers rely on a proven combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Meanwhile, a sip of their excellent white wine hints at the use of Semillon, Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc.Each of these varietals carries a unique identity, making every quality wine a character piece to rival Citizen Kane. It can be incredibly hard to choose only a few wines to collect for your cellar!
Chateau Troplong Mondot
: Sitting atop the highest point of the Saint Emilion appellation on the Right Bank, Chateau Troplong Mondot dominates the landscape. Its terroir benefits from an extraordinary 360 degree exposure and incomparable soil complexity. The vineyard is part of a natural heritage whose biodiversity is a long-standing effort to respect nature while producing exceptional wines. The outcome of this perfect balance are wines that reflect the estate’s rich terroir and reveal an identity like no other.
“Troplong Mondot cannot be explained; It needs to be lived,” insists the team at Troplong. For most, this is an impossible endeavor; however, one can experience the unique universe of Troplong Mondot through the wine, itself. It is in the wine where the spirit can be found. Experienced through the complexity of its astutely assembled, miniscule variations, its elegance and power.
The Premier Grand Cru displays the power of its terroir. It is distinctive in its unique origins; it possesses incomparable dimensions and nuances that bring this gift of nature to life. The 37-hectare vineyard is planted to 73% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon. These varietals combine in harmony with its exceptional soil structure of deep limestone, clay, fragments of flint, and stones which are centered in the vineyard. The elevation, which reaches over 100 meters at the top of the plateau, is the highest point in the entire appellation of Saint Emilion. The micro-climate is perfectly suited for the growth and sustainability of the varietals planted atop the plateau where the elevation offers a cooler temperature. Symbiosis occurs in the vineyards, where nature dictates wine-growing and in return, Troplong is committed to the preservation of its biodiversity, and natural landscape of the Right Bank.
The rich and colorful history of this magnificent chateau dates back to 1700. The chateau we see today was constructed in 1745. At the time, the owner combined his last name of Troplong to the land, Mondot in traditional French fashion. Each owner since Raymond Troplong’s mighty accomplishments and contributions to the region, has respected and cherished the property, protecting its philosophical, economic and environmental principles.
Troplong Mondot is sensuous on the palate with intense flavors offering scents of dark plums, licorice, blackberries, coffee, and exotic spices. The blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon is built to age for up to 35 years or longer. 10,000 cases of the Grand Vin are produced annually, with only a mere 800 cases of Mondot, the second wine which debuted in 1985. There is an ethereal quality that Troplong Mondot possess, that cannot be explained but must be lived, tasted and enjoyed and thus allowing the spirit of Troplong Mondot to live on.
Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JD
It boasts an inky/purple color along with a gorgeous bouquet of mocha, chocolate, blackberry and cassis fruit, an unctuous texture, a full-bodied, viscous mouthfeel and a skyscraper-like, multilayered finish. This spectacular wine is nearly overwhelming in its richness, thickness and intensity. Once all its baby fat falls away, the terroir characteristics and additional nuances will emerge. This blockbuster, fabulous Troplong Mondot will benefit from 10-15 years of cellaring and keep for three decades or more. It is not shy either, bouncing over the palate with 15.5% natural alcohol.
The 2009 Troplong Mondot will provide plenty of competition for the 2010, 2005 and 2000. It comes closest in style to the prodigious 1990 that proprietress Christine Valette produced 22 years ago. A phenomenal effort, it unquestionably justifies its relatively new Premier Grand Cru St.-Emilion status. Readers should keep in mind that the 1990, which probably has lower acidity and not the level of concentration found in the 2009, is drinking incredibly well at age 22 and reveals no signs of falling apart.
Robert Parker | 99 RP
A very concentrated wine with such a stylish feel. It balances ripe berry fruits with chocolate and wood flavors in the richest, ripest combination. The wine has power, without losing its poised character. It’s ready for long aging.
Wine Enthusiast | 97 WE
Although this is very ripe and rich with a generous body and a slew of black fruit aromas it’s also elegant and poised. The bitter chocolate character is more restrained than in many modern-style Right Bank wines of this period and there’s a lovely balance of lively acidity with fine dry tannins at the complex finish. Drink or hold. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019)
James Suckling | 96 JS
Very dark, with strong pastis-soaked blackberry and roasted plum notes leading the way, with layers of sweet spice, mocha and tobacco filling in on the finish. Rather lush and perhaps a touch too roasted in style for some folks, with enough just grip to keep it going. Best from 2013 through 2024. 6,288 cases made.
Wine Spectator | 92 WS
These were the St-Emilion excess years and you see it here, with kirsch flamboyance on the nose from the off. You hover around before tasting, not quite sure of how close to get. There’s gloss to the palate, with high-toned silky fruits that are not balanced perfectly with the heat running through the palate. I remember this at En primeur, and it hasn’t calmed down enough over the last 10 years. It’s got all the stuffing to impress, but you need to be looking for a very specific style. Lovers of subtlety should look elsewhere. Drinking Window 2021 - 2046
Decanter | 91 DEC
The 2009 Troplong-Mondot has a completely over the top, gregarious and raisin-like bouquet that frankly comes as no surprise given the philosophy of the estate at this time. The palate is sweet on the entry with candied black cherries, cassis and cough candy, unlike Bordeaux in some ways with a rather cloying and alcoholic finish. Now it seems like an anachronism. Tasted at BI Wines & Spirits’ Ten Year On tasting.
Vinous Media | 90 VM