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Southeast of the Mondot hill, overlooking the town of St. Emilion lies Chateau Troplong Mondot. Named for its location and its former proprietor, Gerus Troplong, this estate has been home to viticulture since 1745. Its 33 hectare vineyard is planted to 90% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. "Cold," late-ripening soils produce one of the most dramatic wines of the appellation: an exotic, flashy, modern Saint-Emilion.
While it possesses more than enough stuffing and structure for extended cellaring, the wine's depth of fruit and supple tannins rarely get in the way of early drinkability. The Valette family, owners of Chateau Troplong Mondot, oversee production of 8000 cases of the Grand Vin each year, in addition to 2-3,000 cases of the second wine, called simply, Mondot.
Bordeaux Vintage Report 2005 is a truly fantastic vintage with great quality across the board on both the Left and Right Banks.
The 2005 vintage became the most expected since 2000. The en primeur market was heated, and prices skyrocketed. The cold winter delayed the bud break before the hot ans dunny spring broke up. Even vegetative growth and flowering gave a perfect start to the vintage. The summer turned out to be one of the driest ever which was avoiding disaster since the weather remained reasonably warm not excessively hot as in 2003. The soil is again becoming a decisive quality factor. Gravelly areas, such as Graves, were worst affected once more. In other words, top wines are to be expected.
For short term perspective, in the next couple of years, an excellent amount of mature red Bordeaux wines will be available in the market. The vintages 2004, 2002, 1999, 1994, 1992 and 1988 offer a wide selection of enjoyable wines to be consumed immediately or at most to be stored for a short period.
As investments, the best vintages from the past 35 years are 2003, 1996, 1989, 1986 and 1982. The most certain long-term investments are Latour, La Mission Haut-Brion, Haut-Brion, Le Pin and Pétrus.
In the last 35 years, Bordeaux has undergone a substantial change in winemaking. Modern equipment and developing know-how have guaranteed more even quality. It seems that the next challenge will be handling the extreme climates including slowly global warming, which has already given hints of its effects also in Bordeaux. It is impossible to say how the Bordeaux wines will change in the next 35 years. We can only hope that their most characteristic feature, elegant aristocratic nature highlighted by unique terroir, will never fade away.