En Primeur Releases: 18 June 2021

Giles Cooper

18 June 2021

Troplong Mondot 2020

Under the youthfully energetic direction of Aymeric de Gironde (formerly of Cos d’Estournel) and the inimitable talents of winemaker Thomas Duclos (also the wizard behind Chateau Canon), Troplong Mondot has once again reached heights that match its location on St Emilion’s highest slopes. Their 2020 is a hugely successful St Emilion which has been released at GBP 864/12.

18 June EP Troplong Mondot

Troplong Mondot is easy to spot – if you know where to look (clue: look for the water tower). It occupies the highest point of the St Emilion plateau, with the vines planted on a combination of clay and deep limestone along with complex flint and rock fragments. Under previous ownership the wine was a full-throttle, hedonistic wine built on power and fruit extraction; the turnaround since 2017 can hardly have been more dramatic, with a new, and absolute focus on freshness and mineral expression. We encourage you to buy, drink and understand the estate’s new direction under de Gironde - his dedication to expressing the unique terroir in the wine is absolute, as evidenced by the fabulous notes and ratings given by the key critics:

this is utterly gorgeous, so much purity and definition on the nose.” Jane Anson

This is a delicious and characterful Saint-Émilion, fresh and vibrant, that will fill out and gain depth during its barrel maturation. Excellent.” Neal Martin

very mineral behind the ripe, fleshy fruit, prolonged, graceful, constantly vibrant, and with lovely fruit persistence to finish. Very classy. Splendid wine” Michael Schuster

Once again, the ‘new’ Troplong Mondot is certainly one of the finest St Emilions of the vintage. Having tasted this beautiful, elegant, expressive wine ourselves, we thoroughly recommend getting on board to discover (or re-discover) one of the finest pieces of Bordeaux terroir

18 June EP Troplong mondot bottle

Troplong Mondot 2020

98-99pts James Suckling “This has superb depth and intensity with very fine tannins that draw you down. So much black fruit, together with black pepper and salt. Extremely well crafted. Vertical and deep. Chalky and salty with black chocolate.”

96-98pts Jeff Leve “Inky dark in color with purple around the edges, the wine jumps out of the glass with its complex nose of plum liqueur, flowers, licorice, caramel, cappuccino, herbs and earth. Full-bodied, seductive, concentrated and powerful, yet even with all its richness, the wine remains light on its feet. The strong sense of minerality accompanying the fruit in the end note adds complexity. There is lift, length and purity from start to finish making you want to go back for sip and sip. “

96-98pts Jeb Dunnuck “I’d wager the finest vintage here since the 2015, then the 2009, the 2020 Château Troplong Mondot is a blend of 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the balance Cabernet Franc. It offers a dense purple hue as well as powerful, unevolved aromas and flavors of pure crème de cassis, black cherries, graphite, gravelly earth, and tobacco. Coming from the highest elevation vineyard in the appellation and deeper, clay soils (which excelled in 2020), it’s medium to full-bodied and has a dense, thick mid-palate, building tannins, and a great finish. It’s not for the instant gratification crowd out there, but it’s going to be incredibly long-lived. Hats off to the team at Troplong Mondot as well as oenologist Thomas Duclos.”

97pts Jane Anson, Decanter “Inky in colour, this is utterly gorgeous, so much purity and definition on the nose. Things start out intense, with crushing tannins, then it steps up and back, with a delicate but juicy slate and crushed rock minerality flooding in. Great physicality, with a push and pull that goes from power to lightness of touch. I assume it will gain a little more weight over ageing, but this is exceptionally well controlled. Crushed blackcurrant and blackberry fruits, with chalky tannins and savoury Cabernet florals. 60% new oak. 3.53pH. The new cellar will be used for vinification from the 2021 vintage, with this vintage aged in the new barrel cellars. No malolactic fermentation in barrel since the 2019 vintage. Just 2mm of rain in July and 30mm in August but the deep clay-limestones at Troplong kept their freshness, and there were no blockages in ripening.”

95-97+pts LPB, robertparker.com “The 2020 Troplong Mondot is composed of 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc, harvested from 4th September and lasting for about three weeks. The pH is 3.53, the IPT (tannin index) is 75 and the alcohol is 14.5%. Opaque purple-black colored, it opens with a vivacious burst of black fruits—stewed plums, baked blackberries and boysenberries—giving way to a fragrant undercurrent of licorice, ground cloves, cinnamon stick and lilacs, with a touch of bouquet garni. The full-bodied palate is chock-full of plump, juicy black fruits and savory sparks, framed by fantastically ripe, fine-grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing long and opulent.”

94-96pts Neal Martin, vinous “The 2020 Troplong Mondot was tasted from two samples, both directly from the estate, but with two prelèvements because Aymeric de Gironde was not content with the showing of the first. Indeed, the second, which was tasted the following day (yes, bottles arrived quickly) did show slightly better, even if there was not an enormous difference. It has a deep garnet hue, yet the nose is initially backward and demands about an hour to really open and say what it wants to say. The nuanced bouquet features a mixture of red and black fruit, touches of iris flower, sea spray and a touch of Earl Grey. This is typical of the more elegant, terroir-driven style introduced under Aymeric de Gironde. The palate is medium-bodied with crunchy red fruit, cranberry and raspberry mixed with truffle and a pinch of sea salt. The acidity is well judged and it conveys palpable energy on the finish. This is a delicious and characterful Saint-Émilion, fresh and vibrant, that will fill out and gain depth during its barrel maturation. Excellent.”

94-96pts Michael Schuster, WOFW “Very ripe, plummy Merlot nose; rich, firm, very finely tannic, a fine constitution and a really beautiful balance; deep, sweet, long, and racy, with both density and freshness, an understated wine that is both relatively large in scale and yet discreet and absolutely effortless, too; very mineral behind the ripe, fleshy fruit, prolonged, graceful, constantly vibrant, and with lovely fruit persistence to finish. Very classy. Splendid wine, with a tannin texture so fine that this is likely to be deliciously enjoyable relative early, too. A world apart, and a much more attractive one, from the run of heavyweights that preceded Aymeric de Gironde’s first vintage in 2018. 2028–60+.”

GBP 864 per case/12 IB

Other formats are available:

Halves – GBP 884 per case/24 IB

Magnums – GBP 874 per case/6 IB

Double magnums – GBP 954 per case/3 IB

Imperials – GBP 621 each IB


L’Eglise Clinet 2020

18 June EP L'Eglise Clinet

We are delighted to offer the 2020 L’Eglise Clinet at GBP 2811 per 12.

2020 is the first year in which the wines have been made completely under the control of the late Denis Durantou’s daughters Constance and Noemie, alongside long-standing cellarmaster Olivier Gautrat; their 2020 is a triumph of which they can be rightly proud.

We were fortunate enough to taste this extraordinary wine with Durantou sisters over Zoom and it delivers the most incredible combination of depth, power and structure but with an almost invisibly lightweight feel. There is amazing concentration and yet a sense of ease and effortlessness which very definitely belies the sheer amount of work that had to go into making it!

As per usual the critics are entranced…

“Full-bodied, but very polished and deep with finesse and beauty. Incredible structure that fills the mouth.” James Suckling

“There is wonderful salinity on the finish, and awe-inspiring persistence. A magnificent testament to a great winemaker.” Neal Martin

“The 2020 L'Eglise-Clinet is a towering wine. I am not sure what else to say… extraordinary finesse here. The 2020 simply can't be denied.” Antonio Galloni

The story of L’Eglise Clinet goes on even after the passing of Denis Durantou and we can hardly wait to see how the wines continue to develop from this point on. As a first step, this is about as good as it gets.

18 June EP L'Eglise Clinet bottle

L’Eglise Clinet 2020

97-99pts LPB, robertparker.com “The 2020 L'Eglise Clinet is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. The Merlot was picked between the 11th and the 14th of September, and the Cabernet Franc was picked on the 16th of September. It has an alcohol of 14.4% and is aging in French oak barrels, 80% new. Displaying and opaque purple-black color, it needs a bit of swirling to reveal a fascinating array of earthy notes—black truffles, charcoal, mossy tree bark and fallen leaves—over a profound core of preserved plums, blackberry preserves and violets, with a waft of tapenade. The medium to full-bodied palate has exquisitely ripe tannins and bold freshness supporting the seductively ripe, black fruit layers, finishing on a lingering fragrant earth note.”

98-99pts James Suckling “Wonderfully bright, floral aromas with so much violet character. Such purity and focus. Ethereal on the nose already. Full-bodied, but very polished and deep with finesse and beauty. Incredible structure that fills the mouth.”

96-98pts NM, vinous “The 2020 l’Eglise-Clinet is very deep in color. It has an intense nose featuring blackberry, wild strawberry, touches of Japanese nori and light basalt aromas, gaining in intensity and clarity over the 60 minutes I spent analyzing the sample. The palate has exquisite balance and a silver bead of acidity that slices through the pure black fruit with effortless ease. This is a very harmonious and focused L’Eglise-Clinet, and as always, it is not an immediately crowd-pleasing Pomerol. You have to sit with it and examine its facets, including those that require unlocking with aeration. There is wonderful salinity on the finish, and awe-inspiring persistence. A magnificent testament to a great winemaker.”

96-98pts AG, vinous “The 2020 L'Eglise-Clinet is a towering wine. I am not sure what else to say. After having tasted hundreds of 2020s, L'Eglise-Clinet very clearly claims a stake for itself among the wines of the vintage. L'Eglise-Clinet can be a brute in its youth, but the 2020 is all finesse. Sweet red/purplish fruit, rose petal, blood orange and pomegranate are some of the nuances that emerge over time. Perhaps keeping the temperatures a bit cooler in fermentation explains the extraordinary finesse here. The 2020 simply can't be denied.”

96-98pts Jeb Dunnuck “Always up with the crème de la crème of the vintage, the 2020 Château L'Eglise Clinet is no exception. It boasts a rich, powerful, opulent style that packs loads of ripe black cherries as well as notes of chocolate, earth, tobacco, and graphite. Possessing the pure, elegant, more focused style of the vintage, it still has plenty of mid-palate depth, gorgeous tannins, and one heck of a great finish. This beauty is a thrill a minute and will not hit maturity for another 7-8 years, but it will be a 20-year wine.”

GBP 1405 per case/6 IB

Other formats available:

Magnums – GBP 1412 per case/3 IB

Double Magnums – GBP 972 each IB


Certan de May.2020

18 June EP Certan de May

The Scottish de May family settled in France during the Middle Ages and in the 16th century were gifted this auspicious plot of land in Aquitaine for services to the French crown. Known as Certan the property was later divided in two to become VCC and the estate that became named Certan de May.

One of Pomerol’s more enigmatic wines, Chateau Certan de May boasts some of Pomerol’s most prestigious real estate with 5.5ha of vineyards planted on the prized central plateau. La Fleur Petrus and Vieux Chateau Certan are notable neighbours, while Jean-Claude Berrouet, erstwhile head winemaker of Ch Petrus, oversees the production of the wine.

Recent investments, including a new cellar, and replantings have started to bear fruit, allowing this lesser-spotted Pomerol to start expressing its hallowed terroir. The 2020 is another big step on the way to realising the chateau’s full potential and it is undoubtedly the best Certan de May we’ve ever tasted en primeur.

2020 Certan de May

95pts Jane Anson Decanter.com “This is pretty sombre, with a more Left Bank feel than many, really get the savoury and pared back dark berry feel of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend, ensuring that the pressure from the tannins is to the fore. As it relaxes in the glass, a grilled coffee bean and liquorice note comes out. This is a lovely and powerful wine that takes its foot off the pedal at the right moment. Has personality and sets itself apart. Really enjoyable, in the Gazin-style in that this is subtly powerful rather than over-exuberant. New cellars at Certan de May, harvest of Merlot September 11 to 16, and the two Cabernets September 28 and 29. Drinking Window 2026 - 2042

GBP 505 per 6 IB

Alternative formats available

Half bottles – GBP 515 per 12

Magnums – GBP 510 per 3

Double magnums – GBP 1100 per 3

Imperials – GBP 720 each