Tronquoy-Lalande is a cru bourgeois in St-Estèphe and the sibling-estate to the illustrious Château Montrose. Before the Bouygues brothers bought both châteaux in 2006, Tronquoy-Lalande was under-performing and relatively overlooked in this country. Following a ten million euro renovation, recent vintages have shown rapid improvement and we think this is one to watch, particularly with this new release at just £240 per dozen in bond.
Like Latour, Tronquoy-Lalande is not part of the en primeur system and released its 2018 vintage for sale for the first time just yesterday. Scoring as high as 94-96 points by Jeb Dunnuck, this ultra-concentrated vintage suits the opulent style of the château very well, with a higher percentage of Merlot in the blend (51%) than is usual for St-Estèphe. When we tasted the 2018 last week with Tronquoy-Lalande's Roxane Bouyssou, she explained that the terroir here is a mixture of clay and large stones ("you would think you are in Châteauneuf-du-Pape!") which retain warmth, whilst the clay retains water in hot years. We found the tannic structure in the 2018 superb, with wonderful ripeness and a nascent silky texture.
Alongside the 2018, we tasted the 2015 and 2014, and 2009 from our own stocks. Roxane explained that winemaker Yves Delsol is keen to express the character of each vintage more than is usual in the Haut-Médoc and we certainly found this to be the case, with each wine being utterly representative of the year.
The 2015 was full of dark black fruits, but with great finesse to the velvety tannins. Brilliant now, this will be better still in another couple of years in the cellar. Quite different in character, the 2014 is in what Roxane described as a 'gourmand' style, with spiced, rounded black and red fruits, now at their peak. The 2009 was a great surprise, again clearly of its year, still showing masses of vibrant fruit, with exceptionally smooth, developed tannins.
The 2018 and 2014 are available in bottles or magnums, due to land by June this year. We have just one case each of bottles and magnums of the '09, available early May, if you are sufficiently quick off the mark!
2018, '15 & '14 offered ex-Château. Expected to land in the UK autumn 2022. 2009 available May.