Esperance de Trotanoy 2014 Pomerol
- Buy 6 for £65.55 each and save 5%
- Buy 12 for £63.48 each and save 8%
A beautiful Pomerol made at one of the greatest Crus in the region, Chateau Trotanoy. Powerful and dense with the telltale notes of dark chocolate, forest floor, liquorice, black plums and bitter black cherries. In a class of its own.
Bordeaux is the region of France, along with Burgundy, that most fine wine drinkers gravitate towards. The reds are almost always a blend of anything up to 6 black varieties: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carmenere. Depending on what part of Bordeaux you are in determines which of these varieties dominates, but largely speaking, Merlot is generally the number one.
The heartland of the Cabernets is the Medoc, the left bank of the Gironde Estuary, which is sub-divided into communes and AOCs, the most famous of which are (north to south) St Estephe, Pauillac, St Julien and Margaux. Among these 4 communes are where the Grands Crus of the Medoc 1855 Classification are to be found, but there are other AOCs where you can find less expensive wines such as Haut Medoc, Listrac-Medoc and Moulis.
To the south of the city of Bordeaux you can find the Graves, Pessac-Leognan and Sauternes AOCs, the latter of which is for sweet white wines whilst the former two are known for both reds and dry whites, normally from a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon with a smattering of other minor varieties.
The right bank of the estuary is Merlot territory. This is where you will find St Emilion, with all its satellite villages, and Pomerol, the latter being the centre of gravity for Merlot-based wines. However, the most important vineyard of all is the Entré deux Mers - between the seas, or rivers in this case - where the bulk of Bordeaux's wines hail from, many of which are simply labelled as Bordeaux or Bordeaux Superieur, and Bordeaux Blanc Sec or Entré deux Mers for its whites
Chateau Trotanoy is truly one of the greats of Pomerol, located on the very favourable clay and clay gravel soils, known as crasse de fer, for its richness in iron, which somehow translates into the power of the wine. Whilst not in the same price league as its stablemate Petrus, Trotanoy does bear some resemblance to the aforementioned wine for its sheer power and depth, but most importantly, the powerful tannins which which frame the wine for its long ageing ability, and the layers of complexity which unfurl over time.
Esperance de Trotanoy is the 2nd wine of the estate which was first produced in 2009. Although the grapes for this blend are sourced from a part of the vineyard which is more dense in gravel, it is not made every year, so there is also a degree of cellar selection too, as some years this parcel will also become part of the Grand Vin, Chateau Trotanoy. Esperance de Trotanoy offers the authentic flavour and power of this Cru but at a fraction of the price.
The vineyard is planted to 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, a classic Pomerol blend, but the resulting wines will vary from year to year.
Pomerol and parts of St Emilion are the only places in the world where you can grow world class Merlot, the odd exception being Bolgheri (Masseto in particular), Val di Cornia (Redigaffi from Tua Rita) and the one spot in Chianti Classico where Castello di Ama makes l'Apparita. Our American cousins would argue for Napa Valley, but I have never been convinced (perhaps I need to get out there). There is no worthy, world class example (my opinion) in the Antipodes, and South America only gets so good.
In other words, to experience the greatness of Merlot you must come to its spiritual homeland of the clay gravel plateau of Pomerol.