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Decanter interview: Christian Moueix

The man whose name has been synonymous with Pétrus for more than 40 years has, in fact, not worked at the estate since 2011. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been busy. Andrew Jefford meets him to talk about his properties, his obsession with drainage, and handing over the reins

Trotanoy through the years

That persistence of hue finds its echo in an impressively elongated drinking window; even the 2010 is not forbidding, while the 1982 still has at least a decade ahead of it. Vintage fidelity is another Trotanoy hallmark, and the style is always well-rounded, with truffle and tobacco two recurrent allusions. Expect greater depth and intensity and more aromatic finesse from future vintages, as the vineyard work pays further dividends and the existence of the second wine nudges quality of the grand vin further.

Ch Trotanoy 2010
19pts/20 (96/100pts)
Truffley already, with vellum and bramble scents adding further subtlety. Masterful and complete: ample soft tannins and poised acidity carry the carpeting black fruits to the very bottom of the stairwell.
Price: £200*
Drink 2018-2050
Alc 14.5%

Ch Trotanoy 2009
18.5pts/20 (95/100pts)
Black fruit is a hallmark of fresher years at Trotanoy, and the ripest years sing out with almost confit red fruits and cream. Cream: the apogee of ripeness, but backed by caressing tannins. Great Pomerol can exert an almost visceral, pheromonal appeal: this illustrates that perfectly.
Price: £200
Drink 2015-2045
Alc 14.5%

Ch Trotanoy 2008
16.5pts/20 (88/100pts)
A more airy, open-pored style than its two younger siblings; classical and poised, yet complete and refined, too, with the ripe glow which is the land’s birthright.
Price: £133
Drink 2016-2028
Alc 14%

Ch Trotanoy 2005
18pts/20 (93/100pts)
A mushroomy note to begin with, then the classic truffle and tobacco after some time in the glass. Both red and black fruits in evidence here, and coiled energy, held in reserve; flavoury, chunky tannins calve from the fruit in the mouth.
Price: £145
Drink 2018-2040
Alc 13.5%

Ch Trotanoy 2001
16pts/20 (86/100pts)
Poised, fresh, light, graceful and enchanting. The fruit is a little simpler than in the ‘big’ vintages, but the intrinsic balance of this wine and its sustaining tannic structure give it plenty of running power.
Price: £151 (ib) Fine & Rare
Drink 2015-2030
Alc 13.5%

Ch Trotanoy 2000
18pts/20 (93/100pts)
A glorious symphony of ripeness here: resonant tobacco, leather, Caribbean spice and soft chocolate combine in a seamless aroma-flavour continuum which fills nose and mouth. The tannins are soft and enrobing, combining with the low acidity to hugely sensual effect.
Price: £175 (ib) Bordeaux Index
Drink 2015-2040
Alc 13.5%

Ch Trotanoy 1998
18pts/20 (93/100pts)
The substantial 1998 has peak visceral appeal just now: truffle, cream and Havana leaf whirl together in a heady mix. On the palate, this wine remains dense, forthright, tightly layered and emphatic, with a little more supporting acidity than in the ripest years and a slightly earthier spectrum of flavours.
Price: £272 (ib) Fine & Rare
Drink 2015-2035
Alc 13.5%

Ch Trotanoy 1989
17pts/20 (90/100pts)
A bubbling vat of cream here, with complexity coming from the notes of dried wild mushroom and wild flowers, too. The central palate is long, sweet, rich and graceful, drying just a little towards the finish.
Price: £198 (ib) Fine & Rare
Drink 2015-2029
Alc 13.5%

Ch Trotanoy 1982
18.5pts/20 (95/100pts)
Still deep red in colour, with a complete and disarmingly lovely nose in which fresh, graceful red fruits are still apparent. Its beguiling, slow-dropping, tonguecoating flavour still has a fresh fruit core, too, gently robed in chocolate and tobacco-leaf complexities. Grand, venerable Pomerol.
Price: £337 (ib) Bordeaux Vintners
Drink 2015-2025
Alc 13.5%

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