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
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.
Ch Trotanoy 2009
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.
Ch Trotanoy 2008
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.
Ch Trotanoy 2005
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.
Ch Trotanoy 2001
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
Ch Trotanoy 2000
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
Ch Trotanoy 1998
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
Ch Trotanoy 1989
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
Ch Trotanoy 1982
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