Jeff Leve Does 2012 Troplong Mondot, due to the lateness of the harvest remind you of other vintages at Troplong Mondot?
Xavier Pariente “The weather conditions were similar to 2008. In both vintages we experienced a humid, cold spring coupled with a hot, dry summer at the beginning of autumn. But not only the weather, the balance of 2012 Troplong Mondot is similar as well to 2008.”
Jeff Leve Many growers in St. Emilion experienced problems with uneven flowering? What took place with the 2012 Troplong Mondot Growing season?
Xavier Pariente “Due to the homogeneous average age of the vines at Troplong Mondot, we had very little problems with flowering. Even spread out, the flowering went very well.”
Jeff Leve If the flowering wasn’t that much trouble, what were the difficulties you experienced with the 2012 Troplong Mondot growing season?
Xavier Pariente “April was rainy. Also the vines stopped growing for a while and there was a problem with potential mildew. All this made the treatments and ploughing the soils more difficult. “
Jeff Leve Did any specific grape variety perform better for you in the 2012 Troplong Mondot vintage?
Jeff Leve When did you start and complete your harvesting?
Xavier Pariente “We started the harvest with the Merlot October 9 and picked until October 12. We skipped 3 days and harvested from October 15 to October 17 and skipped another couple of days and picked from October 19 until we finished on October 23. This was late for the Right Bank.”
Jeff Leve Even though 2012 Troplong Mondot was still a late harvest for you, did you end up picking earlier than anticipated, due to the late season rains?
Xavier Pariente “Yes, but only for the Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s important to remember, that Cabernet Sauvignon only represents 8% of the vines planted.”
Jeff Leve How did the late harvest affect you?
Xavier Pariente “It only moved forward the work done in the cellar. In this year, the malolactic fermentations are earlier than usual though.”
Jeff Leve How was the weather for you during harvest?
Xavier Pariente “It was a little difficult this year. We had a lot of humidity. But we also had a draining table which really helped us a lot.”
Jeff Leve How many pickers do you bring in to work the harvest?
Xavier Pariente “Up to 50 pickers per day, but that really depends on the day of picking because we used the optical sorting technology as well.”
Jeff Leve How did optical sorting help this year?
Xavier Pariente “It gave us a homogeneous sorting and more volume sorted during the same time timeframe.”
Jeff Leve Compared to last year, did you need to spend more or less time on sorting this year?
Xavier Pariente “We ended up spending less time sorting the 2012 Troplong Mondot because for this year, we used optical sorting on the entire vintage.”
Jeff Leve What are your yields with the 2012 Troplong Mondot?
Xavier Pariente “We are at 37 hectoliters per hectare.”
Jeff Leve What are your alcohol levels?
Xavier Pariente “We are between 13.7% to 14.9% alcohol at Troplong Mondot.”
Jeff Leve For the 2012 Troplong Mondot, what steps are you taking this year during vinification and the elevage?
Xavier Pariente “We are conducting integral vinification in 600 liter thermoregulated barrels. These are prototypes for only 8 lots. In total, we have 4 lots of Merlot, 3 lots of Cabernet Franc and just one lot of Cabernet Sauvignon. The 600 liter barrels will go through a cold pre fermentation. For the aging of 2012 Troplong Mondot, the wine will age in 80% new, French oak as well. “