Château Tronquoy-Lalande

Sitting atop a gravel outcrop and surrounded by trees, the château at Tronquoy-Lalande is surrounded by twenty hectares of vines and looks out over the Gironde estuary and is itself visible for miles around. The name of this Saint-Estèphe estate derives from its location at Lalande and the name, Tronquoy, of a previous owner and the house itself, with its wonderful square towers, was built in the 18th century. By the 1960s the château was virtually derelict and was restored by previous owner, Madame Arlette Casteja-Texier and her husband. They also began the process of modernising the equipment and improving the viticulture with the help of advisers from major négociant Dourthe, who at that time had exclusive rights to sell the resulting wines.

Historically the property had a reputation for producing wines with real backbone when young that needed years to come round. In recent years this has changed and new owner Martin Bouyges, who also controls grand cru classé Château Montrose, has accelerated the process of improving the quality of the wine while balancing earlier drinkability with ageworthiness. He has been assisted in this by the renowned consultant Jean-Bernard Delmas, who spent many years as technical director at Château Haut-Brion, and since his retirement by Hervé Berland, who joined from Château Mouton-Rothschild.

The soils here are exceptional. Classic Médoc gravel, they are home to cabernet sauvignon, merlot and petit verdot vines with an average age of 40 years. The grapes are hand-picked and fermented in cement tanks before spending 12 months in 35% new oak barrels followed by a further 12 months in stainless steel.

The wines are increasingly highly regarded and represent excellent value for money.

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