Wine Words & Video Tape

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Château Trottevieille


Address: 33330 St Emilion

Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 00 00 70



Château Trottevieille is run by Philippe Casteja [of Château Batailley and Borie-Manoux] and gets its unusual name from a fabled old woman [vieille in French meaning ‘old lady’] who used to live on the property who would always run [trotte in French ‘to run’ or ‘trot’] to hear any news that people had to offer. For me these wines, as a left-bank fan, really hit the spot, as they have a very high proportion of Cabernet Franc in the blend that adds spice and freshness. Although geographically it couldn’t really be any further from Château Figeac, to me there is a certain similarity in the very best vintages here.

Vineyard/Terrior: 10 hectares on the limestone plateau with clay above. Planted with 50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Estate classified a St Emilion Premier Grand Cru.

Winemaking/Elevage: Aged in 90-100% new oak.

Tasting notes:

  • 2012 Deep and healthy looking; colour tight to rim; beautiful spicy Cabernet Franc tones on the nose; fresh palate with elegance; positive; fruit qualities attractive too; a lightness and elegance here overall. [49% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Franc, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon]. Drink 2016-2026. 91+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep looking; Cabernet Franc influence on the nose [as ever]; spicy and nice delicacy and freshness; palate is quite tight but there is a focused seam of fruit; pretty focused maybe a little angular on the finish. 49% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Franc, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon 89-91+ UGC Wednesday April 10, 2013
  • 2011 Mid depth; glossy look; attractive lift – Cabernet leaf from the Cab Franc; palate feels closed and grippy at present. Will settle but feels more compact and far less exciting than the great successes here in 2009 & 2010. Drink between 2016-2026 87 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep, purple at the edge; fine elegance, freshness from the Cabernet Franc, attractive and cooler. Floral tones. Compact palate, more left bank feel; acid and life. Medium bodied. Should be good but less knockout than 2009/2010 here and the palate needs to settle. 50% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Franc 2% Cabernet Sauvignon.100% new oak. 88-90 [Second] Little wet rock; minerals; some sawn wood; little less impressive than first; stalky blackcurrant note; blackcurrants again on the palate, spices, quite tannic profile; a little dry; needs to come together. Reasonably dry finish. Coffee and mocha tones. New oak on the end. Tasted blind at Groupement de Premiers Grands Crus Classes de Saint-Emilion at Chateau Canon 6/4/12. 88-90
  • 2010 Deepish – red at edge; slightly reductive note at first; blew off; blackcurrant tones; spices; elegant palate which works well in a nicely balanced style. Good length. Drink 2016-2030. 91+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep colour; Cabernet Franc freshness here; blackcurrants, chocolate; attractive and appetizing; pretty dense and layered palate; chewy but lots of richness and depth; cool and attractive more-ish St Emilion – in case you thought that wasn’t still possible. This looked wonderful during the primeur tastings and is still a delight. 93+ [Earlier] Deep red; not the most saturated; thick and concentrated, some smoke, black cherry, some stalk, attractive and thick, some red fruits too – strawberries; good palate, chew and fruit with excellent density. Lots of extract and grip too. Very good. Real finesse here the Cabernet Franc influence. 92-94+/100 6th April 2011 UGC [Second] Saturated and deep; legs; smoky tones, graphite and earth; more minerality here; more intense too; very tight and layered and intense; very fine wine here; excellent focus and precision on the palate; very, very precise; density too; precise, focused and intense. Fabulous length, simply goes on and on. Quite tremendous. 96-98/100 Tasted April 6 Groupement de Premiers Grands Crus Classes de Saint-Emilion.
  • 2009 Pretty saturated look; spicy Cabernet Franc; blackcurrants, cereal notes and attractive delicacy; blackcurrants on the palate with real ripeness; lots of tannin now emerging but good-ish flesh. This has shut down and needs five to seven years to open up. Drink 2017-2030 92+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Mid depth; lovely ripe Cabernet Franc nose; wonderfully attractive and extremely fresh; really ripe quality to the fruit; great palate and extremely fine. In the Figeac style of St Emilion and quite wonderful. Up there with Trottevielle’s equally fine 2010. Casteja is understandably very proud of this wine. Sadly not much is made, even less in this vintage cut by devastating hail. Nevertheless a great effort. 94+/100 UGC Oct ‘11
  • 2008 Glossy, mid red, some purple at edge; attractive perfumed nose; lots of oak but there is fruit here too; blackcurrants and plums beneath; palate quite chunky and intense with lots of tannin and oak. Quite enjoyable. Despite the oak and the extraction there is still freshness here. 88-90/100 50% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. UGC Oct ‘10
  • 2007 Deep and dark; satiny and ripe Cabernet Franc nose; blackcurrants on palate and some density and layers here. Chewy wine with density. Goodish effort. 87+/100 [Earlier] Mid red; some development; nice attractive nose; well done; some plums. Quite satiny palate; fine with good potential and attractive now; not overdone. Good stuff. Attractive. 90-92/100 UGC tasting Oct ‘09
  • 2006 Dense at the middle, tight to the edge; some stones and minerals, quite firm and smells like it will be gutsy and muscular; some open qualities on the palate, attractive, fruit, coffee and oak; lots of extract infact and guts, acid and tannin. Quite a mouthful as the nose suggested. Fruit, acid and tannin here. Structured and muscular. Could be good. 88-90/100 MW Institute Nov ’10.

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