Red, For laying down

2016 La Mondotte, St Emilion

2016 La Mondotte, St Emilion

Red | For laying down | La Mondotte | Code:  45686 | 2016 | France > Bordeaux > St-Emilion | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Medium Bodied, Dry | 12.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

WA

93-95/100

WS

97-100/100

WA - The 2016 La Mondotte is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc this year, picked between 29 September and 15 October and matured in 70% new oak. The alcohol level is around 14.5%. It has a lucid purple hue in the glass. The bouquet is very perfumed, very pure with luscious red cherries, blueberry and a hint of sloes, the new oak discrete and allowing the terroir to shine through perhaps more than the 2015 last year. The palate is silky smooth on the entry, but underneath the bonnet, there is considerable tannic backbone that certainly can be felt more towards the finish that exerts a light grip. In a strange way, it reminds me a little of Château Canon! Give this 4-5 years once in bottle.
Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate. 28th April 2017.

WS - This is a towering display of purity, with unadulterated cassis and raspberry fruit coursing along live-wire acidity while light chalk, anise and black tea notes fill in. Has serious grip, but it's buried in that jaw-dropping core of fruit. And this has minerality to burn. A stunner. 
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator. April 2017. 

The Producer

La Mondotte

La Mondotte

La Mondotte is a tiny 4.5 hectare vineyard located just east of the St-Emilion limestone plateau between Troplong-Mondot and Tertre-Rôteboeuf. It is owned by Count Stefan von Neipperg who also owns Canon-La-Gaffelière.

In the early 1990s he tried to officially merge the vineyards of Mondotte and Canon-La-Gaffelière but was thwarted in his efforts by the governing authorities on the grounds that Canon-La-Gaffelière was a St. Emilion Grand Cru Classé and Château La Mondotte was not. Incensed, he set out to prove the authorities wrong by installing a fermentation facility at La Mondotte and showing what its terroir was capable of producing.

La Mondotte's clay-rich soils and the almost perfect aspect of the steep vineyards produce super-ripe Merlot grapes and a smaller proportion of Cabernet Franc grapes. These are fermented and then matured in 100% new oak barrels for 12-18 months.

La Mondotte produces extraordinarily rich, opulent and intense and are now increasingly difficult to find.

The Grape

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

The Region

St-Emilion

St-Emilion

St Emilion is one of Bordeaux's largest producing appellations, producing more wine than Listrac, Moulis, St Estèphe, Pauillac, St Julien and Margaux put together. St Emilion has been producing wine for longer than the Médoc but its lack of accessibility to Bordeaux's port and market-restricted exports to mainland Europe meant the region initially did not enjoy the commercial success that funded the great châteaux of the Left Bank. 

St Emilion itself is the prettiest of Bordeaux's wine towns, perched on top of the steep limestone slopes upon which many of the region's finest vineyards are situated. However, more than half of the appellation's vineyards lie on the plain between the town and the Dordogne River on sandy, alluvial soils with a sprinkling of gravel. 

Further diversity is added by a small, complex gravel bed to the north-east of the region on the border with Pomerol.  Atypically for St Emilion, this allows Cabernet Franc and, to a lesser extent, Cabernet Sauvignon to prosper and defines the personality of the great wines such as Ch. Cheval Blanc.  

In the early 1990s there was an explosion of experimentation and evolution, leading to the rise of the garagistes, producers of deeply-concentrated wines made in very small quantities and offered at high prices.  The appellation is also surrounded by four satellite appellations, Montagne, Lussac, Puisseguin and St. Georges, which enjoy a family similarity but not the complexity of the best wines.

St Emilion was first officially classified in 1954, and is the most meritocratic classification system in Bordeaux, as it is regularly amended. The most recent revision of the classification was in 2012

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