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Chateau Bellevue Mondotte 2014

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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Winemaker Notes

Blend: 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon

Critical Acclaim

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JS 94
James Suckling
Opulent aromas of blackberries, black mushrooms and cedar. Full-bodied and chewy yet this remains fresh with dark chocolate, berries and lovely acidity. A little tight now with the firm tannins — so give it three or four years to soften.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Very lush, with a long stream of succulent blackberry, fig and boysenberry compote notes that drape over a polished structure. A graphite edge buried on the finish lends balance, but this is all about fruit. Drink now through 2028.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Bellevue Mondotte was quite a difficult wine to pin down out of barrel (as is often the case, truth be told). Now in bottle, it displays a very voluminous and generous bouquet with ample black cherries, crème de cassis and vanilla pod aromas, the new oak still very much evident. The palate is full-bodied with thick chewy tannin that exert a vice-like grip in the mouth. This must be the most powerful and intense Saint Emilion of the vintage: heady, hedonistic, opulent and perhaps a bit garish. Yet there is purity here and the oak is in sync with the fruit. You can feel some warmth on the finish, but it conveys a sense of focus. It is dwarfed by the 2014 Pavie, but those that like "a lot of wine in their wine" will prefer the Bellevue Mondotte.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
This is a rich jammy wine. Great black fruits and dark tannins are mixed with touches of chocolate and bitter coffee. It is dense, although with the acidity of the year it has a crispness that contrasts with the richness. Drink this ripe wine from 2026.
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Chateau Bellevue Mondotte

Chateau Bellevue Mondotte

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Chateau Bellevue Mondotte, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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Until recently, tiny Chateau Bellevue-Mondotte, nestled on the Pavie plateau, was virtually unknown by wine connoisseurs. The size of the vineyard - just 2.5 hectares - was undoubtedly the main reason for this involuntary anonymity. However, the second part of the chateau's name, reminiscent of its famous neighbors La Mondotte and Chateau Troplant-Mondot, gives us an idea of Chateau Bellevue-Mondotte's exceptional terrior.

St. Emilion

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Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.

St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.

Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.

The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Figeac, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vienyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.

Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

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