Chateau Bellevue Mondotte 2018
Blend: 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This is really refined with intense tannin's that are wonderfully polished, yet powerful. So much crushed stone, mineral, blackberry and blueberry with black-olive and lavender undertones. It’s full-bodied with composure and purpose and a long finish. Chalk undertones. Tight at the end. Small production. Try after 2025.
Suave and alluring toast and melted licorice notes draped over a core of warmed plum, raspberry and blackberry confiture flavors make this a real headturner. Very polished and focused in feel, thanks to a buried graphite hint that keeps it all honest. Beautiful wine. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The acquisition of Château Bellevue-Mondotte in 2001 by Gérard Perse is the latest episode in a passionate process, strictly based on the quality of the chosen terroirs, whether they are prestigious, such as Château Pavie, or little known, such as Clos Lunelles or Château Bellevue-Mondotte.
Partly enclosed by Château Pavie-Decesse, on the clay-limestone plateau of Saint-Emilion, Château Bellevue-Mondotte truly benefits from an "immense" terroir, as Gérard Perse likes to emphasize. Overlooking the Dordogne valley by more than 80 meters, the small estate (2.5 hectares) combines in an optimal way the qualities required for a high-level viticulture: natural poverty of the soils, excellent sunshine thanks to the southern exposure, natural drainage of the grounds because of the slope, very little gelling character of the vineyard protected from the northern wind.
In the vineyards as well as in the cellar, the Perse spirit reigns with a lot of rigor, passion and attention, with the aim of elaborating the most beautiful harvests for the most precise vinifications. The annual production is very small, around 400 cases. The teams of Gérard Perse harvest the grapes by hand before vinification in thermo-regulated wooden vats and an 18 to 24-months ageing period, 80 to 100% in new barrels. The result is Château Bellevue-Mondotte, a dense, well-defined Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, with blackberry, cherry, blackcurrant and the toasted notes of its breeding. The tannins are present but well-framed and speak in favor of long cellaring, over 15 years.
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, Ausone, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards 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.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.