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Chateau La Mondotte 1996

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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WS 97
Wine Spectator
An amazing wine, the 1996 La Mondotte (approximately 800 cases made from a 30-year old parcel of 100% Merlot planted on a hillside between Le Tertre-Roteboeuf and Canon La Gaffeliere) is a super-star. If readers cannot get excited by tasting the 1996, they should change beverages. It is amazing for both its appellation and the vintage, revealing a remarkable level of richness, profound concentration, and integrated tannin. The thick purple color suggests a wine of extraordinary extract and richness. This super-concentrated wine offers a spectacular nose of roasted coffee, licorice, blueberries, and black currants intermixed with smoky new oak. It possesses full body, a multidimensional, layered personality with extraordinary depth of fruit, a seamless texture, amazing viscosity, and a long, 45-second finish. The tannin is sweet and well-integrated. This blockbuster St.-Emilion should be at its best between 2006-2025.
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Chateau La Mondotte

Chateau La Mondotte

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Chateau La Mondotte, France - Other regions
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La Mondotte is located on the eastern part of the Saint-Emilion plateau next to Troplong-Mondot. This 4.5 hectare vineyard is an absolute gem. Its outstanding terroir (clay limestone soil with very silty clay and a rocky subsoil) has all the natural qualities to produce very great wine. Excellent hydric regulation encourages the vines to sink their roots deep into the soil. The superb sun exposure and fine natural drainage due to the steep slope make this a very early-maturing terroir.

The vines are an average of 50 years old and the vineyard contains only premium grape varieties (75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc). Ripening, especially of Merlot, is almost invariably early and complete. The terroir, age of the vines, and infinite attention paid to viticulture and oenology, combine to produce truly great wine at La Mondotte. The terroir also confers unparalleled finesse. This rare wine (maximum annual production of just 11,000 bottles) is always in very great demand.

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St-Émilion

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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, 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.

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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.

MAN514681_1996 Item# 514681