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Chateau La Mondotte 2005

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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 99
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This fabulous vineyard was never exploited until Stephan von Neipperg took it over in 1996. Situated on a perfectly exposed slope planted in limestone and clay, the vines average 50 years of age, and are cropped at low yields (in 2005, the yields were 20 hectoliters per hectare). As do many of Bordeaux's avant garde garage wines, La Mondotte sees a Burgundian-styled pre-fermentation cold maceration, pigeage, and aging on its lees with no serious clarification prior to bottling. The inky/purple-tinged 2005 reveals gorgeous aromas of roasted herbs, incense, Asian spices, graphite, coffee, and oodles of blackberry and black cherry fruit. The limestone soils provide a freshness and distinctive minerality. This powerful, multidimensional, full-bodied, rich St.-Emilion exhibits a hint of unctuosity (the wine is a blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc), high tannins, fresh, lively acidity, and an exceptionally long aging curve. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2040+.
WS 97
Wine Spectator
This has an incredible nose, with blackberry, black licorice and intense coffee and toasty oak character. Full-bodied, with layers of beautiful oak and ripe fruit. Long and voluptuous. Best after 2017.
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Chateau La Mondotte

Chateau La Mondotte

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Chateau La Mondotte, France
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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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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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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.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. 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.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

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 Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

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.

AHN103602_2005 Item# 103602

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