Chateau La Mondotte 2016
Blend: 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
So much black truffle and blueberry on the nose. Decadent and aromatic. Wet soil. Indian ink. Full-bodied, polished and so velvety with fantastic depth of fruit and ripe tannins, yet powerful and fresh. Slightly minerally and salty underneath.
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. Rating: 93-95
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.
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.