La Mondotte 2017

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• Domaine: Château La Mondotte
• Appellation: Saint-Emilion
• Classification: Premier Grand Cru Classé B
• Origin: Right Bank, Bordeaux, France

The story of La Mondotte is a Cinderella story if ever there was one.  Who would have thought this tiny, unclassified property in Saint-Émilion would eventually join the ranks of illustrious, star producers like Château Figeac and Château Canon La Gaffelière as a Premiere Grand Cru Classes estate? La Mondotte’s extraordinary turnaround is largely due to the hard work the von Neipperg family put into the property.  For oenophiles who love concentrated, intense, and mineral driven wines, look no further than this gem of a property in the Right Bank. 

The history of La Mondotte begins in the modern era when it was purchased by the von Neipperg family in 1971.  The von Neippergs are no stranger to the winemaking scene, having produced wine in portions of Germany for 800 years.  The von Neipperg family seems to have the Midas touch, having turned properties like Château Canon La Gaffelière into true standouts and exemplary expressions of Saint-Émilion terroir.  With all that in mind, La Mondotte was a bit of a late bloomer.  Though it was acquired the same time as some other von Neipperg estates, like Canon La Gaffelière and Clos de l'Oratoire, La Mondotte remained relatively obscure.  By 1989, the other estates mentioned were already producing knockout vintages simply because the von Neippergs had not directed their attention toward La Mondotte.  It wasn’t until 1995 when Stephan von Neipperg shifted his focus to the vineyards at La Mondotte that things started to turn around for the estate. 

Stephan von Neipperg prioritized cleaning the soils and moving to self-sustaining farming first because he believed the estate had the same potential as other Premiere Grand Cru Classés properties in Saint-Émilion.  They switched the practices over at the estate to biodynamic practices and implemented organic viticultural techniques.  As of 2014 La Mondotte was 100% Certified Organic.  With all that in mind, the most exciting part of this property’s journey was in 2012, when it was classified as a Premier Grand Cru Classe wine.  This is extremely rare for unclassified vineyards in the Right Bank region of Saint-Émilion.  In the entire history of the Saint-Émilion Classification, only one other wine made such a turnaround that it was granted this incredibly high honor. 

La Mondotte is a small, 4.5-hectare property that is planted with 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc.  La Mondotte has some famous neighbors, including Château Troplong Mondot and Château Larcis Ducasse.  The estate is located a stone’s throw east of the famous Saint-Émilion limestone plateau.  The terroir is mostly clay and silt with heavy limestone deposits in the soil.  Like its sibling, Château Canon La Gaffelière, La Mondotte has its share of old vines – some date as far back to 1939.  The wine is produced with whole berry fermentation in a gravity flow operation, and the wine is diligently crafted at very low yields.  This results in a stunning, mineral-driven wine that has enormous aging potential and can lay down for 12-15 years or more prior to reaching its fullest potential.  

Tasting Notes

"There was no frost here. Composed of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 La Mondotte simply sings of gorgeous ripe blackberries, mulberries and black raspberries with touches of sandalwood, lavender, licorice and rose hips plus wafts of garrigue and exotic spices. The palate is medium to full-bodied, rich and concentrated with firm, very silky tannins and layer upon layer of black fruits and spices, finishing very long and beautifully perfumed." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/27/2018, Issue 236), Ratings: 96-98+


More Information
Stock Status In Stock
Appellation Saint-Emilion
Vintage 2017
Brand Château La Mondotte
Shipping Weight 3.000000
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Saint-Émilion is one of the most prestigious wine appellations in the Bordeaux region of France, renowned for its exceptional red wines and rich viticultural history. Located on the Right Bank of the Dordogne River, Saint-Émilion is a place of great beauty and a UNESCO World Heritage site, thanks to its remarkable blend of natural and cultural attributes. The Saint-Émilion appellation is characterized by a diverse terroir featuring a mix of limestone, clay, and sandy soils that provide the foundation for its distinctive wines. The unique microclimates and elevations within the appellation contribute to the variety of flavors and styles found in Saint-Émilion wines.

The primary grape varieties used in Saint-Émilion wines are Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon, with Merlot often dominating the blends. These grapes thrive in the region's favorable climate, moderated by the proximity of the Dordogne River and the buffering effects of the limestone plateau.

Saint-Émilion is famous for its unique wine classification system, which divides the vineyards into four tiers: Premier Grand Cru Classé A, Premier Grand Cru Classé B, Grand Cru Classé, and Grand Cru. This classification reflects the quality and prestige of the individual vineyards and châteaux within the appellation, with only a select few achieving the highest ranking of Premier Grand Cru Classé A. Until the re-classification in 2022, Château Cheval Blanc, Château Ausone, Château Angelus, and Château Pavie were the only four members of the Premier Grand Cru Classé A tier. Out of disagreement with the standard-setting governing body, Cheval Blanc and Ausone voluntarily dropped out. Angelus followed suit shortly after. With Pavie remaining the only member, Premier Grand Cru Classé A saw the addition of Château Figeac following a long-expected and well-deserved promotion.

Saint-Émilion wines are known for their finesse, complex aromas, and beautiful balance of fruit, tannins, and acidity. While they share some similarities with wines from the neighboring Pomerol appellation, they often have a slightly more structured and tannic character due to the higher proportion of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon in the blends. With age, these wines develop a velvety texture and reveal an array of flavors, including dark fruits, floral notes, and hints of earthiness.

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