The Classification of Saint-Émilion is an ever moving target. Most recently updated in 2012, this stamp of quality does not allow for producers to rest on their laurels. But it also dangles a tantalising carrot of promotion. In this offer, we’re looking at three hares in the chase for ‘A’ status. These three wines are 1er Grand Cru Classé B, Super Seconds of the Right Bank. Enjoy a cross vintage selection from the Château Belair-Monange, Château Figeac and La Mondotte.
In this three-bottle collection you’ll find one bottle each of the following: Château Belair-Monange 1er grand cru classé (B), St-Emilion 2015 Château Figeac 1er grand cru classé (B), St-Emilion 2018 La Mondotte 1er grand cru classé (B), St-Emilion 2016
This is pretty gorgeous, with a velvety texture that lets nearly exotic cassis, plum and blackberry fruit reduction flavors roll through. Has a beautiful bass line of warm earth and smoldering tobacco notes all while keeping its sensational mouthfeel. The encore on the finish makes you realize this is the
serious gourmet stuff. One of the highlights of the vintage.
100 points, Wine Enthusiast
Blue fruits, minerals, lavender and liquorice aromas are wonderful. Full body and ultra-refined tannins with an integration and refinement that make the wines seamless and beautiful. The powerful tannins hide from you at first, but what structure in the end. It goes on for minutes. Try in 2024.
99 points, James Suckling
The 2016 La Mondotte is gorgeous in this vintage. Over the last few years, Stephan von Neipperg has gradually started to pick earlier. Nowhere is that more evident in his wines than at La Mondotte, which in 2016 impresses for its power, tension and energy. Much less obvious than it has been in the past, La Mondotte is arrestingly beautiful at this stage. Bright floral and mineral notes run through a core of dark red and purplish fruit in this stunningly beautiful, expressive Saint-Émilion. In a word: tremendous. Tasted two times. 2021-2041
97 points, Antonio Galloni
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.
97 Points, JamesSuckling.com
St.-Émilion is the star of Bordeaux’s Right Bank, north of the Dordogne River. The rich red wines produced in St.-Émilion, based on Merlot and Cabernet Franc, are less tannic and generally more fruit-driven in flavour than the Cabernet-based wines of Left Bank. Merlot thrives on the plateaus high above the Dordogne, where the soil is filled with sand and clay, a perfect medium for creating opulent, fruit-forward wines. With a typically savoury character, St.-Émilion wines are sometimes called the “Burgundies of Bordeaux.” These refined reds, with loads of finesse, are elegant companions to beef, chicken, pork and duck.
The wines of St.-Émilion were not included in the famous 1855 classification of Bordeaux, which ranked wines of the Left Bank. In 1955, St.-Émilion published its own classification, based on soil analysis, wine quality and reputation of the properties. Unlike the 1855 classification, St.-Emilion’s system requires properties to continuously prove themselves. The list is revised regularly, most recently in 2012. There are two tiers within the classification, Premier Grand Cru Classé and Grand Cru Classé. There are currently just 18 Premier Grand Cru properties and 64 Grand Cru Classé properties.
The St.-Émilion appellation is home to hundreds of individual producers, enhancing the variety of wines made there. Many of the properties remain small, family-run enterprises, unlike the large châteaux of the Left Bank. The area is also the base of France’s controversial micro-châteaux or garagiste wine movement; these innovative winemakers operate outside the traditional classification system, making very high quality (and very expensive) highly extracted wines.