La Mondotte wines are concentrated, ripe, rich and intense. Their minerality-driven style of Bordeaux is unique to Saint-Émilion (and this 3-pack is not to be passed up).
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.
97 points, Vinous (January 2019)
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 (January 2019)
Not far off the magical 2015, the 2016 La Mondotte comes from a tiny vineyard of clay and limestone soil located next to Pavie Decesse. A blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, this behemoth boasts a deep purple color as well as a brilliant array of crème de cassis, blackcurrants, crushed rocks, and graphite. Full-bodied and beautifully concentrated, with liquid minerality emerging with time in the glass, this legendary Saint-Emilion in the making needs 5-7 years of bottle age and will keep for 3-4 decades.
98+ points, JebDunnuck.com (February 2019)
Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the 2017 La Mondotte explodes with beguiling scents of wild blueberries, black raspberries and warm plums plus nuances of lilacs, tilled soil, fallen leaves and iron ore. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers mouth-filling, crunchy blue and black fruits with a wonderfully plush texture and loads of freshness, finishing long and savory.
96 points, Wine Advocate (March 2020)
Extremely complex on the nose with blackberries, chili spice, chocolate and fresh walnuts. Full-bodied, tight and very minerally and racy. Steely tannins. Fresh and vivid. Seamless, soft tannins give this form and beauty. Fresh and powerful. Profound.
97 points, JamesSuckling.com (December 2019)
Not shy, this pumps lush, dark plum, cassis and fig fruit forward, backed by contrasting waves of grippy tobacco and licorice snap. Dense and muscular until the finish, when a well-buried chalky minerality begins to emerge, adding refinement and cut. A big style, built for the cellar. Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
97 points, Wine Spectator
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2018 La Mondotte strolls nonchalantly out of the glass with expressive scents of plum preserves, blueberry compote and chocolate-covered cherries, followed by suggestions of candied violets, licorice, hoisin and black truffles with a waft of ground cloves. It's medium to full-bodied with seriously impressive tension and wonderfully ripe, velvety tannins supporting the generous black fruit preserves layers, finishing with amazing length and loads of panache. It will require a good 4-5 years to unlock some of its finer nuances, then drink this powerhouse over the next 25+ years.
97+ points, Wine Advocate (April 2021)
The 2018 La Mondotte melds together the richness of the vintage with the bright, chalky notes that are such a signature of this tiny estate. Inky dark fruit, graphite, crushed rocks, lavender and spice gradually open in a dense, layered Saint-Émilion loaded with personality. I can't wait to see how it ages.
96+ points, Vinous (March 2021)
Blackberry, plum, mushroom and wood undertones. It’s full-bodied with firm, ripe tannins. Savory and fleshy texture on the palate. Well balanced. Flavorful finish with length. Such polish and composure for a young wine. So classy!
98 points, JamesSuckling.com (January 2021)
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.