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2016 Saint Emilion

Grapes Merlot, Cab Franc
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Saint Emilion & Satellites
Village Saint Emilion

80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Very concentrated and sweet creamy fruit, concentrated and densely fruity and tannic. It remains pure, but I still don't get this - more flow and sense of purpose needed. Drinking range: 2030 - 2040 Rating: 90-91 L&S (Apr 2017)

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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. Drinking range: 2024 - 2064 Rating: 98+ Jeb Dunnuck, (Feb 2019)

This shows a dark, toasty style at first, with notes of ganache and plum reduction, but it unwinds steadily and slowly, revealing pure cassis, cherry and raspberry fruit flavors gilded liberally with violet and anise accents. The long finish is laced with a superfine chalky minerality that imparts mouthwatering cut even as the fruit gains steam. Drinking range: 2023 - 2038 Rating: 96 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator (Jan 2019)

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. Drinking range: 2022 - 2050 Rating: 93-95 Neal Martin, (Apr 2017)

La Mondotte

La Mondotte has a less than remarkable history dating back at least to the 19th Century – things only get interesting after 1971, and even then it takes a while. In 1971 the von Neipperg family bought La Mondotte along with Clos de l’Oratoire and, surely the jewel in the crown, Château Canon la Gaffelière. Not much was expected of La Mondotte, it hadn’t made it into any St Emilion classifications, there wasn’t even a château or any wine making facilities there, the wine being made at Canon la Gaffelière and with little aplomb. Stephan von Neipperg took over the family’s St Emilion estates in 1983 and by the mid-90’s had taken the eminently sensible decision to absorb the vineyards of La Mondotte into the grander estate of Château Canon la Gaffelière, and the necessary application was made to the INAO. The INAO said no. In a fit of miraculous pique, Stephan, rather than doing away with La Mondotte, launched it at the world – in order to function as an estate in its own right a new winery and facilities were built at the vineyard, Stéphane Derenoncourt was brought in as winemaker and yields were slashed to some of the lowest in St Emilion. He might have built a château, but from the first vintage of the re-born Le Mondotte the “Château” prefix was gone. The first vintage was 1996 and it was an immediate hit. By the time the 2012 St Emilion classification was released, La Mondotte was a Premier Grand Cru Classé (B). La Mondotte is at the eastern end of the St Emilion plateau on very deep limestone soils. It sits next to Château Troplong Mondot. The vineyards are 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc, with an average age of 50 years. Yields are typically as low as 20hl/ha, and occasionally lower. The wine is aged exclusively in new wood for 18 to 24 months. La Mondotte is an unashamedly rich and concentrated style of St Emilion and has garnered much praise from Robert Parker.

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