The majesty of the right bank in 2020 is reflected in Chateau La Mondotte which true to form has delivered a masterpiece. The ‘magic of Merlot’ shines through with power, fresh like the breath of spring, yet soft like summer rain, boasting 90% Merlot with 10% Cabernet Franc. It is well known that the Chateau is sited on the St. Emilion plateau, on soils rich in clay, which again were key to retaining freshness in 2020. Its natural disposition has resulted in 96-98 points from Jeb Dunnuck, calling it “A true blockbuster in the vintage is the 2020.” It has received 95-97 points from Neal Martin of Vinous Media who says The 2020 La Mondotte does not mess about, delivering a payload of ripe, opulent blackberry, cassis, India ink and figgy scents, exotic but very sensual and managing to retain impressive delineation. This constitutes one of the finest La Mondotte releases in recent years.” This is unquestionably one of the wines of the vintage and among the finest in their history.

It is released today at £1,596 per case of 12, or £798 per case of six. This reflects a 20% discount to the average trading price of the last 15 vintages. With the lower scoring 2016 priced at £2,200 the value is obvious. Though it is worth noting today’s price reflects a 18% increase on last year – however, this is due to the drop of 25% in production estimated at 750-800 cases this year. This is a must own wine in 2020, a remarkable effort.

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La Mondotte is one of the smallest vineyards in St.Emilion, sited east of the St. Emilion plateau, between Troplong-Mondot and Tertre-Roteboeuf. La Mondotte has soils rich in clay, with superb aspect and natural potential for creating super ripe Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The vineyard was purchased in 1971 by Joseph-Hubert von Neipperg and passed to his son Stephan the Count of the Holy Roman Empire and the current proprietor and owner of Canon la Gaffeliere. In fact, in the 1990s Stephan tried to merge the two Estates into one, but was not permitted to, based on Canon la Gaffeliere having a Grand Cru Classe status and La Mondotte not. This rejection was followed by huge investment in La Mondotte, von Neipperg committed to showing La Mondotte’s potential. He installed a fermentation facility at La Mondotte, introduced biodynamic farming techniques, making La Mondotte a self-sustaining organically farmed vineyard. Von Neipperg has been an exponent of modern winemaking techniques, including micro-oxygenation, for a time, but now this moderation is tempered with tradition. It has also benefited from close involvement from oenologist Stéphane Derenoncourt. This resulted in the 1996 vintage, being awarded 97 points, marking a new era for La Mondotte, followed by the 1998 receiving 96 and the 2000 vintage 98+ from Robert Parker. Since then La Mondotte has been one of the highest scoring Estates in Bordeaux, receiving 99 points in 2005, 100 points in 2009 and 99 in 2010 from Robert Parker. In September 2012 La Mondotte was classified as Premier Grand Cru Classe, one of only two Estates to earn this status. La Mondotte is aged in 100% new French oak for an average of 18 months, with no fining or filtering. The average bottle of Chateau La Mondotte has seen a 150% rise in the last five years off the back of its growing global cachet and critical acclaim.