Last Thursday La Mondotte 2017 was released, bookended by a flurry of First Growth releases. La Mondotte’s price and offering is one of the best of the campaign and we therefore reserved it to be a final prestigious release on its own. In 2017 La Mondotte has been awarded a superb score from the Wine Advocate 96-98+, surpassing the score for the 2015 and 2016; Lisa Perrotti-Brown calling it a ‘masterful La Mondotte’. James Suckling has awarded it 96-97, putting it on par with the 2016 and describing it as an ‘Incredibly complete for the vintage’. In 2017 the quality here is exceptional, the estate being spared any frost, it is naturally blessed and given its release price it is a must own wine in the vintage.
When we saw the price of La Mondotte 2017, we double and triple checked it, such was our delight, yet surprise. La Mondotte 2017 has released for £1,428 per case of 12, or £714 per case of six and should be applauded, as this reflects a 40% discount on the 2016 release price, the largest of any major Estate in this campaign. It also reflects a 35% discount to the average trading price of the 2015 and a 52% discount to the similar scoring 2010, which incidentally received a score of 96-98+ from the Wine Advocate in barrel. Moreover, the average trading price of vintages from 2015-2016 is £2,211, as such the 2017 release price offers a 35% discount to the average vintage trading price. As these discounts suggest, the 2017 has the lowest Price over Points Score (POP) of any vintage with a score of 84, the next closest is the 2014 and 2013 with 100. It is instructive also that the 2014 is trading above the release price of the 2017, making the 2013 the only vintage lower than the 2017, yet the 2013 has a score of 92-94. What makes this price in 2017 all the more remarkable is that this 4.5 hectare micro estate produces less than 1,000 cases a year!
The release price of £1,428 per 12 bottle case, when compared with the current market price of past vintages, suggests an appreciation in excess of £1,100 once the market price has adjusted. The projected market price of £2,600 increases to around £2,900 should the 2017 vintage realise the upper bound of its 96-98+ score. The discount the 2017 vintage shows to the current UK market and the benefit of buying on release is further demonstrated by the £1,500 price of the 95-point 2012 vintage. As scarcity increases and the vintage improves in bottle, those who have taken an early position in the wine should be handsomely rewarded.
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, which 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 Estate 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 exponent of modern winemaking techniques, embracing and experimenting with 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. La Mondotte is aged in 100% new French oak for and average 18 months, with no fining or filtering.
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, a 100 points in 2009 and 99 in 2010 from Robert Parker. In September 2012 La Mondotte was classified as Grand Cru Classe, one of only two Estates to earn the Premier Grand Cru Classe status. 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.
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