Chateau La Mondotte 2005
This fabulous vineyard was never exploited until Stephan von Neipperg took it over in 1996. Situated on a perfectly exposed slope planted in limestone and clay, the vines average 50 years of age, and are cropped at low yields (in 2005, the yields were 20 hectoliters per hectare). As do many of Bordeaux's avant garde garage wines, La Mondotte sees a Burgundian-styled pre-fermentation cold maceration, pigeage, and aging on its lees with no serious clarification prior to bottling. The inky/purple-tinged 2005 reveals gorgeous aromas of roasted herbs, incense, Asian spices, graphite, coffee, and oodles of blackberry and black cherry fruit. The limestone soils provide a freshness and distinctive minerality. This powerful, multidimensional, full-bodied, rich St.-Emilion exhibits a hint of unctuosity (the wine is a blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc), high tannins, fresh, lively acidity, and an exceptionally long aging curve. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2040+.
This has an incredible nose, with blackberry, black licorice and intense coffee and toasty oak character. Full-bodied, with layers of beautiful oak and ripe fruit. Long and voluptuous. Best after 2017.
Bright ruby-red. Extravagantly ripe nose dominated by black raspberry, blackberry, coffee and bitter chocolate. The palate offers a rare combination of freshness, sweetness and power, with an extraordinary solidity and richness to the black raspberry and truffle flavors but also great vinosity. Wonderfully full and concentrated wine with an explosive back half. This offers great early balance but is built for the long haul. I prefer this to the Canon La Gaffeliere today, just as this wine was clearly superior in the heat-wave vintage of 2003. Owner von Neipperg describes the 2005 Mondotte as "the best wine of my life."
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With the potential to produce some of the finest white wines in the world...
With the potential to produce some of the finest white wines in the world, Germany is one of the world’s most misunderstood winegrowing countries. Many wine consumers of a certain age will recall with amusement and a twinge of horror the sugar-laden Liebfraumilch of their formative drinking years, and surely these bulk-produced, saccharine bottles can still be found. But today Germany is building its reputation upon fine wines at all points of the spectrum from sweet to dry, the best of which can age for many decades. The world’s northernmost region for quality wine production, Germany faces some unique viticultural challenges due to its extreme marginal climate. Fortunately for the lover of German wine, because these wines are still a bit under the radar, they tend to remain surprisingly affordable—for now.
Germany is best known for white wines, particularly Riesling, which is cold-hardy enough to survive very chilly winters, and has enough natural acidity to create balanced wines even at the highest levels of residual sugar. These are classified by ripeness, and can be picked early for dry wines with searing acidity, or as late as January following the harvest for lusciously sweet ice wines. Other important white varieties include fairly neutral workhorse Müller-Thurgau as well as Grauburguner (Pinot Gris) and Weissburguner ([Pinot Blanc]). Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) grown in warmer pockets of the country is, at its best, elegant and structured enough to rival red Burgundy.