1996 La Mondotte - Wine Advocate # 115 - Feb 1998: One of the vintage's most extraordinary wines, the 1996 La Mondotte (800 cases made primarily from a 30-year old parcel of Merlot vines planted on the hillside between La Tertre-Roteboeuf and Canon-La-Gaffeliere) is the dream-child of Comte Stephan de Neipperg. Neipperg has done an exceptional job elevating the quality of Canon-La-Gaffeliere, and more recently Clos de l'Oratoire, both impressive St.-Emilions. Retasting this wine in November, 1997, confirmed my original estimation. It is unquestionably one of the super-stars of the 1996 vintage. The wine is atypically powerful and unctuously textured, especially for a 1996 right bank offering. It boasts an opaque ruby/purple color, as well as celestial aromas of jammy black fruits, truffles, licorice, coffee, and smoky new oak. In the mouth, the wine is full-bodied and seamless, with gorgeously integrated acidity, alcohol, and tannin. Still remarkably thick, layered, and extravagantly rich, this wine possesses considerable tannic clout in the blockbuster finish. If it continues to improve as it did between spring and late fall, it may merit an even higher rating. Amazing stuff! Anticipated maturity: 2005-2025.
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