"This almost pure merlot shows a solid core of dark berries and a hint of dark chocolate. Full-bodied, ripe and round with compact tannins. Extremely long and intentional. Gorgeous finish. Drink after 2025."
96 Points, JamesSuckling.com
"Bellevue Mondotte is magnificent in 2016. Stunningly rich and concentrated, with tremendous structure, the 2016 has so much to offer. Crème de cassis, raspberry jam, lavender, graphite, game, menthol and a whole rush of inky blue/purplish fruit emerge from this explosive, captivating Saint-Émilion. In 2016 Bellevue Mondotte balances sumptuousness with saline-infused energy and persistence. It is without question one of the truly great wines of the vintage. 2026-2041"
94 Points, Antonio Galloni
"The 2016 Bellevue Mondotte has a heady, quite alcoholic bouquet, as I remarked when tasting it out of barrel, and it lacks the delineation and terroir expression of, say, Pavie Decesse or Pavie. The full-bodied palate offers firm grip, luscious ripe tannin and black cherries mixed with boysenberry jam and fig. The grippy finish is almost oppressive. This is a gargantuan Saint-Émilion – nothing new there – though I would like more precision on the luxuriant finish. 2025-2055"
93+ Points, Vinous
St.-Émilion is the star of Bordeaux’s Right Bank, north of the Dordogne River. The rich red wines produced in St.-Émilion, based on Merlot and Cabernet Franc, are less tannic and generally more fruit-driven in flavour than the Cabernet-based wines of Left Bank. Merlot thrives on the plateaus high above the Dordogne, where the soil is filled with sand and clay, a perfect medium for creating opulent, fruit-forward wines. With a typically savoury character, St.-Émilion wines are sometimes called the “Burgundies of Bordeaux.” These refined reds, with loads of finesse, are elegant companions to beef, chicken, pork and duck.
The wines of St.-Émilion were not included in the famous 1855 classification of Bordeaux, which ranked wines of the Left Bank. In 1955, St.-Émilion published its own classification, based on soil analysis, wine quality and reputation of the properties. Unlike the 1855 classification, St.-Emilion’s system requires properties to continuously prove themselves. The list is revised regularly, most recently in 2012. There are two tiers within the classification, Premier Grand Cru Classé and Grand Cru Classé. There are currently just 18 Premier Grand Cru properties and 64 Grand Cru Classé properties.
The St.-Émilion appellation is home to hundreds of individual producers, enhancing the variety of wines made there. Many of the properties remain small, family-run enterprises, unlike the large châteaux of the Left Bank. The area is also the base of France’s controversial micro-châteaux or garagiste wine movement; these innovative winemakers operate outside the traditional classification system, making very high quality (and very expensive) highly extracted wines.