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Featured Reviews

Mondillo 2016 Pinot Noir and 2018 ‘Nina’ Late Harvest Riesling

20 December,2018

Domenic and Ally Mondillo grow superlative grapes. They have 12 ha of vineyard, established in 2001, in the Bendigo sub-region of Central Otago, with 10 ha devoted to 6 clones of Pinot Noir, these being 114, 115, 667, 777, 5 and Abel which yielded their first wine in 2004. There are also 2 ha of Riesling, which gave wine in the 2007 vintage. Around 60% of the fruit goes into the Mondillo wines, the rest contracted out. The quality of the Mondillo wines is exceptionally consistent and high, and interestingly the wines made from contracted fruit show similar characteristics; the Pinot Noir with a delicious richness without overbearing extraction (depending on how the wines are made, of course), and the Rieslings show an exoticism of aromatics. This can be interpreted as the expression of the site or terroir. Dom and Ally have had their wines made with Rudi Bauer at the nearby Quartz Reef facility, but engaged Matt Connell as of the 2016 vintage wines. From what I’ve seen, it has been a seamless transition, with the site expression continuing to show through clearly. Here, I review the new release 2016 Pinot Noir and 2018 ‘Nina’ Late Harvest Riesling.


Mondillo Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


Dark, deep, ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is softly full and voluminous with fragrant aromas of ripe dark-red and black cherry and berry fruits interwoven with violet florals forming a fine, deep core with soft, dark herb nuances along with hints of spice and oak. Medium-full bodied, the palate has sweetly rich and luscious, finely concentrated flavours of ripe, dark-red cherry and berry fruits melded with an array of dark-red and violet florals, interwoven with dark herb elements and a little spice. The fruit richness is enlivened by fresh acidity and tempered by fine-grained, flowery tannin extraction. This has very good linearity and carries to a long, nuanced finish of dark-red fruits, florals and herbs. This is a sweetly rich and luscious, finely concentrated Pinot Noir with ripe dark-red and black fruits lifted by fragrant florals and herb notes on a fine-structured palate. Match with poultry and pork over the next 6+ years. Clones 114, 115, 667, 777, 5 and Abel, from vines 15 y.o., fully destemmed and fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine spending 21 days on skins and aged 11 months in 30% new French oak. 19.0-/20 Dec 2018 RRP $45.00

Disclaimer: This wine is distributed by ‘Wine2Trade’, the company under which ‘Raymond Chan Wine Reviews’ operates

Mondillo ‘Nina’ Central Otago Late Harvest Riesling 2018

Sweet Wine from New Zealand – Otago


Bright, light straw-yellow colour with some depth, paler on the rim. The nose is finely proportioned with a tight core of ripe citrus fruit and floral aromas along with honey and nectar, a little marmalade and a layering of musky botrytis, unfolding nuances of minerals. Very sweet to taste and light-bodied, the palate has intense and concentrated, opulent flavours of citrus fruits with exotic florals, honey, nectar and musky botrytis complexity. The palate is underlined by fine fruit extract and phenolic textures, with balanced acidity lending freshness, vibrancy and cut. The wine carries to a sustained, decadent finish of honey and musk. This is an elegant, intensely flavoured, decadent, botrytised Riesling with ripe citrus and exotic floral notes with honey, nectar and musk flavours on a fine-textured palate. Serve as an aperitif, with fruit desserts and light blue cheeses over the next 4+ years. Fruit from the ‘Mondillo’ vineyard with 60% botrytis infection, fermented in tank to 10.0% alc. and 164 g/L RS, TA 10.6 g/L and pH 3.15. (375 ml) 18.5+/20 Dec 2018 RRP $38.00

Disclaimer: This wine is distributed by ‘Wine2Trade’, the company under which ‘Raymond Chan Wine Reviews’ operates

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