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Featured Reviews

Mondillo Vineyards - Wine2Trade Portfolio

01 January,2010

Mondillo is the wine brand of Domenic and Ally Mondillo who have 12 ha of vineyard in the Bendigo region of Central Otago. Domenic came from the United States to Central Otago as a restaurateur, owning the famous ‘Roaring Meg’ and Chico’s establishments for some time before embarking on a viticultural profession with Gibbston Valley Wines. There, he was instrumental in establishing some of that company’s top vineyards. His experience led him to establish his and Ally’s own vineyard in 2001.

The vineyard site was selected for its coverage over three terraces, which Domenic believes gives more consistent ripening than a sloped vineyard. There are 10 ha of Pinot Noir, planted to clones 5, 114, 115. 667, 777 and Abel on four different rootstocks yielding their first wine for the 2004 vintage, and 2 ha of clone 239 Riesling yielding wine in 2007. Both Domenic and Ally are personally involved in tending the vineyard.

From the start, the wines were made at the Quartz Reef facility. In 2016, the Mondillos engaged Matt Connell, who has had an association with Domenic back to days in Oregon, to make their wine with them, the first vintage at Aurum, but at the spacious Hinton facility in Alexandra from now.

The Mondillo wines account for approx. 60% of the yield, the rest sold as contract fruit. The wines made were first a Pinot Noir and a dry Riesling. Both of these wines have won multiple gold medals since their inception. The Mondillos introduced a sweet Riesling, named ‘Nina’ with the 2011 vintage, this followed by a super-premium ‘Bella’ Pinot Noir with the 2013 vintage. In 2016, a Rosé wine was added to the portfolio. All of these too have received high critical acclaim. The quality is primarily attributable to the healthy fruit from a superior vineyard site. Many wines made from fruit from the Mondillo vineyard have also gone on to do well at judgings and tastings.

Domenic’s responsibilities to their venture include viticulture, winemaking and marketing. Ally also is involved in the viticulture, but specialises in administration, marketing and graphic design. Both Domenic and Ally are very personable and engaging, and their personalities are part of the reason for their loyal following.

Archived tasting notes on wines no longer commercially available can be seen by clicking here


Mondillo Bendigo Central Otago Riesling 2013

Riesling from New Zealand – Otago

Full, pale straw colour with some depth. This has a very elegant, tightly held nose with lifted and exotic florals along with lime fruit infused with minerals. Honeysuckle elements unfold, the aromatics expressed with real finesse. Dryish to taste, the palate is refined and taut with beautifully aromatic fruit flavours of white florals, hints of exotic fruits, limes and minerals. A little talc-like richness is present. The mouthfeel is very fine featured with crisp, poised, lively acidity, carrying the fruit to a delicate, long lingering finish. This has developed into a state of gorgeous vitality and composure. 5+ years ahead. 19.0/20 Sep 2014 RRP $28.00

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

Brilliant straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, pale on rim. The nose is very fresh and youthfully taut with white florals, limes and mouthwatering mineral aromas, revealing nuances of exotic tropical fruits in the glass. Dry to taste, concentrated and intense flavours of florals, limes and minerals form an intense core. The fruit extract is considerable and the palate has a firm, driven, grainy linearity. The wine is racy, brisk and zesty from the acidity which adds to the thirst-quenching dryness and great drive. The flavours lead to a strong and very long, sustained finish with honied and floral nuances. This is a very concentrated, exotic flavoured dry Riesling with great fruit extract and mouthwatering acidity. It will benefit from some time in bottle, and will develop well over the next 5-6+ years. Serve as an aperitif, with seafood, and Asian cuisine. Fruit from the ‘Mondillo’ vineyard in Bendigo, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.5% alc. and 6.8 g/L RS. 18.5/20 Oct 2013 RRP $28.00

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

Mondillo Central Otago Rosé 2017

Rose from New Zealand – Otago

Bright, light cerise-pink with youthful purple hues and some depth. This has a fresh, bright and fragrant nose with aromas of vibrant red cherries, and raspberries and cream, along with a subtle amalgam of soft herbs and red florals, and a suggestion of confectionary. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate ha a sweetly rich and gently concentrated core of raspberries and cream with cherry notes, entwined with red florals and subtle notes of mouthwatering fresh herbs, unfolding a hint of confectionary. The fruit flows along a fine, dry-textured phenolic threaded line with balanced acidity, leading to a lingering finish of raspberries and cream. This is a fresh, vibrant, aromatic dry rosé with flavours of raspberries and cream on a softly concentrated palate with mouthwatering herb and textural elements and a hint of confectionary. Serve with dim sum, Asian cuisine, tapas and Mediterranean fare over the next 2 years. Clone 5 fruit from the ‘Mondillo’ vineyard in Bendigo, given 48 hours skin contact and fermented in stainless-steel to 13.5% alc. and 3 g/L RS. 18.5-/20 Aug 2017 RRP $28.00

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

Mondillo Bendigo Central Otago Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

Full, even, dark ruby-red colour with light, youthful purple hues. The nose is elegantly presented and seamlessly refined with tightly bound aromas of dark red cherry and berry fruit infused with violet florals, nuances of liquorice, pepper and spices, all harmoniously interwoven. Medium-full bodied and elegantly concentrated, tightly bound flavours of dark red cherry and berry fruit are entwined with thyme and fennel herbs, spices and liquorice. The fruit is lifted by dark red and violet florals. The palate is sleek and has a satin-like smoothness and flow, and follows a very fine line with flowery tannins, carrying through to a very long and sustained finish of cherries and florals. This is a beautifully sleek, seamless and elegant Pinot Noir with aromatic cherry and berry fruit with herbal detail. Match with poultry and pork, and with Asian fare over the next 5-6 years. Clones 5, 114, 115, 667 and 777 from the ‘Mondillo’ vineyard, fully destemmed and fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine spending 21-24 days on skins and aged 11 months in 30% new French oak. 18.5/20 May 2015 RRP $45.00

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

Mondillo Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

Dark, moderately deep ruby-red colour with purple hues, paler edged. This has an elegantly presented nose with a concentrated core of ripe black cherry and dark-red berry fruits, tightly packed with complexing nuances of thyme herbs with subtle liquorice notes, unfolding savoury minerals and dark-red and violet florals. The aromatics blossom in the glass. Medium-full bodied, the palate is softly packed with densely concentrated and harmoniously interwoven flavours of dak cherry and dark-red berry fruits along with thyme herbs, minerals and liquorice. The fruit is rich and sweet, and mouthfilling, unfolding savoury herbal detail, and flows along a smooth, near-seamless line. The tannin extraction is fine-grained and supple, with soft, ripe acidity enlivening the fruit. The wine carries to a soft but concentrated, sustained finish of dark red fruits, florals and herbs. This is a rich, harmoniously balanced Pinot Noir with savoury herb layers and a supple, smooth palate. Serve with pork, lamb and beef dishes over the next 5-6+ years. Clones 5, 114, 115, 667 and 777 from the ‘Mondillo’ vineyard, Bendigo, fully destemmed and fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine spending 21-24 days on skins and aged 11 months in 30% new French oak. 18.5/20 Sep 2016 RRP $45.00

Mondillo ‘Nina’ Central Otago Late Harvest Riesling 2016

Sweet Wine from New Zealand – Otago

Bright, light golden-hued yellow colour, pale on the edge. This has a softly concentrate and packed nose of honey and nectar with lime marmalade botrytis aromas along with fresh lime and floral fruit notes and subtle, steely mineral elements. Very sweet to taste and light-bodied, the fruit expression is a little restrained, showing flavours of limes, white florals, lime marmalade and honey. The palate is rich and luscious with a soft unctuousness, along with a very smooth and fine-textured line, the refreshing acidity balanced and integrated. Exotic jasmine florals and wild honey nuances blossom and lead to a long, softly concentrated and rounded finish. This is a rich, rounded and unctuous botrytised Riesling with concentrated flavours of lime marmalade and honey with exotic florals. Match with fruit desserts, panna cotta and crème caramel over the next 4-5 years. Hand-picked botrytis affected grapes from the ‘Mondillo’ vineyard, making up 65-70% of the pick, Bendigo, fermented in stainless-steel to 10.0% alc. and 176 g/L RS, TA 9.2 g/L and pH 3.17. (375 ml) 18.0+/20 Oct 2016 RRP $38.00

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