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. www.mondillo.com

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Mondillo Central Otago Riesling 2018

Riesling from New Zealand – Otago


Bright, pale straw colour with slight green hues, near colourless on the rim. The nose is elegant and delicate with finely concentrated and intense aromas of limes, lemonade and tangerines harmoniously entwined with exotic florals, a little honeysuckle and musk, and a touch of saline minerality. This has aromatic beauty. Dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate is gently rich with exotic flavours of limes, lemonade and citrus fruit with exotic florals, honeysuckle and a little sherbet and musk, with thirst-quenching mineral nuances. The palate is poised with the soft richness balanced by crisp acidity, and the wine is carried with good energy and tension to a long, lingering finish of florals and honey. This is a gently rich dry Riesling with exotic citrus, floral, honied and musky flavours on a poised palate with crisp acidity. Serve as an aperitif and with Asian fare over the next 4 years. Clean Riesling fruit from the ‘Mondillo’ vineyard, WBP and cool-fermented to 12.0% alc. and 5.69 g/L RS, TA 7.5 g/L and pH 3.20. 18.5+/20 Sep 2018 RRP $28.00

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

Mondillo Central Otago Rosé 2018

Rose from New Zealand – Otago


Bright, light cerise-pink colour with some depth and pale purple hues on the rim. The nose is softly fresh and bright with good volume of raspberries and cream with fragrant dark-red florals and a subtle amalgam of mouthwatering herbs and confectionary. The aromatics show good depth and intensity, growing with aeration. Dryish to taste and medium-fullish bodied, the palate has a rich and softly rounded core with concentrated flavours of raspberries and cream with red florals, a hint of red liquorice, with subtle suggestions of confectionary. The palate is vibrant and lively, with fresh, lacy, thirst-quenching acidity balancing the gentle sweetness and fruit richness. The wine flows smoothly with good vitality to a long, lingering, finely concentrated finish. This is a fine and smoothly concentrated dryish rosé with raspberries and cream, florals and hints of confectionary with excellent vitality. Serve with antipasto and tapas over the next 2 years. Pinot Noir fruit from the ‘Mondillo’ vineyard, given 5 days skin contact and cool-fermented to 13.5% alc. and 7.0 g/L RS. 18.5/20 Sep 2018 RRP $28.00

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

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 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

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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