The Real Review – Mondillo’s golden new releases, by Bob Campbell MW – Feb 22, 2022

Posted by Will Macgregor on
The Real Review – Mondillo’s golden new releases, by Bob Campbell MW – Feb 22, 2022
Domenic Mondillo. MONDILLO VINEYARDS

When two review samples from one winery earn 95 and 96 points I am keen to meet the maker and visit the vineyard. In this case, both the man and his vines are equally impressive.

I have reviewed 32 Mondillo wines starting with the 2009 vintage. Nearly 50% have earned a score of 95-points or better.

Mondillo’s vineyard is on a moderately steep hillside high in Bendigo. It has a great aspect and, to my eye at least, appears to be fairly frost-free. The vines look well-fed and are neatly trimmed. In fact, the whole property, including a stylish cellar door, looks orderly and well-polished. It makes sense that the wines are of an equally high standard.

Domenic Mondillo was born in Rhode Island in the US. The grandson of Italian immigrants, he grew up with a healthy appreciation for good wine and fine food. After earning a degree in culinary arts he moved to New Zealand and established a successful restaurant in Queenstown and ran it for nearly a decade. After gaining a viticulture and oenology qualification, Domenic and his wife Ally became involved in designing and developing vineyards throughout Central Otago.

They established their own vineyard at Bendigo in 2001. I have reviewed 32 Mondillo wines starting with the 2009 vintage. Nearly 50% have earned a score of 95-points or better. That is quite an achievement.

Mondillo Nina Late Harvest Riesling 2021 (375ml)

A luscious dessert wine with lime, apricot, mandarin blossom and a suggestion of honey supported by a line of vibrant acidity that perfectly balances the wine’s sweetness and prevents any suggestion of cloying. A bright, tangy wine that makes a great aperitif. (NZD $38)

Mondillo Bella Reserve Pinot Noir 2019

From four rows in Mondillo’s sloping Bendigo vineyard. It’s a deeply-scented, concentrated pinot noir with ripe dark-fleshed plum, cassis, mixed spice, dark chocolate, wood smoke and nutty oak flavours supported by a backbone of ripe tannins. (NZD $125)


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