We are delighted to introduce this lovely Claret to the UK for the first time. Ballue Mondon comes from the Fontana family whose Domaine sits in the Highlands of Entre Deux Mers (the end of a great inverted ‘V’ shaped swathe of land sandwiched between the rivers Garonne and Dordogne). This is border country and it looks out on to the Cotes de Duras and Bergerac across the frontier. The Domaine lies close to the village of Gensac at the heart of the highest hills in the Gironde and is only 9 miles away from Saint Emilion which sits to the north across the river.
Off the beaten track, this area is brimming with promise. It’s a Claret hunter’s heaven. Gensac has ancient roots, it was once a fortified town. The old citadel is very small and sits on a rocky promontory overlooking the valleys of the Dureze and the Dordogne. Sadly, not much remains today of its fortified past but it still holds the charm of yesteryear with cobbled streets, ruins of ramparts and restored medieval houses.
Domaine Fontana is a multi-award winning estate that typifies Clarets that the French adore but that are hidden from the British market – until now! The Domaine encompasses Chateau Fontana, Clou du Pin and Le Bedat and was established in 1950. It is managed by the four sons of the founder, namely Bernard, Michel, Jean-Claude and Bruno. Ballue Mondon is the latest addition to their estate and represents the best of their terroir. The vineyard sits on clay limestone soils at the top of slopes reaching 120 metres at their peak. The vines face south – south west, receiving the ideal amount of sun to ensure the grapes ripen perfectly. From pruning to vinification, the estate practices traditional, sustainable growing, with only organic manure used to enrich the soil. At harvest time, the low yielding parcels are selected and their grapes used to create a structured, concentrated wine.
Delicious with roast pork and duck, Ballue Mondon also pairs very well with black pudding, lamb, pheasant, pigeon, beef and venison. Traditionally enjoyed with Cassoulet au Confit (a rich slow cooked casserole with white haricot beans and either duck, pork sausages, goose or mutton), Ballue Mondon is great with casseroles, mushroom bases dishes and rich Chinese cuisine such as stir fried pork in Hoisin Sauce.