Tag Archives: New World wine

Domaines Baron de Rothschild/Lafite

Thibaut Cuisset

Thibaut Cuisset

World Wide Estates: Domaines Baron de Rothschild/Lafite.  

The Rothschild’s have made their mark in the wine world and any wine lover visiting the wines of Bordeaux, whether on location or not, should include at least one of their wines.  Consistency has been a trademark.  Quality has been another.  At times they have hit the ball out of the park and more frequently, they have produced throughout their range of wines products that demand attention and score well.

My first introduction to Bordeaux wines was the humble Mouton Cadet.  However, it had

Cellars at Domaine Baron de Rothschild

Cellars at Domaine Baron de Rothschild

enough of the real thing to encourage my exploration and love of Bordeaux wines.  But Bordeaux is changing fast.  The methods or the New World and the influences of technology are being adopted and felt as I have already remarked in other articles.  What you thought of Bordeaux may not be true anymore, but one thing will be true: Bordeaux is still a top ranking name in the world of wine.

Now to a reasonably priced but still impressive current offering: Domaines Baron de Rothschild/Lafite Reserve Speciale, Bordeaux.  It is in my glass and I will make some comments that you can add to, so get yourself a glass and evaluate with me.  The one I tasted had been on argon for a while and seemed none the worse for the passage of time.  If the delivery system is foolproof, argon can be best way to keep a wine in perfect condition.

First impression as I tilted my glass was dark, dark, almost black at the core.  Aromas!  Yes, for a Bordeaux of this price all I could have expected — blackberry and some black currant of course, blueberry, licorice, caramel, and toast all presented with an edge of minerality.  So far, not disappointing and, in fact, an interesting, complex, soft nose with promise.

It’s medium to full bodied with strong, young tannins a medium length and a pleasant finish.  If compared with a Napa Cab, I found it less fruity and, as might be expected, more of the Old World minerality showing.  Some ability to age a little can be expected.  The left bank of Bordeaux is not Cabernet Sauvignon but the famous blend of grapes dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon that makes for a distinctive wine copied the world over.

Taste!  Your comments count.  We all experience wine through the emotional bank of our memories and so, yes, you are right.  Enjoy.

Rating:  88

From Gigondas, France to Rotie Cellars in Washington State

Autumn Grape Vines, Red Mountain, Benton City, Washington

Autumn Grape Vines, Red Mountain, Benton City, Washington

Compare Rotie Cellars 2012, Southern Blend, Washington State 

With 65% Grenache, 25% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah this is a blend of the grapes similar to the  Southern Rhone that will approximate Guigal’s Gigondas Rouge.

It  would appear at first impressions that more new oak has been used on the Rotie wine.  Oak

Rotie Cellars 2012 Southern Blend

Rotie Cellars 2012 Southern Blend

aromas and ripe dark fruit dominate on the nose.  Prune (for some noses, plum) with coffee and smoke create a solid aromatic foundation.  The expected effects of Mourvedre are easily detected.  This is a much darker wine than the Gigondas and although the individual flavors are not so apparent on the nose, a soft attack (which this dark wine does not forecast) is however what we find on the palate.  The synchronism of the elements make for a harmonious experience in the mouth.  This is a soft monster.

A New World wine often shows these characteristics: fullness and softness.  Riper fruit, deeper tones, application of noticeable oak and the overall attempt by the winemaker clearly stated by this wine that “I am something.”  Both wines stimulate our emotional responses.  The Rotie also asks the question, “Do you really think I come from the New World and am crafted for New World palates?  And have I succeeded?”  Answer: Yes, if this is your style.

What about Old World mineralogy?  Any of that here?  Hardly!  One might strain to notice it, but the design is fruit at its fullest with character added for distinctiveness.  Personally the prune/plum character is not my favorite and the grapes were a little too ripe at harvesting for me, but that’s a style issue.

Make your analysis.  Which do you like best and why?  What are the similarities and dissimilarities?  Does the comparison advance your knowledge of what is happening in France these days?

Rating:  89

Syrah — Another New World vs Old World Comparison

Overlooking the vineyard

Overlooking the vineyard

Tardieu Laurent Cotes du Rhone Villages 2013

Here we have a Syrah (60%) Grenache (40%) blend from the Southern Rhone valley.  The Cotes du Rhone Villages offers great value and can be very appealing.  The style of this wine is finer and more reserved than the Guigal we evaluated in the previous post, but its emotional appeal is in emotion:  charm.  With a faint nose, dark fruits emerge: blackberry, huckleberry, and notes of leather and dark chocolate.  Raspberry lurks around the edges of the aroma.

This wine is very complex.  It ends with a balanced, medium finish and lots of pleasure.

Rating: 90

Compare the Tardieu with Luca Syrah, Lafarge Double Select 2011 from Valle de Uco Mendoza, Argentina.  

Again we are treated to full but delicate flavors.  Star anise, lavendar, bramble, blackberry, rhubarb, allspice and oak aromas combined with earth and herbs make for complexity and depth.  It is a sophisticated wine — somewhere between an Australian Shiraz and a Rhone Syrah.  As you sip this wine, note the difference that terroir makes to both the style and flavors of the wine.  I would not call this wine silky; rather more tactile, perhaps like velvet.

With these comparisons, you will see wine in its many expressions.  All are red with similar grapes, but all are so very different.  Seek to express your own emotional responses to them.

Rating:  90

A Wine Series to Indulge Your Mind and Emotions

Overlooking the vineyard

Overlooking the vineyard

Old World-New World Experiences with Wine — France and the Rest of the World

(A Series to Indulge Your Mind and Emotions)

France is indisputably the Fatherland of modern wine.  Wouldn’t it be fun and educational to experience the wines of France and the wines of the New World (New world is all the wine regions outside of Europe) side-by-side with a guide?  It will give a greater meaning to the words “Old World” and  “New world.”  It will expose you to wine and at the same time, it will stimulate your senses and develop your wine appreciation and knowledge.

France has its Old World and New World, too — the “new world,” in this case, being the south of France around the Mediterranean.  But we will treat all of French wines as Old World in these articles.  Already, French wines have been compared to wines of the New World and you may have seen the film Bottle Shock, which portrays the 1976 wine world earth shaking event.  Watch it, or watch it again!

So what has happened since?  You will answer that.  This is not a class but an experience we will both enjoy, so taste along with me and experience the fruit of the vine in a new and informative way.

We will visit the regions of France and choose some New World wine regions from which to compare wines.  I will tell you where to go to get the suggested wines and also urge you to add a wine selection of your own, if you wish.

In the near future, you will find on this website a wine-tasting course like no other.  It will focus on how to taste and many surprises will greet you.  Add the course to your experience and you will immerse yourself in yet more wine experiences.  “Wine is emotion in a glass” and the course will certainly tantalize your emotions and, at times, send them into euphoria.

Grab an Old World or New World wine and enjoy it.  We’ll start our adventure next week with, “Wine arrives in France.”