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Domaines Barons de Rothschild Reserve Speciale Bordeaux Rouge 2005

Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
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    4.0 1 Ratings
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    Winemaker Notes


    Inspired by a grand tradition of quality, the Domaines teams have one priority: selection. Their mastery and perfect knowledge of Bordelais cepages are responsible for the unparalleled quality of their wines. The cepages used in Reserve Spéciale Rouge are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. In 2005, there was very low rainfall (500 mm instead of the usual 850 mm). Despite the rain and storms in August, the overall conditions were very good: cool night temperatures and sunny periods during the day helped the grapes reach perfect maturity. The climate was really ideal. The grapes were picked between the 18th and 25th of September for the Merlots and from the 30th of September to the 6th of October for the Cabernet Sauvignon. The selected plots were vinified separately in stainless steel vats, after being de-stemmed and crushed. This was followed by alcoholic fermentation under temperature control and maceration over 2 to 3 weeks. Ageing took places in vats. Fining with egg whites and cold stabilization were operated before bottling the wine. Continual controls (sensory, microbiological and chemical) were carried out throughout the wine making stages.


    The color is crimson with good intensity. The nose elegant and complex, notes of black berries & pepper. The palate is concentrated and balanced with ripe, ample and blended tannins. A long aromatic & spicy finish.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Domaines Barons de Rothschild

    Domaines Barons de Rothschild

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    Domaines Barons de Rothschild, Bordeaux, France
    2005 Reserve Speciale Bordeaux Rouge
    Owner of Château Lafite Rothschild for five generations, the Rothschild family has been based in this Bordeaux vineyard since 1868. High values and the respect of traditional methods make them passionate about harmony and excellence. Their wines bear witness to that passion year after year. Their skills have patiently enriched through the generations, with world-renowned success.

    This wine is from Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite)-Each wine is made with high standards delivering wines of elegance and finesse in the tradition of our great Bordeaux house, Chateau Lafite-Rothschild.


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    One of the most important wine regions of the world both qualitatively and quantitatively, Bordeaux is a powerhouse producer of wines of all colors, sweetness levels, and price points. Separated from the Atlantic ocean by a coastal pine forest, the mostly flat region has a mild maritime climate marked by cool wet winters and a warm, damp growing season, though annual differences are enough to make vintage variation quite significant. Unpredictable weather at harvest time may negatively impact the ability of cornerstone variety Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen fully, while humid conditions can encourage the spread of rot and disease (although in the case of the region’s sweet white wines, “noble” rot known as botrytis is highly desirable). The Gironde estuary is a defining feature of Bordeaux, splitting the region into the Left Bank and the Right Bank. The vast Entre-Deux-Mers appellation lies in between.

    The Left Bank, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, contains the Médoc, Graves, and Sauternes, as well as most of the region’s most famous chateaux. Here, Merlot is commonly planted as an insurance policy in case Cabernet fails to fully ripen in difficult years. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec may also be used in blends. This tends to be the trend of the more structured and age-worthy side of Bordeaux.

    Merlot is the principal variety of the Right Bank, with Cabernet Franc as its primary sidekick, with the other three varieties available for blending. The key appellations here include St. Emilion and Pomerol, whose wines are often plush, supple, and more imminently ready for drinking.

    Dry and sweet white wines are produced throughout the region from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and sometimes Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris. Some of the finest dry whites can be found in the the Graves sub-appellation of Pessac-Léognan, while Sauternes is undisputedly the gold standard for sweet wines. Small amounts of rosé and sparkling wine are made in Bordeaux as well.

    Bordeaux Blends

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    One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

    In the Glass

    Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

    Perfect Pairings

    Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

    Sommelier Secret

    While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

    UCW12431_2005 Item# 92274