Domaines Barons de Rothschild Legende Saint Emilion 2011
Legende offers consumers a journey through the different terroirs and tastes of the heralded Bordeaux region through the eyes of one of the region’s most prestigious producers, Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite). “It all started in the nineties. They wanted to offer their consumers a discovery of the different terroirs and tastes of Bordeaux. A name had to be found. A name that could live up to the expectations. A hint to the Rothschild family and the rich history of Chateau Lafite. A legende was born.” Crafted by long-time Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) winemaker, Diane Flamand, Legende wines demonstrate a remarkable balance between tradition and modernity. With a product range that includes each of the five major appellations in Bordeaux: Bordeaux Rouge, Bordeaux Blanc, Medoc, Saint-Emilion and Pauillac, Legende wines have an approachable style, inspired by every day drinkability and enjoyment.
Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.
St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.
Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.
The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.
Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.
With generous fruit and supple tannins, Merlot is made in a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol, where it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to spectacular result. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly in California’s Napa Valley. Somm Secret—As much as Miles derided the variety in the 2004 film, Sideways, his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.