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Domaines Barons de Rothschild Reserve Speciale Pauillac 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    12.5% ABV
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    12.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    2008 is the smallest crop since the frost of 1991: 20% less in volume compared to 2007 vintage which already showed a deficit. After an early bud, grapevines suffered from late frost that ruined part of the crop in many vineyards. As in 2007, 2008 vintage was saved thanks to the particularly favorable, dry and sunny months of September & October.

    The color is a deep ruby.
    The nose is discreet, elegant and flattering with wooded, vanilla and spicy notes. The wine is full in mouth, powerful and well-balanced with a peppery aromatic persistence and an interesting freshness on the finish. A very typical and classic Pauillac with a good aging potential.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Domaines Barons de Rothschild

    Domaines Barons de Rothschild

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    Domaines Barons de Rothschild, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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    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.

    Pauillac

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    The leader on the Left Bank as far as number of first growth classified producers within its boundaries, Pauillac has more than any of the other appellations, at three of the five. Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild border St. Estephe on its northern end and Chateau Latour is at Pauillac’s southern end, bordering St. Julien.

    While the first growths are certainly some of the better producers of the Left Bank, today they often compete with some of the “lower ranked” producers (second, third, fourth, fifth growth) in quality and value. The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification that goes back to 1855. The finest chateaux in that year were judged on the basis of reputation and trading price; changes in rank since then have been miniscule at best. Today producers such as Chateau Pontet-Canet, Chateau Grand Puy-Lacoste, Chateau Lynch-Bages, among others (all fifth growth) offer some of the finest wines in all of Bordeaux.

    Defining characteristics of fine wines from Pauillac include inky and juicy blackcurrant, cedar or cigar box and plush or chalky tannins.

    Layers of gravel in the Pauillac region are key to its wines’ character and quality. The layers offer excellent drainage in the relatively flat topography of the region allowing water to run off into “jalles” or streams, which subsequently flow off into the Gironde.

    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.

    EPC18494_2008 Item# 109132