Domaines Barons de Rothschild Reserve Speciale Pauillac 2012
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.
The leader on the Left Bank in 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 The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification that goes back to 1855.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 most outstanding wines in all of Bordeaux.
Defining characteristics of fine wines from Pauillac (i.e. Cabernet-based Bordeaux Blends) 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.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.