Château Lafite Rothschild around the world
Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) are a first growth from Bordeaux and gained this top classification in 1855. There was only 4 at the time (Château Mouton Rothschild gained this status in 1973 making a total of 5 first growths). Lafite certainly has the reputation as being one of the best wines in the world and they have taken their experience to the new world winemaking regions.
Do you know how many Domaines they own outside of Europe?
- Domaine de Long Dai, Shandong, China (from 2009)
- Viña Las Vascos, Colchagua, Chile (from 1988)
- Bodegas Caro, Mendoza, Argentina (from 1999)
Inside France, they own the Domaine Aussières, Languedoc (from 1999) and then there are the Chateaux’s in Bordeaux: 4th Growth Château Duhart-Milon, Pauillac (part of the family since the early 18th Century), Château L’Évangile, Pomerol (from 1990), 1st Growth Château Rieussec, Sauturnes (from 1984) and Château Paradis Casseuil, Entre-Deux-Mers (which came with the package when purchasing Château Rieussec). Quite a few to keep them busy, but quite a few for us to work our way through.
Now let’s travel across to New Zealand. The son of Baron Edmund de Rothschild Benjamin purchased 24 hectares of vineyards in one of the top areas of Marlborough, New Zealand called Rapaura. This has the Wairau river running by to it’s north. He teamed up with one of the top winemakers in New Zealand, Terry Peabody of Craggy Range and they have planted Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
The wines comes from a single vineyard called Rimapere and in Maori (the indigenous Polynesian people of mainland New Zealand) this mean “5 arrows”. If you look at the logo of the Rothschild family you will understand the name choice.
The Sauvignon Blanc is a classy style with lots of citrus fruit. Find my tasting note below for the 2020 vintage:
Medium plus intensity on the nose with lemon aromas, passion fruit and white flowers on first sniff. Followed by some lime zest and a slight wet wool edge.
The wine is light and elegant with a real grapefruit acidity. A more restrained style but with bags of flavour. A little freshly cut grass mixing with gooseberries along with some tangerine and a little creaminess.
Get it from Ocado – right now it’s £15.99 and at this price you will find it good value for money.
If you are pairing Sauvignon Blanc with cheese, you may have heard of the perfect pairing, which is Goasts cheese, but those fruity flavours and often grassy notes do pair with many others. Gouda, Feta, Gorgonzola, Parmigiano Reggiano and Brie.
And recently I discovered that the Rothschilds also have a project making cheese: Brie de Meaux Fermier (it’s the only one in the world to be awarded the AOP distinction).