Hopefully next time they’ll let us through the bars….
If your name is Rothschild then there is pretty much nothing that you don’t have, I fully expect you are a nightmare to buy presents for. That is until recently none of the Rothschild family owned a Champagne house – and now – well a number of them do. Three branches of the family. The three branches in question happen to know rather a lot about making wine.
In Domaines Baron de Rothschild, Eric de Rothschild has brought together a collection that calling enviable, great, world class or whatever is probably to do it down. This is a collection of properties headed by Chateau Lafite, Rieussec, L’Evangile and Duhart-Milhon and with Vina Los Vascos (Chile), Domaine d’Aussieres (Corbieres) and Bodegas Caro (Argentina).
The group named Baron Phillipe de Rothschild is headed Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Clerc Milhon Rothschild and 5th growth d’Armailhac with interest outside Bordeaux being celebrated Napa Estate Opus One, Chile’s Almaviva (in partnership with Concha Y Toro), and Domaine de Baron’arques in the Languedoc.
The third branch formed by Edmund de Rothschild features Chateau Clarke, Chateau des Laurets, Flechas de los Andes, Rimapere and South African estate Rupert & Rothschild.
However I digress. This powerful family decided to move into Champagne and so bought an estate previously called Napoleon in Vertus on the Cote de Blancs – and have Veuve Fourny as next door neighbours.
I didn’t visit the cellars when I was visiting Champagne, however I did get to taste the Brut NV soon after I arrived back. Currently two further wines are available to buy a Brut Rose’ NV and a Blanc de Blancs Brut NV although I assume Vintage and even prestige bottlings could well follow as time moves on and extended periods of ageing have happened.
Champagne Barons de Rothschild Brut NV
A the drier end of Brut with fresh citrus fruit. Chardonnay very much to the fore here. Some nice yeasty raw bread dough notes, quite a fine mousse. Apricot and toasty notes on the palate. Good length and some real complexity. I’d guess this is aged longer than the bare minimum for NV Champagne as it shows some decent maturity. There is a finesse about it too but at the same time it’s really very open and has immediate appeal and drinkability. 92 points.