Bordeaux Wine Review: Barons de Rothschild Reserve Special
I have never tried a Bordeaux wine before trying one from the Barons de Rothschild a few days ago, and I was immediately hooked. There are many variations of Bordeaux wine, but this particular reserve special 2020 vintage had some unique flavors and aromas that I had not experienced with other types of wine before.
But what is Bordeaux wine exactly and what makes it so special? What grapes are involved and how is this wine made? Keep reading and learn more about the magic that goes into making this kind of wine.
Understanding Bordeaux Wine
Bordeaux wine, as the name suggests, hails from the Bordeaux region of France. It is unique because it is a mix of both Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. However, there are some cases in which this wine may be blended with other grape varieties such as Malbec or Cabernet Franc.
The exact blend will mainly depend on where the grapes come from and where the wine is manufactured. There are even some white Bordeaux varieties even though this wine is traditionally red. This kind of wine starts out much in the same way as any other wine. It first involves harvesting and crushing certain varieties of grapes and then letting those grapes and skins ferment in their own natural sugars.
French Bordeaux wine is quite a full-bodied wine even though there are also some varieties with more of a medium-body. Bordeaux is also known to be rich in tannins. This makes Bordeaux a perfect wine to age. Some of the best vintages come from the 1990s.
The tannins give the wine a unique savoriness that is simultaneously counteracted by the fruitier notes of the wine. Of course, the exact flavors will depend on the particular blend and type of Bordeaux.
Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Reserve Special 2020
The Barons de Rothschild Bordeaux I tried had an immediately noticeable bouquet. This is an important consideration since I have not been known to have a particularly good sense of smell. However, even I was able to pick up on very rich aromas from this wine, particularly the scent of leather and black pepper.
These smells are also reflected in the flavor of the wine. Besides these more earthy flavors, there were also faint hints of plums and violets. I found this wine to be very full-bodied, especially in comparison to the Spanish Rioja wine that I tried not long before this type.
The color of the wine is also unique. It is not a pure red as with Port or Rioja but rather a beautiful shade of purple-red. This makes sense since the blend is 70% merlot which is known for its purple tones. It is also part of the Appellation Bordeaux Controlee, meaning that it has to go through rigorous requirements and quality checks to be considered true Bordeaux wine.
While the wine is rich in tannins, I did not find this wine to be particularly drying. It was also quite affordable considering its quality. If you’re looking for an interesting Bordeaux to try, I certainly recommend this variety.
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