From A Legendary Family
On 8 August 1868, Baron James de Rothschild purchased Château Lafite, an estate with a vineyard first planted in the late 1600s. Starting in the 1960s, three more château were purchased (in Pauillac, Sauternes and Pomerol).
Expansion of the Rothschild wine enterprise moved beyond Bordeaux with wineries in Chile, Southern France and Argentina. Since 2008, Rothschild has been developing a vineyard in the Penglai region of China.
While best known for producing stellar Bordeaux wines with prices that can soar into the thousands, Domaines Barons de Rothschild has also produced a pair of very affordable labels since 1995. We recently tasted a pair of wines from their L’egende range.
Bordeaux Within Reach
I’m often surprised by friends who will plop down $15 to $20 for a middling, mass-produced California wine, while overlooking some great values from Europe and France in particular. France produces wines in all price categories and often the quality is far above an inexpensive domestic wine.
When you can score a Bordeaux for under $25 produced by the family that produces some of France’s greatest wines, that’s a victory. We sampled the L’egende Bordeaux Rouge 2016, which retails for about $17, and the L’egende Medoc 2016, which lists for about $24.
Actually, I wasn’t expecting much when we opened the Bordeaux. After the first few sips, it was clear that this was an elegant and eminently enjoyable wine. The wine is a 60% Cabernet – 40% Merlot blend and is packed with fresh fruit and well rounded flavors of raspberry and currants. Forty percent of the wine gets oak aging to lend a touch of toastiness. The finish is long and very smooth.
The Medoc was opened during a wine tasting party at our house. We featured three red blends that we tasted blind. In addition I brought out several special bottles for the group to try, including the L’egende Medoc. The Medoc was a hit with all the guests and one rated it above wines costing much more.
The blend for the Medoc is the same 60% Cab and 40% Merlot. However, there is a noticeable increase in complexity. Fifty percent of the wine gets oak aging and the wine has hints of vanilla and toast. This L’egende is also wonderfully drinkable, with red fruit notes and a touch of spice as well. Both wines are silky smooth.
Bordeaux Blanc, Pauillac and Saint-Emilion are also part of the L’egende range. Each sounds like a good buy.
L’egende is a good glass of Bordeaux – suitable for everyday drinking or a nice dinner. Affordability and charm are no myth as you will discover if you explore the L’egende.
Full disclosure: We received this wine as a media sample