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2006 Vina Los Vascos Grande Reserve
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- Cellar 3 - 4 years (2011-2012)
- ABV 14%
- Closure: Cork
The Same Winemaking Team, the Same Barrels, but on the other side of the PlanetWhat price per bottle is the terroir worth?
Chateau Lafite Rothschild is one of the five Great Growths of Bordeaux, and amongst the world's most expensive bottles of wine. If we consider the prices of the last two vintages of Chateau Lafite Rothschild, the relative value of the wine comes into perspective. The 2004 vintage is selling for around $1200 per bottle, whilst the highly acclaimed 2005 vintage commands around $2800 per bottle – extraordinary money! Not content with the success of just one vineyard, over the last 20 years, the owners of Chateau Lafite, Domaines Barons de Rothschild, have made strategic acquisitions around the globe, selecting specific sites that possess the terroir required to produce exciting New World wines with Lafite Rothschild's First Growth know-how. In order to achieve this ambition, Domaines Barons de Rothschild has developed a simple philosophy: Respect each terroir. Use local winemaking expertise in tandem with that of its own team of winemakers. Provide the necessary investment to enable each project to succeed. Have the vision to look at the long term. Allow the time it takes to make great wines that are a true reflection of their provenance. In addition to these guiding principles, Domaines Barons de Rothschild employ their own cooperage, which is located at Chateau Lafite. The oak, from Allier and Nivernais forests, is left to air dry for two years before being broken down into staves for barrel making, after which five coopers produce 2,000 barrels per year, destined for use at the various Rothschild estates around the world. This comprehensive commitment to perfection enables Domaines Barons de Rothschild to succeed in working with like minded people from different cultures, with each group recognising each others worth and contribution.
Surprisingly, the most exciting project of this kind is located on the other side of the planet, at one of Chile’s best vineyard sites, 'Los Vascos', an Estate specialising in the production of superb Cabernet Sauvignon. Many Australian wine lovers will be unfamiliar with Chilean wines, yet Chile actually has a longer tradition of wine production than our own, with the first grapes planted in the north during the 16th Century at the time of the Spanish Conquistadors. It was not long before production expanded and Chilean wines were being exported to Peru, competing against the imported wines of Spain. The Echenique family, whose origins are Basque, planted vineyards in the Pepalillo area in the Colchagua province in 1750. The same family was part of the 19th Century Chilean Renaissance. These pioneers were inspired by the vineyards of France and consequently, it was French varietals that were planted. The first of these were planted in the Caneten Valley of Colchagua in 1859 and as a result of phylloxera devastating European vineyards, Chilean vineyards expanded rapidly. In 1870, 9,000 hectares were under vine, and by 1900 this figure reached 40,000 hectares.
Chilean wine was first exported to Europe in 1877. By 1947, the wine industry in the Caneten Valley underwent a period of reorganisation and rationalization. New infrastructure was established with land being cleared for planting and water supply systems put in place. Domaines Barons de Rothschild took over the Los Vascos Estate in 1988. At the time, 220 hectares were planted. Prior to purchasing, the Rothschild team visited many properties and tasted many wines to ensure that the terroir they purchased was the best possible acquisition. The vineyard is located 40 km from the Pacific Ocean, some 130m above sea level. The site has excellent exposure to sunlight as well as adequate water resources, semi arid soils and is frost free. From 1983 to 1994, the vineyard was restructured with bores drilled for water, a weather monitoring station was installed and the winery refitted. Stainless steel tanks, new pneumatic presses and a barrel cellar were also part of the refurbishments. The vineyard area has been expanded to 580ha.
As the vineyards have matured, so the quality of Los Vascos wines have improved, particularly that of the premium wines, 'Grande Reserve'& the 'Dix de Los Vascos'. The Estate's wines continue to be made under the supervision of Lafite's winemaking team, using top French know how.
Many wine lovers will recall our past shipments of this wine and the incredible value that they offered. We are again fortunate to be able to re-introduce these outstanding wines to Australian wine lovers.
'Chile, like Australia, produce some of the world's greatest wine values. Add to this the expertise & knowledge of one of the world’s great estates and you have some fantastic Bordeaux inspired wines at exceptional prices'
If the pricing seems absurdly low, it is - and may at first be incomprehensible particularly given the pedigree of these wines and their common ownership, winemaking and cooperage. Such is the value of the terroir. Our recommendation is to stock up whilst prices remain very modest!
The Grande Reserve is produced from the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines on the estate. The final wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon 20% Carmenere, 10% Syrah, and 5% Malbec. The blending components Carmenere, Syrah & Malbec have taken on more importance in recent vintages providing greater aromatic and palate complexity. The wine was aged for 10 months in French oak, 30% of which was new.
Very deep black crimson colour with black crimson hue. Perfumed nose of violets, spice, blackcurrant and cassis, delivering a Classic Cabernet expression over a cedar background. Refined palate with layers of mocha, blackcurrant and cassis over a layer of chocolate and violet. Perfect balance, with fine grained tannins. Very long aftertaste. The palate flavours continue to grow as the wine warms. A Classy red.
Cellar 3 - 4 years (2011 - 2012)
This drop comes from the winemakers of one of the world’s most expensive bottles of wine. Chateau Lafite Rothschild are prominent French winemakers who are now making wines all over the world, including Chile, where this classic cabernet was made. It’s a blend of cabernet (65%), carmenere (20%), syrah and malbec and is meticulous in its structure.
The wines from the Chilean vineyard are made under the supervision of the Lafite team. Considering their top wines back in France sell for around $2000 a pop, this is an absolute steal for $20, particularly as it’s sourced from the best grapes in the Chilean vineyard and you can cellar it for at least 3-4 years.
There’s classic flavours of chocolate, mocha and blackcurrant spices that only get better as the wine opens up. It’s a bounding red made by one of the classiest outfits in the world. Get on board.
David Prestipino, Winestein - Uncorked, WA Today