Champagne Barons de Rothschild is a unique joint venture by all three branches of the Rothschild family, Lafite, Mouton, and Clarke. Their brut cuvée exudes a bouquet of cut pear, almonds and fresh hazelnuts, married to hints of white flowers and warm buttermilk biscuit. The style reflects a complex assemblage (blend) of 60% Chardonnay, drawn primarily Grands Crus in the Cote des Blancs, and 40% Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, drawn mainly from vineyards in Verzenay, Ay, Mareuil-sur-Ay and Bouzy. This blend includes 40% older reserve wines, a mark of exceptional quality and consistency that the Rothschild team has established for this cuvée.
Fill the yawning, empty space in your Bordeaux cellar with this sampler, each from a different part Bordeaux. From the Left Bank (e.g., Médoc, Graves), the wines are made from the more classically structured Cabernet Sauvignon; those from the Right Bank rely more heavily on the upfront, juicier fruit of Merlot. Since the petit châteaux of Bordeaux may well represent, collectively, the best red wine bargains in the entire world, you win on both sides of the river with this stylish sampler.The 6 Bottle Sampler comes in a handy, reusable container with one bottle each of the following wines:Bellevue Rougier 2010 (Bordeaux)Beynat 2011 (Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux)Haut Mayne "Cuvée Mayne du Cros" 2009 (Graves)Les Tours Seguy 2010 (Côtes de Bourg)Lafont Fourcat 2012 (Bordeaux)
Established in 1757, the Reims-based house of Henri Abelé is the third oldest Champagne house, with a distinguished 250-year history. Abelé's NV Brut is clearly of Grand Marque quality, but sells for $5-$10 less than comparable cuvées. Grapes come exclusively from top crus in the Côte des Blancs and the Montagne de Reims, under longstanding contracts maintained by Maison Abelé over many years. The house matures its wines for a minimum of three years, well-above the Champagne AOC minimum of 15 months, a key to its mellow, subtle palate impression. A beautiful pale gold color, with a fine, creamy mousse, this Champagne opens with floral/apple Chardonnay notes, which interlace delicately with notes of Pinot Noir on the palate. Nuances of white flowers, mineral, and delicate stone fruit rise toward the finish, giving this brut cuvée elegant shape and dimension, along with impressive depth.
Chardonnay is the heart and soul of Champagne Ruinart, and this exotically opulent Blanc de Blancs is made exclusively from Grand and Premier Cru Chardonnay from both the Côtes de Blancs and the Montagne de Reims. With a rich, full, creamy palate, Ruinart’s Blanc de Blancs, offers ripe citrus and orchard fruit flavors accented by smoke and subtle minerality.
Ruinart Rosé is produced from a blend of 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay from estate vineyards in Sillery and Brimont (ancestral home of the Ruinart family), along with grapes from Premiers crus vineyards in the Côte de Blancs and the Montagne de Reims. It shares the unique mineral/spice notes of the Blanc de Blancs, with the subtle addition of delicate red fruit notes from Pinot Noir. Among the very best "food" Champagnes of all, and quite delectable on its own.
"This blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc displays loads of power, structure and impressive density. The color is a healthy dark ruby/purple, and the wine offers up notes of black fruits, charcoal and forest floor. It is full-bodied and moderately tannic, but the low acidity and alcohol levels give it a certain accessibility. This is a sleeper of the vintage in Pomerol and possibly the best wine I have tasted from this estate. Give it several years of bottle age and drink it over the following 12-15 years."91+ points — Robert Parker, Wine Advocate