There can be few people in this so-called civilized world who have never heard the name Rothschild. The name has been associated with fine wines for almost a hundred and fifty years. The company Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA is located in Bordeaux and has been motivated by a constant ambition: to make the world’s finest wines.
Evening in the Maipo Valley.
Wine lovers everywhere recognise the name Château Mouton Rothschild, even if they haven’t managed to scrape together enough money to buy a bottle. In recent years, the company has exported its expertise to both California and Chile. The range of superb Mapu wines is made in the Maipo Valley under the supervision of the Rothschild Company.
Mapu Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (red), Chile (Foodland and Villa Bt. 599)
Mapu evidently means “earth” in the Mapuche language. This wine is a lovely deep red with hints of purple with long legs in the glass too. There is a very subtle aroma, so you’ll need to get your snout right into the glass to appreciate it. You’ll probably recognise the beguiling scent of black cherries, dark fruit and a dash of raspberries. You might also pick up the delicate aromas of black pepper and dried herbs too.
The taste comes as a pleasant surprise. I don’t know about you, but I am getting a bit jaded with wines that taste like fruit-bombs. This one is much more subtle and although it has a smooth mouth-feel, there’s good firm tannin up front. The style seems rather French to me and presumably this is something to do with the Rothschild pedigree. Not surprisingly, the wine is dry as the proverbial bone, with a long and satisfying dry finish.
This is a highly enjoyable, superbly well-made wine and at just over 13% alcohol, I’d prefer to drink it with food. If you like more fruit on the taste and a little less tannin, open the bottle half an hour before you need it, or better still tip the whole lot into a decanter. The air contact will soften the wine and bring the fruit forward too. The makers suggest serving the wine at 15° C, so in this neck of the woods, you’ll need to chill it slightly.
Mapu Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (white), Chile (Foodland and Villa Bt 599)
Now, here’s a really lovely wine. It’s a pale greenish gold, with a surprisingly forward quality aroma. It is delicate, fresh and caressing, with reminders of sweet pineapple, lemon peel and a suggestion of caramel. This is the most exquisite wine aroma I have encountered for many a day. There’s a creamy, orangey smell in there too and I thought I could even detect a faint aroma of pear drops. I spent a long time smelling this wine even before tasting it. I hope you do too.
When I finally did, I found that it has a gorgeous silky mouth-feel, utterly dry but with plenty of orangey fruit, a light touch of acidity and a long citrus finish. This is not a “knock-it-back and gimme more” wine, but something to think about, appreciate and enjoy. It’s a Mozart Piano Trio, not a Strauss waltz. It really has a magic touch.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering what you’d have to pay for a Château Mouton Rothschild from Bordeaux for a special birthday celebration, the superb 1986 vintage will cost you at least Bt. 42,000 a bottle. I tend not to drink it very often.