The Rothschild family is justifiably famous for its intelligence, longevity, philanthropy, support for the state of Israel, its deep interest in wine and of course its success and wealth. Three (competing) branches of the family have wine companies and estates in France (Bordeaux, Champagne and Languedoc), Argentina, New Zealand, Spain, Chile, United States (California), China and South Africa. Among the exceptional estates owned and managed by the families are no fewer than eight “first growths” (I use the term without regard to the legal classifications) including Chateaux Lafite-Rothschild, Mouton-Rothschild, Evangile and Rieussec (Bordeaux), Almaviva and Le Dix de Los Vascos (Chile), Opus One (United States, California) and Rupert and Rothschild (South Africa). In all, the three families manage thousands of acres of some of the best vineyards in the world!
The Rothschilds are not the only French-Jewish merchant families invested in wine, today and in the past. Others include the Pereire brothers who owned Chateau Palmer (Margaux/Bordeaux, France) in the 19th century, the Achille-Foulds who owned Chateau Beychevelle (St Julien/Bordeaux, France) and the Wertheimer family who own Chateaux Rauzan-Segla, Canon and Berliquet (Margaux and St Emilion/Bordeaux, France), Domaine de l’Ile (Provence, France) and St. Supery (Napa/California, United States).
The story of the French-Jewish upper class and its interest in wine is touched upon in the moving book, The Hare with Amber Eyes, by Edmund de Waal about his family, the Ephrussis, (related to the Rothschilds). And there is the exceptional Montefiore family (also related to the Rothschilds) who continue to influence the wine trade today through the writing of Adam S. Montefiore.
Domaine d’Aussieres belongs to the Lafite branch of the Rothschild family since 1999. Located in the coastal part of Corbieres, one of the central wine-growing appellations of the Languedoc in southern France. From the hills of Aussieres one can see the Mediterranean Sea. The vineyard itself is self-contained and therefore naturally allows sustainable agriculture. Like Remole in Tuscany, Aussieres is actually a small village, typical of the Languedoc (and Mediterranean Europe). The village (and estate) have produced wine for centuries since the time when France, then Gaul, was part of the Roman Empire.
Domaine d’Aussieres produces many wines, all excellent. The winemaking and viticulture teams at Aussieres are completely integrated into the technical teams of Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite). As in Bordeaux, the domaine makes a “grand vin”, Chateau d’Aussieres, and a “second” wine, Blason d’Aussieres.
Blason d’Aussieres 2018 is a remarkable and delicious wine. Blended from Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Carignan, the wine marries Corbieres and Languedoc exuberance, flavor, warmth and spice with Bordeaux restraint and elegance. This wine will be at home, without flinching, at a picnic or at a formal dinner party! That’s the definition of class!
Salud, to good health, sante, לחיים!
Limited availability, prices vary by market. 100 NIS, 20 USD, 21 GBP.