Tuesday, 11 February 2014

From the Tasting Room: Los Vascos

I could not resist being a pioneer in Chile and giving a challenge
to my team. We chose the place for its unique location and land
- Baron Eric de Rothschild

Baron Eric de Rothschild
Today was a bit of a treat for us as we got to try two wines from the Viña Los Vascos range. We often feature Chilean wines in our catalogues and our buyers are always telling us how great they are, so we thought it was time to try some of them ourselves!

Now, these wines don't come from any ordinary estate on the other side of the world. Owned by Domaine Barons de Rothschild [Lafite] (DBR) since 1988, Viña Los Vascos had a reputation for fine wine (long before the new owners stepped in) that dates back their 18th century foundations. The wines produced by DBR in Bordeaux are among the finest in the world boasting the highly acclaimed labels of Château Duhart-Milon, Château L’Evangile and Château Lafite Rothschild on their extensive CV. With that level of quality and expectation behind their Chilean stable, these wines can't fail to be good!

Wine One: Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc 2013

From start to finish this was 100% Sauvignon Blanc in every way, shape and form. There's a skill to tasting wines blind but this was so stereotypically fragrant with cut grass, juicy green apple, citrussy notes and even a bit of that fresh-spring-morning-after-some-rain smell that it would be impossible to get this wrong. The flavours of the archetypal Sauvignon continued throughout with further cut grass and more of that juicy green apple. The general citrussyness on the nose developed into a lovely lemon juice character without any hint of bitterness and punctuated the other flavours perfectly. This is a real treat for any Sauvignon fan, especially for those who find Marlboroughs a little too much.

Wine Details:
Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Casablanca/Curicó, Chile
13% abv

Wine Two: Le Dix de Los Vascos 2011

Already a special collection of wines in 1996, Viña Los Vascos introduced a new line to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Baron Eric de Rothschild's work in Chile. Like a Gran Reserva in Spain, the 'Le Dix' is only made in exceptional vintages, guaranteeing a consistently high standard from the predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon blend with supporting roles from Syrah and Carmenère.

This has been a wine we've had our eyes on for a while so there was plenty of expectation going into it from the heritage, price, terroir - everything really. We're incredibly pleased to report that this didn't disappoint on any level! You barely need to move the glass towards your nose before the aromas hit. If a smell can be rich this was it; loaded with cherries (fresh off the tree and slowly baked in a pie) with a heady concoction of warming spices and a further layer of richness. The quality and decadence of this continued to shine through the soft, rich, melted-butter-like palate ("melted-butter-like" here refers to how it sat in the mouth and coated the tongue as opposed to the actual flavour) ... additional raspberry jam smoothness and further toasty spice to round it all off. The finish leaves you ravenous for more to go with a hefty piece of medium-rare steak, mashed potatoes and a glass that never runs out!

Wine Details:
Le Dix de Los Vascos 2011
Colchagua, Chile
14% abv

These really are just the tip of the iceberg that is the entire DBR family of wines. The range is fantastic and there is something to suit everyone from creamy, rich Chardonnay through to a balanced and warming Cabernet - and that's just Viña Los Vascos.

Alex, David and Duncan
Averys Wine Bloggers

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