2016 Domaine de Baronarques (Rothschild) Blanc

94
JS
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2016-domaine-de-baronarques-rothschild-blanc

Wine Critic Reviews for 2016 Domaine de Baronarques (Rothschild) Blanc

A layered, fruity chardonnay with creamy, polished tannins, showing beautiful ripe-apple and lemon undertones, as well as hints of toasted oak and vanilla. It’s full-bodied with round, creamy texture and a delicious, complete finish. Minerally undertone. Best white yet from here. This still needs some time to come together. Try in 2022.

James Suckling | 94 JS
Fresh and elegant, this medium- to full-bodied white offers pear and peach flavors, with a honey-tinged edge. Details of floral and baking spice emerge on the crisp, minerally finish. Chardonnay. Drink now through 2021. 3,554 cases made, 400 cases imported.

Wine Spectator | 91 WS
Pale gold colour. The wine is juicy and refreshing with an attractive depth of fruit. The nose and palate have floral and white fruit aromas with pear again to the fore. The oak is well integrated and the finish clean and dry. It's a satisfying wine but there's less depth and length than 2018. Drinking Window 2021 - 2023.

Decanter | 90 DEC

Wine Details on 2016 Domaine de Baronarques (Rothschild) Blanc

More Information
Producer Domaine De Baronarques
Region Languedoc: Located in southern France, Languedoc is one of the largest wine regions in this country and it covers the land between the region of Provence and the Spanish border. It's no wonder over a third of French wines are made right here. Languedoc has a long history that dates back to ancient Greeks, which makes it one of the oldest wine regions in France, too. Today, Languedoc wines are considered to be some of the highest-quality wines in the world that successfully keep the tradition alive while fulfilling the demands of the international market.

Languedoc's rich offer has any wine you could ever think of. From more rustic, traditionally made wines to those with more contemporary characteristics, any wine enthusiast could find a perfect bottle for themselves. Some of the most delightful whites are made of Chardonnay, but other varieties such as Mauzac or Chenin blanc are also cultivated in this region. Among commonly used red varieties you could find Syrah, Carignan, Grenache, and plenty of others. Some of them feature an enjoyable nutty taste, while others are marvelously sweet. Of course, if you happen to find yourself in Languedoc, you shouldn't leave until you have a glass of Cremant de Limoux - a sophisticated sparkling wine typical for this exceptional region.
Country France: Words fail us when trying to adequately portray France's place in the world of wine. It's downright impossible to imagine what wine would feel and taste like had it not been for France's many, many viticultural pioneers. Fine wine is the blood of France's vigorously beating heart, and it finds itself in many aspects of French culture. With a viticultural history that dates all the way back to the 6th century BC, France now enjoys its position as the most famous and reputable wine region on the planet. If you have a burning passion for masterfully crafted, mouth-watering, mind-expanding wines, then regular visits to France are probably already in your schedule, and for a good reason.
Type of Wine France (Other): No words exist that could accurately portray France's influence on the world of wine. This isn't a problem for us mortals, as a single sip of an elegant, classic French wine speaks directly to one's soul in a hitherto unfamiliar language. Whether you're enjoying a classy Cabernet Sauvignon or a charming Chardonnay, your mind drifts just a bit closer to heaven.
Varietal Chardonnay: Chardonnay has carved its path towards the title “king of white grapes” in subtle yet striking fashion, playing instrumental roles throughout the course of history. It was the chosen grape variety which celebrated the inception of the very first Champagne house - Ruinart, which insists “Chardonnay is the golden thread that runs through the Ruinart taste. “ “Remember men, it’s not just France we’re fighting for, it’s Champagne,” Winston Churchill. The infamous and celebrated French author, Alexandre Dumas once declared a high quality chardonnay wine from Le Montrachet was one that is only appropriate to sip “on bended knees, with head bowed.” And of course, history was made once again when a bottle of 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay was awarded first prize in the famous tasting of the “1976 Judgement of Paris,” changing the world’s view on California Chardonnay, inspiring vintners and altering the landscape of California winemaking forever.

The origin of the Chardonnay grape can be traced back to the small village of Macon in the Burgundy appellation of France. The varietal, whose name means “a place of thistles” in Latin, is the offspring of Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc. Like most prominent grape varietals, the exact circumstances of its inception are unknown; however, it is interesting to note that Gouais Blanc originated in Germany. It is speculated that the ancient Romans, who successfully subdued the Germanic tribes in 6 AD, planted Gouais Blanc in French soil, unwittingly prompting the crossbreeding of the two varietals. If this is the case, the history of the Chardonnay grape goes back much further.

The Noble Chardonnay grape variety is most happy in the winegrowing appellation of Burgundy, its home and birth place. Burgundy’s grand Terroir of marl limestone soils and cool climate allows the Chardonnay grape to express itself to its full zenith. Interestingly, the varietal is extremely flexible and can adapt to a wide diversity of soils, allowing the terroir in which it grows to dictate the qualities of the grape and thus revealing a multitude of personalities. For instance, there are subtle yet distinguishing differences in terroir in the Burgundian villages of Puligny-Montrachet, Chablis, Meursault, Corton Charlemagne, Macon, etc. which are all fashioned in their own unique way. The difference in each Climat or Lieu-dit, such as Le Montrachet (Puligny-Montrachet) and Valmur (Chablis) can take one further down the proverbial “rabbit-hole” and into the wonderful, yet complex world of Burgundy wines. However, Burgundy is but one prime growing location for this tremendously adaptable grape variety.

The spread of Chardonnay would eventually take root in Champagne, where it excelled in the region’s cool climate and chalky, sub-soils. For top Champagne producers, it became the main ingredient in their high quality, high profile Blanc de Blancs. It would also begin to be blended with the two other acceptable varietals of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (red skinned grapes). The chardonnay grape is now planted in 10,000 of the 34,000 hectares of Champagne.

Chardonnay would find its way to California in the late 1800’s but would remain obscure for more than a century due to ignorance of the varietal and lack of knowledge on how to marry it with appropriate terroir. Things changed in the 1970’s when Chardonnay saw a resurgence world-wide, mostly due to the 1976 Judgement of Paris. The unthinkable happened when a bottle of 1973 Chateau Montelena bested some of Burgundy’s finest chardonnay offerings from Batard-Montrachet and Meursault. This event helped place California on the map, changing the face of California winemaking forever. It rejuvenated the cultivation of the Chardonnay grape variety, which saw an exponential growth world-wide.
Much like the climats of Burgundy which have their own unique terroir, Chardonnay’s adaptability has found a home in the diverse appellations, terroirs and climates of California. The cool climate locations produce crisp wines with Burgundian nuances, while warmer climates produce wines with opulent, ripe fruit reminiscent of pineapple, mango and papaya. Terroir also dictates the personality, steel and concrete tanks versus oak, and the list goes. From buttery, oak-infused heady wines to crisp, refreshing cool climate fashioned Chardonnays, the grape variety can be extremely modified. There are not enough letters in Microsoft Word to demonstrate all the different nuances, qualities, differences of terroir, climate and winemaking techniques that would encompass in full, the details of the Chardonnay grape.

The well-travelled grape varietal of Chardonnay has become the fascination of consumers around the world, becoming the most written about of all grapes. Today, it is planted in over 40 countries, amassing an impressive 211,000 hectares (500,000 acres) across the globe. From Burgundy to Champagne, Napa to Sonoma, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, Chardonnay graces vineyards around the world, captivating its audience with its multiple personalities. “So powerful is the ‘C-word’ on a wine label,” as the famed Jancis Robinson exclaimed. Since its discovery in Macon, this C-word has become a dominant force in the world of wine, changing history, winemaking and the understanding of winegrowing and its powerful attributes to a single varietal.

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