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November 25, 2014

"There is a global trend toward more freshness and drinkability in wines, toward more balance, elegance and differentiation, toward less excess and more harmony, and Argentina and Chile are no exceptions." - The Wine Advocate

We can't think of a more recognizable name on the international wine market than the Rothschilds. In addition to their legendary first-growth estate, Château Lafite Rothschild, the family's legacy extends throughout Bordeaux with estates in Pauillac (Duhart-Milon), Sauternes (Rieussec), and Pomerol (l'Evangile). Like many other families in Bordeaux, the Rothschilds also envisioned the expansion of their operation down in South America. Today's offer features a pair of excellent values by Domaines Barons de Rothschild from Chile and Argentina.

The 2011 Viña Los Vascos Grande Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Carmenère, 10% Syrah, and 5% Malbec. This Chilean estate was acquired by the Rothschilds in 1988, and became the first French viticultural investment in modern Chile. The resembling family characteristic of pencil lead in this 90-pointer (from makes this a great value at $13.99.

Not to be outdone is the 2011 Bodegas Caro Amancaya Gran Reserva (Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon) from Mendoza, Argentina. This project (which began in 1999) is a collaboration between the Rothschilds and the Catena family, who are essentially wine royalties from different continents. The Amancaya (a Malbec-dominated cuvée) is the value creation from Bodegas Caro, and this vintage has 70% Malbec with 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine caught the attention of both The Wine Advocate and International Wine Cellar (90 points each), and has offered a lot of sophistication for its modest fare since its inception. It's another steal at $14.99.

We're not trying to compare the quality of these new projects with those from Rothschild's Bordeaux châteaux. This is another scenario where buying the "little wines" from a top-quality producer makes perfect sense. The Rothschilds have a strong legacy behind their wines, and they're certainly not going to do anything that would tarnish the family name.

score: JS 90

add to cart $13.99   add a case $167.88 "This is firm and lightly chewy with subtle smoked meat and berry. Full body, fine tannins and a fruity finish. A delicious bottle. 75% cabernet sauvignon, 10% carmenere, 10% syrah, and 5% malbec. Drink now." read more
score: WA 90
IWC 90

add to cart $14.99   add a case $179.88

Luis Gutierrez writes in The Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Amancaya Gran Reserva, their second wine named after a flower found in the Alpes mountains in Argentina, which aims at a feminine, elegant profile, is a blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon and shows a classical profile of tobacco, cedar wood, balsam and perfectly ripe fruit. It has great balance and integration of fruit, oak and acidity, it has no edges and drinks beautifully now, but has the stuffing to last well. Dr... read more

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