by Sarah Harrison
Among the many illustrious wine families that have shaped Bordeaux's winemaking history, the Rothschild family is among the most well known and respected. While they are perhaps most famous for their iconic Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Mouton Rothschild in Pauillac on the Left Bank, the family also boasts an impressive portfolio of wineries on the Right Bank, each with their own unique terroir and charm.
Merlot thrives on Bordeaux's Right Bank due to its affinity for clay-rich soils. The clay retains moisture, preventing drought stress during the dry summer months, and provides essential nutrients for the vines. This combination results in robust Merlot vines that produce luscious, ripe grapes, ideal for crafting the rich and supple wines.
Edmond de Rothschild's Château de Laurets in Puisseguin-St. Émilion is a gem within their collection, with the 2018 vintage recently being awarded Gold in the Drinks Business Bordeaux Masters. Situated in the eastern part of the St. Émilion appellation, this wine benefits from a diverse terroir of limestone, clay, and gravel. This blend of soils imparts a rich, full-bodied character to the wines with exquisite elegance, great length with refined tannin. The black fruit flavours are remarkably fresh.
Their Selection Parcellaire, Château des Laurets BARON, is a particular Right Bank jewel. The clay-rich soil is ideal for Merlot, which makes up 100% of this wine. It is a modern and unashamedly powerful claret that delivers staggering weight and power with oodles of juicy black fruit.
Château de Malengin Eve, a hidden treasure in Montagne-St. Émilion is breaking with tradition in Bordeaux. With only 13,000 bottles created, this wine is amphora-aged as opposed to aged to oak. The Merlot exudes a creamy nose of blueberry, cassis and violets. The limestone-rich soil imparts mineral nuances and freshness to the wines.
Château l'Évangile in Pomerol is one of the most renowned estates on the Right Bank. Its clay and gravel terroir, combined with meticulous winemaking, delivers wines of great complexity and excellent aging potential. Dark, lush fruits and a silky texture are its hallmarks.
Blason de l'Évangile, the second wine of Château l'Évangile, offers a more accessible entry into the family's Pomerol portfolio. It is a testament to the estate's dedication to quality at every level, featuring the same terroir-driven elegance but with a shorter maturation period.
Terroir plays a pivotal role in shaping the distinct characteristics of these Rothschild-owned wineries. The varying soil compositions across the Right Bank appellations influence the wines' flavour profiles, textures, and aging potential. Whether it's the gravelly elegance of Pomerol or the clay-driven power of Puisseguin-St. Émilion, each estate showcases the family's commitment to producing exceptional Bordeaux wines that honour their heritage while embracing the nuances of their unique terroirs. These Right Bank wineries are not just a part of Bordeaux's storied history but continue to be a vital chapter in its winemaking legacy.