The Barons De Rothschild Légende Bordeaux Blanc 2017 is 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sémillon sourced from Rothschild vineyards in the Entre-Deux-Mers AOC region, a mostly White grape growing area of Bordeaux. If you are new to White Bordeaux wine, the main grape is Sauvignon Blanc that is often blended with Sémillon and occasionally other White grapes. Those of you who are familiar with Sauvignon Blanc thru the White wine of New Zealand should give Bordeaux Blanc a try, there are similarities, but it is definitely a different and worthy take on producing Sauvignon Blanc. There was frost in Bordeaux in late April of 2017 that greatly reduced the size of the crop, but often when there is a smaller yield the vines produce intense and flavorful grapes. Occasionally with grapes seeming misfortune turns out to an advantage for wine drinkers. This is a wine that should be found in the $15 to $20 range, even with its fancy pedigree and AOC status. The Légende is a drink-it-now wine, it’s ready to drink and further aging will not produce better results, in fact it should be bright, delicious, alive when consumed young. The Bordeaux Blend was aged, on lees, in stainless steel, no oak barrels were used and the alcohol content is a restrained 12%.
The color is pale, wheat yellow. The nose is bold, there is tropical fruit, peaches, pears, lemons and limes, ripe apples, and grapefruit. The addition of Sémillon gives this Sauvignon Blanc a solid, firm mouthfeel, it gives this blend some weight. It tastes of Anjou pear, lemon curd, peach juice, and Golden delicious apple. The mid-palate offers not-so-tart grapefruit, a touch of cream (maybe from the “on-lees”), a hint of spice and a little papaya. The acidity is well-controlled, it drinks very well on its own or pair it with fancy summer salads or cold shrimp. The finish is soft, but lasts for a long time.
The Barons De Rothschild Légende Bordeaux Blanc 2017 is a well-made and tasty Bordeaux Blanc. I think that Bordeaux White wine is almost criminally under appreciated by the value-priced wine crowd. Fine examples of Sauvignon Blanc blends are priced almost the same as New Zealand Sauv Blanc and are equally engaging and delicious.Maybe New Zealand wines have easier to remember names, while the French stuff is Domaine this or Chateau that, you remember the Domaine, but forget the family name. Which could be the reason Barons de Rothschild named their wine the Légende, that’s a name that is easy to remember. And there is no reason to ever forget a very good wine.