57% Syrah, 33% Mourvèdre, 10% Grenache
Due to its exceptional geographical location and unique wine-growing site and history, Domaine d’Aussières is one of those wild, natural places that gives an impression of great force and beauty. These words of Baron Eric de Rothschild explain why he fell in love with the estate and Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) has taken on the challenge to revitalize one of the oldest and most beautiful wine-making estates in the Narbonne area. Now his daughter Saskia continues the work her father began. Acquired by Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) in 1999, the 1,359 acre Domaine d’Aussières estate has undergone a vast rehabilitation program. 412 acres of vines have been replanted with carefully selected traditional Languedoc grape varieties: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Carignan, complemented with Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.TERROIR & VINTAGE NOTES
The grapes are sourced from selected plots on the tops of the hills. The soil is very shallow, consisting of sandstone with very little clay, and water is scarce. As a result, the yields are very low. The Mourvèdre vines have been producing grapes of outstanding quality for the past few years, as they reach maturity. Green harvests are carried out and the grapes are strictly selected in order to obtain a wine that combines power and precision.
The weather usually varies enormously across the Languedoc region, but was uncharacteristically uniform in 2017. There was plenty of rain between the end of January and the end of March, enabling the replenishment of the water reserves essential for a good start to the growth cycle. This unusually wet start to the season was followed two frosts at the end of April of a severity that had not been seen in the region for more than 25 years. Nevertheless, in the areas not affected by this disaster, the vintage proved to be of very high quality, with temperature and rainfall patterns similar to the excellent 2015. This enabled a good expression of the vines throughout the growth cycle, from bud break to flowering and, finally, the ripening stage. Superb weather in September and October enabled excellent levels of ripeness to be reached by all the grape varieties, with beautiful aromatic expression and good balance across all of the plots.WINEMAKING & AGEING
Vinification is performed traditionnally. Alcoholic fermentation takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel and concrete vats. Some of the Carignan undergoes carbonic maceration, which confers the wine its unique balsamic notes. During fermentation, the wine is regularly pumped over to allow a gentle extraction of the tannins. Once fermentation is completed, the wine is left undisturbed for a few days. The total maceration time is 15-20 days. 40% of the wine is aged in oak barrels (50% new oak), partly coming from the Tonnellerie des Domaines in Pauillac.TASTING NOTES
Beautiful dark color with glints of black. Relatively understated attack, quickly developing volume on the palate, with notes of black fruit and spices. The tremendous richness of the Mourvèdre combined with the balance of the Syrah and the finesse of the Grenache gives this wine a very elegant tannic structure. Well-integrated notes from the barrel ageing mingle harmoniously in the long, lingering finish.