2022 Domaines Barons de Rothschild CHATEAU D’AUSSIERES “A” PAYS D’OC Chardonnay
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 estate is nestled in the rugged hills just behind the Mediterranean coastline of Narbonne, in the South of France.
The soils are very shallow and rocky on the slopes, and deeper and sandy on the plain. Yields are voluntarily kept very low in order to preserve the vines and ensure the production of high quality grapes. This Chardonnay comes form the coolest plots of Aussières and selected neighbouring terroirs, in order to obtain a wine with distinctive freshness.
After the kind of winter that seems to be the new normal, there were some nights below zero with rather mild days, and an episode of frost after budburst caused some damage. The months of March and April brought sufficient rain which allowed a good start of the vegetation. No rain again until the end of June when a nice thunderstorm enabled the vines to withstand the hot weather of July and August without any particular stress. In summary, even if the total rainfall was not ideal, its timing was perfect. During the harvest, the weather conditions were globally favorable: little humidity, seasonal temperatures and a good sunshine which allowed a good maturation of the grapes.
As every year, Aussières Blanc is a blend of the estate’s wines with wines selected from the best Languedoc terroirs for growing Chardonnay.
WINEMAKING & AGEING
Grapes are harvested before daylight when temperatures are at their lowest. After a few hours of cold maceration, they are pressed and fermented at low temperature in stainless steel tanks to preserve their aromatic potential. The wine is partly aged on lees in order to obtain a good balance between roundness and freshness.
This wine has as a brilliant and limpid color with pale yellow reflections. The nose is intense, revealing elegant floral notes before opening on a complex and expressive bouquet of white fruit, such as pear, some exotic notes of fresh pineapple elegantly enhanced by a touch of citrus.
On the palate, the attack is clean and tense, then it is a parade of generous aromas ranging from Williams pear to peach, supported by notes of roasted hazelnuts and almonds. The fresh and saline finish confers a nice balance to this Chardonnay.