Some rambling & Anderra, Rothschild, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile, 2012.


Wandering home on Place Sablon in Brussels a few weeks ago, I noticed something rather interesting loitering in the window of Nicolas.  Nicolas, a French wine retailer with some forlorn outposts in Belgium, is often a good place to pick-up some interesting wines.  I am especially fond of this particular store for a couple of reasons. Principally because I live – as close to literally as one can imagine without quite qualifying for the use of the term – above it.  Globalization may make proximity to the grower less important – but nearness to the wine itself, ideally within arms’ length, is, of course, crucial.

Back to the wine – sort of.  A while back, a friend and I chatted about big name Bordeaux producers operating vineyards, either in their own name or as part of joint-ventures, in the new world.  Some wholly unscientific internet research leads me to believe that this trend is especially evident in South America.   So I jumped on the chance to sample a prime example of the movement.  The illustrious Rothschild version of Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon for ten euros?  Color me dark red with hints of leather.

A quick perusal of the classy Anderra website, reveals this wine to be a clearly commercial proposition.  This is hardly surprising, Rothschild, the man, was a banker; Rothschild, the name, is a bank – largely of the investment variety.  Making a dime and producing good wine do not always rhyme though – especially when big brand names, that will likely help sell the stuff regardless of its quality, are involved.

But the Anderra is a good wine!

R: Dark pourpre colors; a very pretty, largely-monochromatic wine with little bricking

N: Quite a small nose – some mustiness and vegetable notes & perhaps a hint of sweetness?

B: On first tasting, I may have slightly over-decanted the wine as I had expected much youthful exuberance.  It came up  a little flat and musty and I felt it had quite high acidity and was somewhat out of balance.

But on second tasting the next day (How is the wine less decanted on the next day you ask?!  Buy one of these: your cellar, liver, and whatever local baker, purveyor of coffee, or fabricator of blended fruit juices you encounter in the early mornings will thank you. NB: these posts/wines etc. are totally un-sponsored due, in small part, to our thin peel of integrity and, in large part, to no one offering us sponsorship gigs – I’m sure there are lots of other great brands out there; I just use this one.), having decanted the wine for a much shorter period of time, I was much more impressed.  Deeper dark fruit flavors held the balance of the wine well.  After the flatness of the day before, the Anderra now seemed robust and paired nicely with my garlic steak sandwiches.

A very nice and unusually interesting wine for a good price 90-91/100.



A Loire White and Chilean Cab Sauv

21/2/2016Domaine des Forges, L’Audace, Anjou, Loire, France 2012.

100% Chenin Blanc, aged in oak barrels, 13% alcohol.
Bin end wine around £10.

Appearance: Crystal clear, pale gold, good legs.

Nose:  Intense and clear notes of green apple.

Palate:  Dry white wine with high acidity.  Light in body with medium (+) alcohol for the style.  Medium intensity of flavour, again dominated by green apple with an undercurrent of pear.  Oak adds a slight buttery complexity, particularly as the wine warmed up and on tasting the second day.  Racy minerality works well with the acidity leading on to a medium length finish.

Score: 88-90/100 (DT)

Conclusion:  Maybe not for everyone but I found this a refreshing and somewhat different aperitif.  In a way it reminded me of a Chablis but with the dominant green apple flavour at the front of the palate.  A well made and food friendly wine.  Not quite as good as the Coteaux du Layon and Savennières I have previously tasted from the same producer.

William Fèvre Chile, Espino Cabernet Sauvignon, Pirque, Maipo Valley, Chile, 2011.

85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, aged in oak barriques, 13% alcohol.
Bin end reduced from £10.95 to £7.11.

Appearance: Deep garnet, clear, good legs.

Nose: Intense nose of predominantly red fruits.

Palate: Sour cherry dominates in this fruit forward Bordeaux blend.  Medium tannin,  and sweetness with sufficient acidity to give focus.  Well balanced and surprisingly elegant with medium length finish.  Complexity added by herbal, vanilla and cedar notes.

Conclusion: A good quality wine, ready to drink and great value for money.  This was also a hit with the rest of the family (not always an easy task).

Score 89/100 (DT)

Both wines were purchased from Berry Brothers Basingstoke store.