Peter Maude Fine Wines

2020, Aile d'Argent 1er Cru Classé, BORDEAUX Blanc

$152 ex. GST
$174.80 inc. GST
Estimated full landed price – $191.59

Bordeaux Blend: Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Sauvignon Gris, Muscadelle 

This is the dry white wine of Mouton Rothschild that has been produced in small quantities since the first vintage in 1991. The vineyard (which is planted with 55% Sauvignon Blanc, 43% Sémillon and 2% Muscadelle) is inland from the château at the edge of the Pauillac appellation but the wine is labelled AC Bordeaux.

The 2020 Aile d'Argent is terrific. Aromatic and vibrant, it possesses terrific energy and a bit more verve than in the past. The blocked malo style works especially well in this vintage. The Sauvignon Blanc is quite expressive, especially in the wine's aromatic profile. 91-93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous. This is full-bodied with layers of fruit. Ripe and flavorful. Lots going on with a fleshy feel. No malolactic this year. Sweet peach, honeysuckle and citrus. Contrastive. 95-96 James Suckling.

The first year made entirely under the direction of Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy. I was expecting this to be the wine in the Mouton stable with the most evident transition from Philippe Dhalluin, and certainly you see a little less exuberance, a little more sculpting rather than width, with sea breeze and citrus aromatics. Plenty of bright pineapple and apricot flavours, with nuance and balance, and the salty cracker finish that you always want from this wine. Will be bottled in June 2021. Harvest began on August 24 (same as 2011, joint earliest on record) through to 28. No more malolactic during winemaking as you saw (usually just 5-10%) under Dhalluin, and no skin contact, but the rich mouthfeel is instead found through a higher proportion of Sauvignon Gris, and no longer co-fermented with the Sauvignon Blanc. 93/100 Jane Anson, Decanter.

Nectarines and jasmine, plus suggestions of key lime pie, passion fruit and orange zest. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers opulent tropical and citrus fruit layers, supported by plenty of freshness and a decadent touch of oiliness to the texture, finishing long and impactful. So hard to resist even at this nascent stage, I can't wait to see how this is going to age! 93-95+ Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate.

Drinking window: 2022 - 2030.

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