Wine of the Week - Rupert & Rothschild Baron Edmond 2014

Text: Alex Cheung

Rupert & Rothschild Baron Edmond 2014
Country: South Africa
Appellation: Stellenbosch
Grapes: 60% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon

"Currency War" was such a popular book in few years back, it was about how the Jewish Rothschild family influenced both politics and economy in modern time. The legendary name is well known among people who like political or financial conspiracy theories and fine wines. Rothschild family owns Chateau Mouton and Chateau Lafite, two first-growth wine estates in Bordeaux. There is a story behind the 5-arrow logo which both wineries printed on their labels. Mayer Amshel Rothschild was doing banking business in the 18th century, he sent out his 5 sons to London, Paris, Frankfurt, Vienna and Naples respectively. The arrows are from a story from the Bible, which mentioned that the arrows could be easily broken individually, but not as a bundle.

The newly emerged Edmond de Rothschild Heritage group is derived from the family of James de Rothschild, who purchased Château Lafite. Edmond is his great-grandson. The group is now headed by his son Benjamin de Rothschild, who manages wine estates in both new world and old world, they are Château Clarke (France), Château Malmaison (France), Château des Laurets (France), Macán (Spain), Flechas de los Andes (Argentina), Rimapere (New Zealand), and Rupert & Rothschild (South Africa).

My personal favourite is the wines from Rupert & Rothschild, especially the Baron Edmond 2014. Not only the high price-performance ratio reflects the personality of a banker, but also the powerful body implies the status of this noble family. The grapes were picked by hand, and matured in new French oak barrels for 18 months. Layers of complexity unfolds on the palate with silky tannin. With all respect, the tastes are more than men with power. It resembles successful gentlemen showing moral character after getting rich.