Château Rollin Haut-Médoc 2020

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Over the last ten years, during my buying trips to France, sourcing top-quality Bordeaux at value prices most often felt like finding a needle in a haystack. My usual M.O. to side-step this issue starts by exploring properties just outside the boundaries of the region's most venerable appellations. Château Rollin, nestled on the border of Pauillac, epitomizes this hidden gem strategy.

Pauillac is unquestionably the most desirable region in Bordeaux, and the appellation is home to some of the world's most celebrated wine estates, including Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Latour, and Château Mouton Rothschild. These iconic names command fervent attention and respect; however, they also fetch pretty steep prices.

Château Rollin dramatically benefits from its close proximity to these Pauliac titans of the wine world. The estate enjoys soil composition and a microclimate similar to its more famous neighbors, offering exceptional value compared to the hefty price of the Pauliac estates. Some incredible wines can be found in the shadow of these giants, waiting to be uncovered by those willing to look beyond the labels and outside the boundaries of the famous properties.

The estate's rich history spans generations of winemaking tradition, originating from the union of two respected winemaking families in the Haut-Médoc village of Saint-Sauveur. The intermarriage between the Martin and Tiffon families created an impressive estate spanning seventeen hectares across Lescarjean and Labrousse on Bordeaux's left bank. Vineyards here feature a southward orientation, ensuring the vines bask in abundant sunshine and warmth, perfect for Bordeaux varietals.

Château Rollin's vineyards flourish thanks to the exceptional microclimate along the Gironde River, creating ideal conditions for cultivating Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a splash of Petit Verdot. Here, the estate benefits from a positively harmonious blend of weather elements. Following rainfall in the vineyards, a perfect combination of wind and sun work together to evaporate any remaining moisture on the grapes, preventing damage from mold and ensuring the grapes reach their ideal level of ripeness. This amazing confluence of natural factors is the key to the terroir-driven quality of Château Rollin's wines.

Château Rollin's Haut Médoc is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot, and each varietal contributes unique characteristics to the blend. Cabernet Sauvignon supplies the structural backbone, Merlot provides the plush, velvety texture, and the deep, dark hue and aromatic complexity are thanks to the Petit Verdot.

The Cuvée varies each year, and this annual variation in the blend showcases the estate's agile response to that year's growing conditions. It also showcases their expertise in creating wonderfully balanced wines regardless of the challenges posed by nature. This approach ensures that Château Rollin Haut Médoc remains a compelling representation of its origins, inviting connoisseurs to explore the nuances of each vintage.

In your glass, Château Rollin Haut Médoc is brimming with aromas of ripe blackberries, cassis, and subtle hints of cedar and spice. Blackberry, blackcurrant, and plum sing through the middle palate and are layered with subtle nuances of spice, coffee, and dark chocolate.

All the classic Bordeaux pairings will match like a champ with this gorgeous Haut Médoc, and we especially love it with richly flavored preparations of lamb and beef if you'd like to venture towards less traditional pairings, try it with roasted vegetable dishes and fully dressed burgers.

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