Baron Philippe de Rothschild (BPDR) is perhaps the most important wine company in the most important wine region in the world – Bordeaux, writes SI contributor, Gaurav Anand. Not only do they own the first-growth Château Mouton Rothschild, they also own Bordeaux’s best known branded wine – Mouton Cadet. In addition, they own two other Bordeaux classified-growth châteaux, d’Armailhac and Clerc Milon, and are joint venture partners in super-premium wines, Opus One (Napa) and Almaviva (Chile). The company also directly owns vineyards in Chile and produces wine under the Escudo Rojo brand name. Pictured, left to right: Hugues Lechanoine, Aman Dhall and Anthony Gourmel
Hugues Lechanoine, Managing Director of Baron Philippe de Rothschild, was in Delhi recently and hosted a small Dinner at Diva on April 4, 2012. The event was co-hosted by Brindco, BPDR’s importer in India.
The upper level of the newly-renovated Diva is an excellent venue for small wine dinners, like this. The “wall of wine” (pictured left) at one end of the room sets the perfect vinous atmosphere, which is completed by impeccable wine service. Although the gathering was a professional one (journalists, F&B folks etc), the mood was decidedly casual. Lechanoine and Anthony Gourmel (BPDR’s Asia-Pacific Export Director) kept the conversation flowing as well as the wine. They shared vignettes from their personal experiences representing BPDR – providing the attendees with a view of the “family culture”, the affiliation with art (an Anish Kapoor drawing adorns the label of Château Mouton Rothschild 2009), and the company’s overall philosophy.
The opening courses were accompanied during the meal by the Mouton Cadet Blanc 2010 and the Mouton Cadet Rouge 2010 – both good introductions to Bordeaux. The Escudo Rojo 2009 (a red blend of Carmenère, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon), provided an enticingly delicious demonstration of why Old World companies like BPDR are venturing to Chile. Though an entry-level wine which is cheaper than the Mouton Cadet range – it clearly punches above its weight. Rich, full, brimming with black fruit, and distinctly spicy – it was easy to see the potential of the wine with spicy Indian food. The main course was accompanied by the 2008 Château d’Armailhac and the 1999 Château Mouton Rothschild. The evening ended with the Mouton Cadet reserve Sauternes 2008.
This was Lechanoine’s first visit to India but he stressed that he expects to be here more often. He sees the Indian wine culture developing in a more sustainable and less faddish manner than other markets that have suddenly seen explosive growth (clearly China). In the Indian market, BPDR’s main focus is going to be on developing its branded business (Mouton Cadet and Escudo Rojo) as these wines will come in at much more accessible price points than the Grand Cru Classé wines.