Rothschild Wine Le Dix Embodies the Chilean Countryside
The cabernet, from the Chilean vineyard Los Vascos, is reminiscent of lavish Bordeaux grand crus while staying true to its Chilean roots
Ten years after acquiring the Chilean vineyard Los Vascos, at the foot of a mountain range 25 miles from the Pacific coast, Baron Éric de Rothschild and his team crafted an iconic cabernet sauvignon. First released in 1998, it used exceptional grapes from the 70-year-old vines of El Fraile (“The Monk”), the estate’s oldest planted vineyard.
Then, with a cheeky humor, Baron Éric conceived a wine named Le Dix (“Ten”), which would ideally receive perfect scores. But the truth is Le Dix is a serious wine crafted from a mix of high-density, high-quality cabernet sauvignon grapes with small amounts of Syrah and Carmenère. Created by cellar master and enologist Maximiliano Correa, it is reminiscent of lavish Bordeaux grand crus while staying true to its Chilean roots. The wine contains complexity, powerful tannins, aromas of ripe local fruit, and notes of cedar, laurel and eucalyptus, part of the biodiversity that surrounds Los Vascos.
Each bottle of Le Dix captures the best of each vintage, allowing us to travel back in time when drinking it. I recently experienced that passage of time by sampling the 1999, 2004, 2010, 2014 and 2018 (current) vintages. The latter is superb, a bright Bordeaux-style wine with aromas of dark cherry, ripe strawberry and plum with hints of oak, cedar and dark chocolate. As Los Vascos general manager Philippe Rolet explains, “Le Dix is the result of terroir and time.”
The estate’s biodiversity includes an abundance of bird species in a dreamlike network of ponds, while sheep maintain the pastures and produce natural fertilizers for the wines. This Mediterranean-style ecosystem, filled with orchards and gardens, is complemented by the installation of beehives. The bees are used for both honey production and pollination. Only available to locals and guests of the winery, the honey is opaque and creamy, with floral aromas.
While staying at the beautiful La Casona, home of the Rothschild family at the vineyard, I was invited to partake in a blending of the future 2022 vintage, and after a few cuts, we bottled my own version of Le Dix “juice,” named Le Terryer. In a few years, when the 2022 vintage is released, we will open this one-of-a-kind bottle-aged version and compare how the properly French-oak-barrel-aged 2022 Le Dix tells us both their stories.
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