Aile D’Argent is the little known white wine from Chateau Mouton Rothschild. To say it flies under the radar is a little bit of an understatement, but this is a fantastic Bordeaux Blanc. Renewing an ancestral tradition in the Médoc, in the early 1980s Philippine de Rothschild decided to plant a few acres of the vineyard with white grape varieties.
The 10 acre Aile d’Argent (Silver Wing) vineyard, situated on the Chateau Mouton Rothschild estate, consists of three separate parcels characterised by sandy, gravelly soil. The typical blend is 57% Semillon, 42% Sauvignon Blanc and 1% Muscadelle. The average age of the vines is 17 years old, grapes are harvested by hand, specially selected on the vine and collected in small open baskets as for Chateau Mouton Rothschild. Grapes are slowly fermented in stainless steel vats at less than 18c but, when half-fermented, the Semillon and Sauvignon musts are transferred to oak barrels (50% new, 50% one year). Fermentation continues and may last for several weeks. The wine is left on the fine lees to nourish and give the wine extra roundness, length and complexity. After the different varieties have been blended, the wine is bottle in the autumn following the harvest. Only approximately 10,000 bottles are produced.
The 2012 vintage of Aile d’Argent is a blend of 63% Sauvignon Blanc and 27% Semillon.