Philippe Sereys de Rothschild attends Halpern Portfolio Tasting October 27, 2011

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It’s been an open secret for several years now — the Rothschild family has embarked on a new venture in Champagne. Last week, Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, the chairman of the project, was in New York to launch Champagne Barons de Rothschild. The Champagne unites three different branches of the family: Benjamin, a Geneva banker who also owns Château Clarke; Eric, owner of Château Lafite Rothschild and several other estates; and Philippe, whose mother is Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, owner of Château Mouton Rothschild.

“For years, we had thought, ‘What could we do together? What could be fun?’” says de Rothschild. In 2005, the family toured the Côtes des Blancs and met vignerons they wanted to work with; then they tapped the technical expertise of Coopérative Vinicole de Vertus to make the wine.

The three current releases include a NV Brut, NV Blanc de Blancs and NV Rosé. All are well made, with the Blanc de Blancs a touch richer and creamier thanks to a bit more aging, but even the brut and rosé are aged four years prior to disgorging and then another nine months prior to release. “As soon as we decide to call it Champagne de Rothschild, there’s no discussion—we have to have the quality,” says de Rothschild.

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