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Escudo Rojo – Worthy heir of Baron de Rothschild in Chile

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Escudo Rojo was born at the crossroads of cross-generational expertise and pioneering exploration; the historical craftsmanship of Baron de Philippe de Rothschild applied to the best terroirs of Chile.

The project started in 1999 when Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, Baron Philippe’s daughter and second generation at the helm of the family’s wine estates, decided to create her wine in the heart of Maipo, Chile’s flagship region. That same year marked the first release of Escudo Rojo’s eponymous cuvée, which, since then, is recognised for being a powerful yet poised expression of the local terroirs, bridging new world intensity and old world elegance. The venture was further consolidated with the construction of a winery and the acquisition of vineyards. Such steps structured what Escudo Rojo is today: a beacon of excellence, setting the benchmark for one of South America’s most exciting wine regions. Confirming its continuous, ever-evolving quest for precision and quality, the company is certified under the Sustainable Wine of Chile program, which regulates the best practices across all operational processes, from vineyard management to distribution.

Identity and expression

The wine that perhaps best epitomises the identity of Escudo Rojo is Escudo Rojo Gran Reserva, a blend of five different varieties from multiple terroirs. It harnesses the best character of each grape and plot, through a careful selection and blending process, akin to that of a top French Grand Cru. As such, this is a unique wine within the Chilean context, where single-varietal bottlings dominate. Emmanuel Riffaud, managing director and chief winemaker at Baron Philippe de Rothschild Chile, says that the conceptual approach to the creation of the Gran Reserva brings an European interpretation of terroir expression, in which purity is found through balance and creative assemblage. ‘Arriving in Chile in 2008, I was impressed by the richness of its soil, the variety of its climates and the diversity of its terroirs. Drawing on my Bordeaux experience, I wanted to go even further in expressing the fabulous Chilean terroir while emphasising a French touch in the style of the wines,’ explains Emmanuel Riffaud.

The first steps involved a careful, granular understanding of each vineyard and plot. ‘Using new technologies such as electro-conductivity mapping, I defined micro-zones within our parcels and drew up a precise set of specifications which we use to monitor the grapes, plot by plot, and to decide the optimum harvest date for each parcel. The grapes are hand-picked and individually sorted using optical equipment to ensure that only perfectly ripe grapes are gravity-fed into the vats.’ The same precision with which micro-terroirs are defined and fruit is selected is extended in the cellar, where daily tastings allow for a constant fine-tuning of the vinification process of each batch. He hopes that this intense work, of passion and deep analysis, comes through in each bottle, as much as the quality of the grapes and wine.

Escudo Rojo Gran Reserva 2019 

A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc
Aged in French oak barrels (25% new) for 12 months
A wine of powerful generosity, with great balance of red and black fruit, topped by notes of chocolate and cocoa. The palate’s richness is offset by good acid drive and firm, soft tannins. Very expressive contribution from all varieties in the blend – Cabernet Sauvignon adds depth and richness of fruit, Cabernet Franc earthy nuances and mineral freshness, Carménère brings herbal complexity and firmness of tannins, Syrah contributes with savoury richness and Petit Verdot brings its distinct touch of spice. In tandem, these five varieties express the truth of the outstanding terroir of Maipo, further underscored by the secondary notes.

Discover more about Escudo Rojo

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