Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Gran Reserva 2018
An intense, glittering crimson with a purple tint. The nose opens on an elegant combination of red and black fruit aromas, followed with airing by elegant spice and roasted coffee-bean notes. The palate has ripe red and black fruit flavors emerge on the attack, followed on the mid-palate by powerful black fruit mingled with delicate spice and roasted coffee-bean notes. The fruit flavors found on the attack return, underpinned by beautifully refined tannins which give length and elegance to the finish.
Blend: 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Carmenere, 11% Syrah, 4% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Escudo Rojo is an iconic Chilean brand created by Baron Philippe de Rothschild to produce the best wines in each category and market them worldwide. The wines strike a harmonious balance between freshness, fruit, oak, fullness on the palate and ageing potential. In addition to the flagship blended wine, the Escudo Rojo range includes five varietal wines: Carmenere, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. All the wines in the range express a distinctive character, reflecting the expression of its terroir.
Escudo Rojo is the Spanish translation of the German “Rote Schild” meaning Red Shield. In 1999, the encounter between Chilean soil and Bordeaux expertise gave rise to Escudo Rojo, a branded wine worthy of the Baron Philippe de Rothschild name, synonymous with the high standards of a great winemaking tradition. Vines were first introduced into Chile in the 16th century by the Spanish Conquistadors and their religious orders who needed wine to celebrate mass. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay vines were imported from France in the 19th century in order to make finer wines.
Located at Buin-Maipo, 45 kilometers south of Santiago in the famous Maipo Valley, the Baron Philippe de Rothschild Maipo Chile bodega stands in its own 63-hectare (156-acre) vineyard. The wines are made, matured, bottled and packaged at the estate under the supervision of a French winemaker and under the control of an in-house laboratory. For each of its wines, the winery selects the best parcels in Chile’s most highly reputed valleys in order to make wines which consistently combine refinement and character. Regular sources of supply and constant quality are also guaranteed by long-term contracts with partner winegrowers, especially further south, in the Rapel Valley. A rigorous parcel selection procedure has been created, with each parcel being tested for three years in order to ensure that the grapes are of sufficiently high quality to be used to make Escudo Rojo.
Dramatic geographic and climatic changes from west to east make Chile an exciting frontier for wines of all styles. Chile’s entire western border is Pacific coastline, its center is composed of warm valleys and on its eastern border, are the soaring Andes Mountains.
Chile’s central valleys, sheltered by the costal ranges, and in some parts climbing the eastern slopes of the Andes, remain relatively warm and dry. The conditions are ideal for producing concentrated, full-bodied, aromatic reds rich in black and red fruits. The eponymous Aconcagua Valley—hot and dry—is home to intense red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot.
Chilly breezes from the Antarctic Humboldt Current allow the coastal regions of Casablanca Valley and San Antonio Valley to focus on the cool climate loving varieties, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Chile’s Coquimbo region in the far north, containing the Elqui and Limari Valleys, historically focused solely on Pisco production. But here the minimal rainfall, intense sunlight and chilly ocean breezes allow success with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The up-and-coming southern regions of Bio Bio and Itata in the south make excellent Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Spanish settlers, Juan Jufre and Diego Garcia de Cáceres, most likely brought Vitis vinifera (Europe’s wine producing vine species) to the Central Valley of Chile sometime in the 1550s. One fun fact about Chile is that its natural geographical borders have allowed it to avoid phylloxera and as a result, vines are often planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended red wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.
How to Serve Red Wine
A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines. How much does this matter?
How Long Does Red Wine Last?
Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.