James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (Aug 2021)
Drink 2021 - 2026
Jane Anson, Decanter.com (Sept 2021)
About this WINE
Baron Philippe de Rothschild
Baron Philippe de Rothschild is known world over through its ownership of Château Mouton- Rothschild and its involvement with projects such as Opus One in California. In 1997 it joined forces with Concha y Toro to produce the ultra-premium Almaviva. Escudo Rojo represents the next chapter in the company's Chilean operations. Escudo Rojo is a literal Spanish translation of Rothschild, which itself comes from the German "das rote schild", a reference to the red shield which originally served as the family crest.
With Escudo Rojo, winemaker Patrick Leon has sought to create a balanced Bordeaux-like blend Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet France, Carmenère and Merlot from select sources in Chile's Maipo and Rapel regions. Harvested by hand in small bins, the grapes are transported to the bodega where they are mechanically destemmed and lightly crushed. After fermentation and skin contact, the wine is drained off the tanks and is then partially aged in new French oak barrels for approximately 12 months. 1999 was the inaugural vintage.
Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.
Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.
It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.
Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.