Sunday, January 29, 2012

2008 Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo

In the Glass: Black cherry red

On the Nose: A bit off putting at first with some barnyard scents. Upon airing you get some nice red fruit and leather aromas. Chocolate nuances.

On the Palate: Black cherry, blueberry dominates with a finish of bitter chocolate and currants. More complex than most red wines at this price point, but seems to lack balance. Very little tannins detected. Needs no further bottle aging, but should hold up well for the next 2-3 years. Decanting helps bring out the fruit to the nose.

Style: Smooth and supple.

Rating: 87/100.

Price Range: $10.00-14.00. This wine is available at selective wine shops and online.

Comments: This red blend from the Maipo Valley of Chile is an effort from Baron Philippe de Rothschild's winery in that country. "Escudo Rojo" means red shield in Spanish and is derived from the Rothschild name which means the same in German. This wine is elaborated in the classic french Bordeaux style of blending to create a smooth and complex variety of flavors. Generally contains 25-27% Carmenère, 7-10% Syrah, 55-58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8-10% Cabernet Franc. The grapes used to make this wine are hand-picked, then blended, and spend 12 months in French oak before being bottled. While I find it an enjoyable wine and very easy to drink, I think the winery tries too hard to imitate the classic Bordeaux blend and ends up with a slightly off balance result. The other varietals seem to overpower the Carmenere and all but offset it, which is a shame since I am a big fan of the flavors it can impart on a good blend by other Chilean winemakers. This wine will go well with lamb dishes, beef roasts or as a stand alone quaff!

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