It seems the floodgates are opening in South America, with the release of yet another new wine from a high-profile international wine company. Baron Philippe de Rothschild, which currently works with Chile's Concha y Toro on Viña Almaviva, is unveiling a new red wine, called Escudo Rojo, this month.
A play on the derivation of "Rothschild," the name Escudo Rojo means "red shield" in Spanish. The wine is a red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, using grapes from vineyards in Chile's Maipo and Rapel valleys.
Escudo Rojo will be priced in the middle of Rothschild's three wine lines from Chile. Almaviva is currently the high-end brand; Escudo Rojo will retail for about $15 per bottle, and a new line of lower-priced varietal bottlings will be released next year. Annual production of Escudo Rojo will be about 22,000 cases.
Pascal Marty, who helped create Viña Almaviva, will head up the project. Marty has also worked on Opus One, Rothschild's joint venture in Napa Valley with Robert Mondavi Winery, as well as with the company's Bordeaux properties: châteaus Mouton-Rothschild, Clerc Milon and d'Armailhac.
The first vintage released, the Escudo Rojo 1999, scored 86 points, or "very good," on Wine Spectator's 100-point scale. It shows medium-weight black cherry and berry fruit flavors and its focused, mineral-tinged finish has character.
Check our recent ratings of Almaviva wines.
Read James Molesworth's tasting report on South American wines:
Read recent news reports about new South American wines: