February 7, 2020 Comments (0) Views: 933 Try This

Escudo Rojo: Try This $18 Cabernet

Malcolm Jolley finds an affordable Chilean terroir-driven wine…

Escudo Rojo means ‘red shield’ in Spanish, or in German ‘roter schild’, or Rothschild, as in the famous Bordeaux family behind Mouton. Escudo Rojo is what they call their “Worthy heir of Baron de Philippe de Rothschild in Chile” situated in renown Maipo Valley near Santiago. The 2018 Escudo Rojo Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon ($17.95, LCBO# 13434) is part of tomorrow’s February 8th Vintages release, and worth trying. It’s especially worth trying if, like me, you are prone to hold outdated ideas about Chilean wine at this price point, and assume they are all hot and sweet. This Escudo Rojo Cabernet is lovely, lively and elegant with dark red fruit notes like cherry and silky tannic structure made for rare beef or even for some ageing. In other words, when I tasted it completely defied my expectations of an $18 Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile, and I expect it will go quickly.

I tasted the 2018 Escudo Rojo Riserva Cabernet Sauvignon with the man responsible for making it, Emmanuel Riffaud. Riffaud was in town last month to meet with Baron Philippe de Rothschild’s Canadian importers, Arterra Wines. Riffaud is Frenchman, born and raised in Cognac, not far from Château Mouton Rothschild, where was part of the wine making team for years until he visited Chile and fell in love with the country. At a small media tasting organized by Arterra, Riffaud explained that he and his team have been refining the wine making Escudo Rojo to focus on expressing the terroir of the vineyards, adopting sustainable practices and generally lettingthe wines be themselves. If the 2018 Riserva Cabernet is anything to go on, I suggest he’s met with success.

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