James Suckling 92
A great introduction to Chile's signature grape. Deep black-fruit aromas with some spice and just a hint of red bell pepper. The full, velvety body is brimming with ripe tannins. Slightly bitter but fun. Drink now.
Having disappeared from Bordeaux vineyards in the 19th century, Carmenere has made a miraculous recovery, becoming Chiles signature grape. Escudo Rojo Carmenere is sourced from a selection of the best parcels in the Rapel Valley, giving the wine all its character and intensity.
This wine comes from the Valle de Colchagua, in the central part of Chile 200 km south of Santiago. The vineyard, extending from the Andes Mountains to the Pacific coast, has a Mediterranean climate particularly well-suited to the development of the Carmenere grape. Baron Philippe de Rothschild Maipo Chile's winemakers have chosen the Valle de Colchagua vineyards for the variety of their soils and the amplitude of their temperature differences. Two types of soil have been chosen to favor the full expression of the Carmenere grape: deep clay soil for the concentration and power of the fruit, and gravelly clay soil of the "maicillo" type, which brings elegance and minerality.
The wine is matured in one-year-old oak barrels for six to eight months before bottling. 30 new oak and 70 1-2 year old oak barrels.
The nose opens on ripe black berry fruit aromas, joined on airing by notes of roasted coffee beans and black pepper. From a highly expressive attack on the black fruit found on the nose, the peppery notes that emerged with airing return on a midpalate which combines power with heft. The finish lingers on an intense array of black fruit, spice and roasted coffee bean flavors.
The grapes are hand-picked then brought to the Baron Philippe de Rothschild Maipo Chile bodega, in the heart of the Maipo Valley. Combining wood and steel in a distinctive architectural style, the bodega has state-of-the-art equipment that also respects the great winemaking traditions. Escudo Rojo Carmenere is vinified in the Bordeaux manner, favoring extraction of the fruit and a supple, well-balanced tannic structure.
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