Thursday, February 2, 2012

Escudo Rojo 2008: Blended Splendid

With the Vancouver Playhouse Wine Festival opening later this month featuring Chile, I thought it would be very timely to include this amazing red which has come down several dollars since it was first introduced. Escudo Rojo is the result of a joint venture between Mouton Rothschild of Bordeaux, France, and Concha y Toro, Chile's largest winery. Basically it is a famous French Bordeaux maker producing a Bordeaux style wine in Chile with Chilean fruit. The wine is actually a blend of four grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Carmenere, and Cabernet Franc.  There is no such thing as a perfect grape: each grape has its attributes and its deficiencies.  While Cabernet Sauvignon gives structure and longevity to the mix, it is ofen lacking in the midpalate.  That's where the Syrah and Carmenere come in with a rich midpalate, and soften up the Cab Sauv's shortcomings.  While Cab has a blackcurrant character, Carmenere often has a plummy character with hints of chocolate and the Syrah adds blackberry and blueberry tones.  If this were music, we'd be talking about harmony.

The 2008 is very drinkable and it is a hybrid between the very fruity Chlean reds and the more restrained French Bordeaux with their element of terroir.  It is a deep red, with a generous bouquet of dark fruit and subtle oak reminding me of a French Bordeaux with its cigar box scent. The flavour is rich with black and blue fruits from the four grapes. Well balanced with plenty of character and elegance. Enjoy with a rack of lamb, rubbed with garlic and rosemary, and pan roasted to medium rare. Splash some Escudo Rojo into the pan after the lamb has been cooked and is resting. Add some beef broth or demi-glace and deglaze.  Bon appetit!

About that name.  Escudo Rojo is Spanish for Red Shield which was the name for Rothschild's family shield, Das Rote Schild in the original German.  Clever!

Escudo Rojo 2008 $16.99 13.5%: Blended Splendid

Rich Red & Highly Recommended! $16.99

For consumers in British Columbia, check out the wines on my blog and their availability in the LDB government stores: 

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