New Escudo Rojo range targets more specific terroir

The new Escudo Rojo range launched by Baron Philippe de Rothschild Chile at Vinexpo Bordeaux earlier this year has targeted more specific Chilean terroir, according to managing director Emmanuel Riffaud.

The range was re-launched in timing with the winery’s 20th anniversary and includes the signature Grande Réserve, a new Cabernet Sauvignon called Escudo Rojo Origine and the Réserve range which now boasts a Pinot Noir.

“The terroir of our Chilean vineyards is the most important to us. After 20 years we know more about Chilean terroir and now we are trying to be more specific with our terroir expressions and add freshness to the wine. We want Chilean terroir with a French winemaking approach.”

The combination of Bordeaux and native grape varieties are grown in the Maipo Valley, 45Km south of Santiago and all of the grapes at its Chilean vineyards are harvested and then sorted by hand and optical sorter to find the best fruit, which are then lightly crushed and gravity-fed into vats.

“It hasn’t been difficult to relaunch the wines because they have a strong reputation but we’re excited to see how the new varieties will do,” added Riffaud.

“The Pinot Noir shouldn’t be an issue because we’ve had good feedback, however I’m not sure we have enough. We only have 2,000 cases, but we’d prefer to do it this way around than having 10,000 cases of less quality wine.”

Last year Riffaud told Drinks International that he believes Chilean wine deserves a more premium price point, and since then the average case has increased by one dollar, but he still thinks this is too low.

“I think we still need to increase the prices of our exported wines so that markets will see Chile as one of the most premium categories of wine.”

Escudo Rojo Origine is one of the most premium wines ever released by the brand and Riffaud said they have been able to produce such a quality wine through 20 years of working and experimenting with the local terroir, and this will only continue.

“I think we’ve improved our understanding of the terroir over the years and this will keep happening, there’s always room to improve,” Riffaud concluded.