New Chilean Reserva Varietals Arrive in U.S.

The rapid acceptance and growth of Chilean wines in the U.S. and the immediate success of Escudo Rojo has encouraged Baron Philippe de Rothschild Maipo Chile, to unveil varietal “reserva” wines from three different regions of the country.

Under the direction of Pascal Marty, the winemaker responsible for both the Escudo Rojo blend and, with Conche y Toro, for Almaviva, the wines include a Cabernet Sauvignon from the renowned Maipo Valley, a Chardonnay from the emerging Casablanca Valley and a Carmenere (a native Chilean grape) from the Rapel Valley. All three wines have a distinctive, colorful label that is reminiscent of the bright red label on Escudo Rojo.

According to Olivier Lebret, president of Baron Philippe de Rothschild USA, “Since its creation, Baron Philippe de Rothschild has been relentless in its ambition of making the world’s finest wines from grapes that grow in the best vineyards and regions—first in Bordeaux, then California and the Languedoc-Rousillon, and now in Chile. We’re very encouraged by the U.S. wine-lovers reaction to Escudo Rojo, our “assemblage” of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Carmenere, and believe these three new Chilean Reserva Varietals will meet the with the same enthusiasm and sales success.”

The Baron Philippe de Rothschild Maipo Chile Chardonnay Reserva comes from the Casablanca Valley, which is north of Santiago and very close to the Pacific Ocean—Chile’s best region for white wine grapes, especially Chardonnay. The wine has a fine, deep golden color and a bouquet of citrus fruit, pineapple and mangos. A crisp mouth feel gives way to fruit flavors combining pleasantly with well-integrated oak that brings a touch of toast and vanilla (the wine is matured for five months to one year in old oak barrels before bottling). A long, lingering finish expresses all the character of the Chardonnay grape.

From Maipo Valley, perhaps the best-known wine region in Chile, comes the Baron Philippe de Rothschild Maipo Chile Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva. Nestling at the foot of the Andes Mountains, this valley has a long-standing viticultural tradition, offering some of the best growing conditions for the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. The wine has a deep, dark color and a very forward nose on which vanilla, liquorice and spice notes mingle with the roast coffee and toast aromas of the oak. From a dense and powerful attack, the body develops on smooth, but firm, tannins. An excellent balance between freshness, fruit and structure gives an ample and impressively persistent finish.

The third wine, Baron Philippe de Rothschild Maipo Chile Carmenere Reserva utilizes native grapes from the Rapel Valley, which is south of Santiago and ideal Carmenere country. Long confused with Merlot, Carmenere usually manifests itself in a subtle spiciness. This unique wine has a fine red color with a cherry tint, and a rich, complex nose displaying very ripe berry fruit aromas and notes of cedarwood, tobacco and vanilla. The body is round and smooth, with the soft, persistent tannins typical of Chilean Carmenere. Highly refined notes of oak return in a long, dense, substantial finish.

The 2000 vintage of the Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva and the 2001 vintage of both the Chardonnay Reserva and Camernere Reserva will be available in September,2002 at a suggested retail price of $9.99. The Baron Philippe de Rothschild Maipo Chile Reserva Varietals are imported exclusively through Caravelle Wine Selections, Avon, CT.

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