"Baronesa P. is a work of exquisite craftsmanship, a rare and unique wine.
Its availability in limited quantity underlines its exclusive nature."
Baronesa P.: a tribute to Baroness Philippine de Rothschild
With the special cuvée Baronesa P., Escudo Rojo pays tribute to its creator, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild. Fascinated by the richness of Chile’s terroirs, Baroness Philippine decided in 1999 to make her own wine in the heart of the Maipo Valley: Escudo Rojo.
20 years later, Baroness Philippine’s Chilean endeavour has been crowned with a wine which bears the initial of her first name: Baronesa P.
Born from the exceptional Maipo Valley terroir, this fine wine is a blend of five grape varieties in which Cabernet Sauvignon predominates. It stands out for its complex fruit and spice aromas and flavours, its elegant, patrician tannins and the element of magic linked to its history.
Chile: close to Baroness Philippine’s heart
Baron Philippe de Rothschild’s only child, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild loved the theatre. After graduating from drama school (the Conservatoire National d’Art Dramatique in Paris) in 1958, she joined the Comédie Française. She ended her stage career on Baron Philippe’s death in 1988 in order to continue her father’s work, taking on all his duties and responsibilities within the family company, Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA.
While respecting her father’s legacy, Baroness Philippine resolutely brought the family company into the 21st century. With infectious energy and a forceful personality, she devoted herself to modernising and expanding it.
In the late 1990s, Baroness Philippine decided to establish the family company in Chile. It was a move entirely in keeping with the pioneering spirit of her father, who had created Opus One, now generally reckoned to be one of the world’s great wines, in California in 1978. What attracted her was the potential of Chile’s terroirs and the possibility of making wines there that would meet her exacting standards.
The Maipo Valley was a natural choice: its geography and topography offer ideal conditions for growing vines and bringing grapes to perfect maturity. There is also an alchemy between the Maipo Valley terroir and Cabernet Sauvignon which produces high-quality wines endowed with a unique personality and an elegance worthy of the best.
In 1997, the Baroness teamed up with the Larraín and Guilisasti families, owners of Concha y Toro, to create a great Franco-Chilean wine, Almaviva, one of South America’s finest wines.
Convinced by the potential of Chile’s terroirs, two years later she decided to establish Baron Philippe de Rothschild more firmly in Chile and launched Escudo Rojo.
Baron Philippe de Rothschild’s winemakers draw on their expertise to reveal the exceptional potential of those terroirs. They apply parcel selection and the art of blending, the hallmarks of Baron Philippe de Rothschild wines, with the same passion and to the same high standards as for the wines made in France.
Meticulous attention to detail
in the vineyard…
Baronesa P. is a special cuvée produced from a selection of the best micro-terroirs in the Chilean vineyard. It is the result of many years’ experience combined with a perfect understanding of the soils and vines, as well as the use of cutting-edge technology such as measurement of soil electroconductivity. Year after year, vintage after vintage, the selection has been refined and adjusted, culminating in this unique wine.
Baronesa P. is the result of a precise and unique blend of five grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, which predominates, then Carmenere, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, each bringing its own aromatic and structural qualities. The varieties meld harmoniously to yield the perfect balance that is a hallmark of great wines.
The vines are 18 to 20 years old and mostly double-Guyot trained.
The Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Syrah vines, planted in 1997, 2003 and 2009 respectively, are grown on well-balanced alluvial soil made up of stony, pebbly, sandy clay loam and clay loam over 3 metre deep bedrock. They benefit from a Mediterranean-type climate, cooled by the cold air which flows down from the Andes Mountains at night, especially during the summer months. Creating a considerable difference between day- and night-time temperatures, it ensures ideal conditions for the grapes to reach perfect maturity.
For these varieties, both massal and clonal selections are used when planting.
The Carmenere and Petit Verdot, planted in 1998 from massal selections, are grown on deep clay soils which give a supple and elegant tannic structure.
They also benefit from a Mediterranean-type climate, though with a slightly milder average temperature which allows these two late-ripening varieties to achieve optimum concentration.
… and in the winery
Harvested by hand, the grapes are carefully laid in open crates to keep them intact until they reach the winery. After destemming, the berries are meticulously sorted, first by hand, then optically, so that only perfectly healthy and ripe grapes are retained. They are then lightly crushed and gravity-fed into the vats.
The wine is matured in French oak barrels, 65% new and 35% one year old. The 2018 wine was matured for 14 months, though the maturing period is adjusted for each vintage to ensure that the aromas and flavours that result from time spent in oak meld seamlessly into the whole.
The wine in each barrel is tasted and monitored day by day. The blending of the five varieties at the end of the maturing period is a crucial step, highly complex and requiring extreme precision. The exact proportion of each variety is determined after tastings by Baron Philippe de Rothschild’s expert winemakers. The standards are the same as for the very finest wines made at the family’s Pauillac estates. Excellence is the key.
Meticulous attention is paid to each step, each element, each detail in the making of Baronesa P. Everything is closely monitored: the vines throughout the growth cycle, the grapes during vinification and the wine from maturing to bottling.
This fine wine is ready for drinking on release, though it will reach full expression after three to five years and keep for 10 to 15 years.
Complexity, balance and elegance
Nestling in its dark glass bottle with a minimalist black label showing the Escudo Rojo (red shield) motif, a reference to the Rothschild family name, the wine has all the hallmarks of those signed by the leading lady of the wine world to which it pays tribute, Baroness Philippine.
With its different textures and materials – the slight roughness of the label, the smoothness of the crest, the coolness of the glass –, the bottle asks to be picked up, held and touched, a desire intensified by the almost mysterious elegance which emanates from it.
Drinking Baronesa P. is a rich and exclusive experience, bringing all the senses into play as the complexity of the wine’s aromas and flavours takes the drinker into the heart of the finest Chilean terroirs. While they let their Chilean identity speak for itself, those terroirs also reveal a unique expression of the five grape varieties, blended into a perfectly harmonious whole.