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Almaviva Red 2003
Bordeaux Red Blends from Chile, South America
#24 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2006!
The Wine Advocate - "The 2003 Almaviva is a real blockbuster, powerhouse vintage for this estate. With an inky blue/purple color, a beautiful nose of camphor, charcoal, blueberry, blackberry, and some spicy but subtle new oak, the wine is quite full-bodied, powerful, rich, but with silky tannins and loads of glycerin. This could turn out to be one of the all-time great wines released by this partnership and should continue to drink well for another two decades."
Wine Spectator - "Quite ripe, with braised fig, stewed plum, black currant paste and cherry preserve notes backed by roasted coffee and bacon notes. A tarry edge drives through the very lush finish. Shows more raw power than freshness, but still quite packed and in need of more unwinding."
Wine Enthusiast - "Impressive in every way. The color shines an irridescent ruby, while the bouquet is massive, an amalgamation of fresh-cut cedar, pencil lead and lush berry fruit. Ripe as can be and balanced, with plushness and depth you don't normally find. Finishes round and creamy, with vanilla and liqueur notes."
International Wine Cellar - "Saturated ruby. Explosive, powerful aromas of creme de cassis, blackberry, cherry preserves and smoked meat, complicated further by notes of licorice, an almost iron-like peaty quality and espresso. Broad, dense and lush, the dark fruit qualities repeating with great authority on the palate and showing impressive sweetness but also focus and persistence. This has the length and complexity of a high-end Bordeaux, and a concentration and sweetness that bode well for long-term development. Finishes with thick, harmonious tannins and a lingering note of blackcurrant. As good a wine as I've tasted from Chile to date. Almaviva is a joint venture between Baron Philippe de Rothschild (Chateau Mouton-Rothschild) and Concha y Toro. This wine trades on the Bordeaux market; the price above is as a futures purchase."
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Almaviva is the name of both winery and wine born of the joint venture between Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Viña Concha y Toro. It is also that of Pierre de Beaumarchais' character, the "Count of Almaviva" in his Marriage of Figaro, a work Wolfang Amadeus Mozart later turned into one of the most popular operas ever. The classical epithet, laid out in Pierre de Beaumarchais' fair hand, shares the label with insignia of pre-hispanic roots symbolizing a union of European and American cultures that at every level has created successive bonds over centuries that have evolved a unique identity. The recent synthesis of French tradition and American soil has delivered an exceptional wine embodying the best of both worlds, a Primer Orden that really shines. View all Almaviva Wines
About ChileView a map of Chile wineries (CHEE-lay)Long and thin, Chile has a lot of land north to south. The wine region here is a series of districts based near Santiago. The vineyards are protected by the Pacific on the west and the Andes mountains on the east. This could help explain why the climate changes more from east to west than north to south – also why the country has remained phylloxera free. Quite a few wineries in Chile were founded by large French wine companies. Seeing the potential of the country, vineyards were bought and planted by these French folks and the results tell of a smart investment. Some of these wineries include: Los Vascos, Casa Lapostolle and Cousino Macul. And while the inspiration may have been French, but the wines here are quite Chilean.
Photo of the sun break following morning fog over the vineyards of Veramonte Winery (located in the Casablanca Valley)
Notable FactsThe main regions of Chile include Maipo (pronounced MY-poh), known for reds like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere; Casablanca Valley, a region producing delicious Sauvignon Blanc, as well as other whites & some reds; Colchaugua, an inland district creating amazing red wines from Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, particularly in the Apalta sub-region; and Rapel Valley, settled right under Maipo and producing the same red varietals. A couple of smaller regions to watch include Limari and Elqui, two valleys further north, producing some delicious cool-climate Chardonnay and Bio Bio, an area further south, which is also focused on cool-climate varieties. Chilean wines are growing in exports and more consumers are enjoying the delicious values coming from the country. Red wines of the region, though they cannot be generalized, make the whole gamut of wine quality – quaffable to collectible. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Carmenere are the main players, though Syrah is also making a splash. Some of the best reds are blends of the above varieties. As for whites, Sauvignon Blanc is typically crisp, herbal and racy, while Chardonnay is richer in style with full-bodied texture and tropical fruit flavors.
About South AmericaRelated Links:
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.