Almaviva 1998

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750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

The 1998 Almaviva is one of the few vintages that were never rated, and as I had the chance to taste a bottle from the winery with current winemaker Michel Friu, I took the opportunity to write this note to complete the information in our database. 1998 was at the time considered one of the worst vintages ever, for the simple reason that it was a very rainy year, with 730 liters of rain during the year in Puente Alto. It was also a cooler year, and they were not ready for such weather; many were unprepared, and there was less ripeness, which was considered a catastrophe at the time. The thing with years that are less ripe, with moderate alcohol and more acidity, is that the wines often develop better than expected, sometimes better than the warm and dry years, and this 1998 is a good example of that.

WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
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Almaviva

Almaviva

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Almaviva, South America
Almaviva Almaviva's Vineyards Against the Andes Winery Image

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.

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Dramatic geographic and climatic changes from west to east make Chile an exciting frontier for wines of all styles. Chile’s entire western border is Pacific coastline, its center is composed of warm valleys and on its eastern border, are the soaring Andes Mountains.

Chile’s central valleys, sheltered by the costal ranges, and in some parts climbing the eastern slopes of the Andes, remain relatively warm and dry. The conditions are ideal for producing concentrated, full-bodied, aromatic reds rich in black and red fruits. The eponymous Aconcagua Valley—hot and dry—is home to intense red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot.

The Maipo, Rapel, Curicó and Maule Valleys specialize in Cabernet and Bordeaux Blends as well as Carmenère, Chile’s unofficial signature grape.

Chilly breezes from the Antarctic Humboldt Current allow the coastal regions of Casablanca Valley and San Antonio Valley to focus on the cool climate loving varieties, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Chile’s Coquimbo region in the far north, containing the Elqui and Limari Valleys, historically focused solely on Pisco production. But here the minimal rainfall, intense sunlight and chilly ocean breezes allow success with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The up-and-coming southern regions of Bio Bio and Itata in the south make excellent Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Spanish settlers, Juan Jufre and Diego Garcia de Cáceres, most likely brought Vitis vinifera (Europe’s wine producing vine species) to the Central Valley of Chile sometime in the 1550s. One fun fact about Chile is that its natural geographical borders have allowed it to avoid phylloxera and as a result, vines are often planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted.

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.

SHCMCW2473_1998 Item# 24260

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