Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
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.
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.