#10 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2019
Deep, intense and brilliant ruby red color. The nose reveals delicate aromas of red fruits and berries, such as raspberry and blackberry, which are harmoniously integrated with notes of toffee and coffee, offering a refined and distinguished nose. The elegance of the wine is underscored by its round and fresh mouthfeel. Subtle, but present tannins frame the blend, leading to a vanilla and peppery finish. Complex and luxurious, Almaviva 2016 is a remarkably graceful and silky wine, faithful to its predecessors in style and precision.
Blend: 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Carmenere, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Peitit Verdot.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A very fine and elegant Almaviva with fresh fruit and herb character. Medium-to-full body, tight and focused with very fine, linear tannins and a chocolate and light cedar undertone to the whole thing. Savory, too. Smoked meat and succulent. It's tight but opens with air. Classicism here. 66% cabernet sauvignon, 24% carmenere, 8% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot. Drink in 2021.
The 2016 Almaviva was showing really well, quite subtle and austere, less showy than the 2017 and 2018 vintages. It has less alcohol than either of the following two vintages, and it's perhaps a slightly different vintage of Almaviva, a little lighter and with a more elegant and subtle profile. This is a vintage of more finesse, closer to a classic Bordeaux, with a dry, austere finish—there is no room for any sweetness here. This is a little bit better than I thought. Rating: 95+
2016 was a challenging vintage for Almaviva, as it was for many Chilean producers, but Michel Friou has produced a delightful wine in a lighter style. Made from Cabernet Sauvignon with 24% Carmenère, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, it's aromatic, spicy and quite forward with subtle mocha oak and raspberry and cassis flavours. 2020-26.
A Cabernet Sauvignon with 24% Carménère, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot from Puente Alto, Maipo that spent 18 months in French barrels. In a cold year, Michel Friu brings out fresh black currants and sour cherries with hints of sweet spices and notes of cigar box and mint. Complex, with a loose structure, it is juicy on the palate, with more flavor than kick, enhanced by the refreshing herbal flourish at the end of an already lengthy finish.
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.
The Maipo Valley is Chile’s most famous wine region. Set in the country’s Central Valley, it is warm and quite dry, often necessitating the use of irrigation. Alluvial soils predominate but are supplemented with loam and clay.
The climate in Maipo is best-suited for ripe, full-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon (the region’s most widely planted grape), Merlot, Syrah and Carmenère, a Bordeaux variety that has found a successful home in Chile.
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.