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Almaviva Red 2012

Bordeaux Red Blends from Maipo Valley, Chile
  • JS96
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • WE92
15% ABV
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15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Made from a blend of classic Bordeaux varieties, in which Cabernet Sauvignon predominates, Almaviva is an exceptionally elegant and complex wine. Deep, intense and attractive ruby red color. The bouquet is pure and forward, revealing clean aromas of blackberries, blackcurrant and licorice, associated with subtle notes of vanilla, dark chocolate, incense and spices.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 96
James Suckling
A young red that shows dark and intense fruits overflowing from the glass with aromas that diffuses into spices, nuts and iron. Also dusty like the vineyards of Puente Alto on a hot summer's afternoon. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a gorgeous wet clay, currant and blackberry aftertaste. Very refined and pretty texture. Bordeaux blend. Better in 2017.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
2012 was particularly dry in Puente Alto, the main appellation in Maipo where the 2012 Almaviva was produced. There was two-thirds of the normal rain and an early season in all senses: bud breaking to harvest, although the end of the picking was delayed and the late-ripening varieties, Carménère and Cabernet, were picked at cooler temperatures. Being close to the Andes Mountains, the zone is always later than other zones like Colchagua. It kind of became normal with lower temperatures in April after a very warm March and things slowed down. The blend in 2012 was 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Carménère, 8% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% /Merlot. The grapes are never pumped, and fermented in stainless steel vats with a total cuvaison of three to four weeks. The wine matured in 78% new French oak barrels for 19 months. As almost 90% of the grapes were picked at cooler temperatures, the wine does not really show in excess the heat of the vintage, certainly less than in other warm vintages in the past. There are notes of Mediterranean herbs and hints of tree bark over a core of ripe berries. The particularity of this terroir is to be able to achieve freshness because of its proximity to the mountains, and the ripening is slow. Winemaker Michel Friou tells me that 2012 is somehow similar to 2015, where the record temperatures in March were again surpassed. This 2012 is quite approachable, with its round and abundant tannins and soft acidity, flavors of ripe berries, good freshness and balance. This is less powerful and approachable than the 2011.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
An elegant and refined red, showing concentrated cherry and plum flavors that take on meaty accents. Savory notes cascade through the creamy and focused finish. Very Bordeaux-like. Drink now through 2020.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Warm-vintage characteristics of earthy berry aromas require time to come into focus. In the mouth, this Cabernet Sauvignon blend feels ripe, chunky and lush. Loamy, baked plum and cassis flavors are rich and easy, but short on the complexity that Almaviva usually offers. On the finish, this is smooth, lightly herbal and spicy. Drink through 2022.
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Almaviva

Almaviva

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Almaviva, Maipo Valley, Chile
Image of winery
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.

Maipo Valley

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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. The soils here tend to be high in salinity and low in potassium, which can present viticultural challenges, but new vineyard management techniques have been implemented to combat these issues.

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, originally a Bordeaux variety which has found a successful home in Chile. White wines are also produced, especially near the cooler coast, from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Bordeaux Blends

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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, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

BNP09021120601_2012 Item# 152687