Almaviva Red 2017
Deep, intense and opaque ruby red. The nose reveals a generous, powerful and layered bouquet of ripe cassis and blackberries, interwoven with hints of mineral, fine notes of vanilla, coffee, black pepper and earth. Dense and full-bodied, the wine fills the mouth with round, ripe and refined tannins, leaving an overall impression of balance and persistence. Produced from an extremely warm, but superb vintage, this well-structured wine of balanced acidity strikes a wonderful combination of elegance and power, with a very promising long aging potential.
Blend: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Carmenère, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Merlot
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Brilliant winemakers come into their own in difficult vintages and it's fascinating to hear Michel Friou talk about how he dealt with the contrasting challenges of the 2016 and 2017 growing seasons. If the former was very good indeed, the latter is the best young vintage of Almaviva I've ever tasted. It’s a wonderfully complex, harmonious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with 23% Carmenère, 5% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot and 2% Merlot. Fine, elegant and subtle, with good density, scented cigarbox oak and a lovely interplay between acidity, cassis and bramble fruit weight and 77% new oak. My Chilean red wine of the year. 2023-32
2017 was an unusual year—warm and extremely dry, with 178 liters of rain, but there was some rain after the 2016 harvest, so the soil had some water]—and the harvest and the whole cycle were two to three weeks earlier than normal. That is the context for the 2017 Almaviva, whose vines saw extremely low yields (10 hectoliters per hectare in the older parts, 36 hectoliters per hectare in the young vines) and produced concentrated juice. The bottled blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Carmenère, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Merlot, quite similar to the 2016, and the alcohol level reached 14.6% with a pH of 3.65 and 4.9 grams of acidity (measured in tartaric acid). It matured in French oak barriques (825 of them new) for 19 months. It's a riper, rounder and softer vintage, with moderate acidity and a tender mouthfeel, and it is really marked by very high temperatures all year round. They used a little more Petit Verdot in the blend, but there is no over-ripeness. Rating: 94+
A Cabernet Sauvignon mixed with 23% Carménère, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Merlot from Puente Alto, Maipo that spent 19 months in French barrels. Reflecting a warm, dry year, the nose presents notes of black currant and raspberry jam, black tea leaves and sweet spices with a touch of kirsch. Gentle on the palate with firm, pleasant tannins, a loose structure, bold flavor and intriguing expression. A hint of menthol makes itself felt at the back of the mouth.
Taut and savory, with loads of freshly crushed green herbal accents to the mineral-infused red currant and plum flavors. Cedary midpalate, featuring a burnished finish filled with spicy notes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot. Drink now through 2026.
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.