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Birthed as a project between Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA (owners of Mouton Rothschild in Bordeaux) and Viña Concha y Toro S.A. in 1997 with a view to creating an exceptional Franco-Chilean wine called Almaviva.
The name comes from Count Almaviva who is the hero of The Marriage of Figaro, the famous play by Beaumarchais (1732-1799), later turned into an opera by the genius of Mozart. The label, meanwhile, pays homage to Chile’s ancestral history, with three reproductions of a stylized design, which symbolizes the vision of the earth and the cosmos in the Mapuche civilization. The design appears on the "kultrun", a ritual drum used by the Mapuche.
The label bears the name Almaviva in Beaumarchais’ own handwriting. Two great traditions thus join hands to offer the whole world a promise of pleasure and excellence.
Almaviva was the first wine in Chile created under this French Château concept, taking into account exceptional terroir, one unique bodega, and one technical team – the three of which are dedicated exclusively to the production of one wine of unparalleled quality and excellence. Its excellence persists as one of the great wines of Chile.
This is a wine that epitomizes greatness with its intensity, structure, and balance. It underlines the movement away from overdone, jammy wines to a neoclassicism with energy and finesse. It also highlights how South America, specifically Chile, has come into its own as a wine area, producing superb wines that can compete with the best in the world.
Aging: 16 months in new French oak barrels.
Tasting Notes: 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Carmenere, 5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% Merlot.
See Critical Review for detailed tasting notes.
Founded by Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Concha y Toro in Puente Alto, Almaviva excels with its Bordeaux-inflected reds created by Michel Friou. Its 2019 cuveé – 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Carmenere, and the rest made up of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot – enjoyed an extraordinary year resulting in a fragrant nose of dark fruit, lavender, eucalyptus, blackcurrant and cigar box aromas. The refined palate has a fresh core and velvety feel. ~98 Decanter
A very refined and polished red with currants and hints of cedar, chocolate, and hazelnuts. Subtle and fine. Medium- to full-bodied, creamy, and nicely textured. Friendly and caressing. Closing down. 68% cabernet sauvignon, 23% carmenere, 5% cabernet franc, 3% petit verdot and 1% merlot. Drink now or hold. Will age nicely. ~97 James Suckling
The Tocornal Vineyard is the source of some classic wines in Chile's modern era: Don Melchor, Viñedo Chadwick, and, by the way, Almaviva. It is a long and wide slope of alluvial soils from the Maipo River which, in the case of Almaviva, was planted with cabernet sauvignon about 40 years ago on sand and gravel soils; a soil that -judging by the results- cabernet likes a lot, gives it finesse in tannins and those herbal tones that are so typical of the vine. And that is felt even in warm vintages like this 2019, which budded late, but reached maturity earlier. Winemaker Michel Friou says that this year they cut the bunches a week earlier. The Almaviva 2019 blend is 68% cabernet sauvignon, 23% carménère (from the Peumo area, in the Cachapoal Valley), plus 5% cabernet franc, 3% petit verdot and the rest merlot. And it is an excellent vintage, perhaps more succulent than 2018 (one of the great vintages in the history of this classic), it has a little more fat, and the heat of the year shows in that broader aspect, but the fruit feels perfectly ripe. Juicy, delicious in its expression of place, leaving room for the herbal and menthol notes of cabernet from Alto Maipo that are so typical. ~97 Descorchados
~97 Tim Atkin, Master of Wine
The 2019 Almaviva is a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Carmenère (from Peumo), 5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, and 1% Merlot, higher in Carmenere and reflecting a warmer and drier vintage when then bottled wine reached 15% alcohol. It fermented with destemmed grapes in stainless steel and matured in French oak barrels, 75% of them new, for 18 months. Here, the Carmenere adds herbal freshness and changes the aromatic profile when compared with the 2019 Epu. 2019 was a good year for Carmenere, which suffers in extremely warm years like 2017, but in moderately warm years like 2019, the variety displays that herbal character and has good density. It's full-bodied and round, with saturated tannins, tasty, spicy, and long, with a dry, serious finish. It's balsamic, with notes of camphor and a silky and velvety texture. 200,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in January 2021. ~95+ Wine Advocate
An exceptional vintage from the joint venture between Baron Philippe de Rothschild (Mouton) and Concha y Toro, this grows at a parcel of the old Tocornal vineyard in Puente Alto. Almaviva’s 148 acres of vines surround the winery on a terrace above the north bank of the Maipo River. The cool elevation (2,130 feet) and the alluvial soils take cabernet in an elegant direction, rarely found outside Bordeaux, and rarely reaching the level of this latest release. It made me homesick for Chile, tasting the salt air of the coast and the mountain air of the Andes, the velvet texture of carmenère (23 percent of the blend), and the cranberry and currant freshness of the fruit. Tight, floral, spicy, and youthfully firm, this wine’s subtle power will sustain it for decades. ~95 Wine & Spirits
This Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend shows dried herbs, nutmeg, green bell pepper, and hints of tobacco on the nose. The palate has a good structure, medium acidity, and velvet tannins. Oak adds smoky notes to the mix of ripe blueberry and plum. It's delicate and has a smooth lingering finish. ~93 Wine Enthusiast
Balances elegant floral plum and cherry flavors against a well-structured frame of bitter olive, tobacco, and savory notes, which persist from a push of fresh acidity. Ends with dark chocolate and espresso notes and firm tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot. Drink now through 2028. ~93 Wine Spectator
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