A Singular Bordeaux-Style Blend from a Chilean TerroirAlmaviva is the fruit of a collaboration between Baroness Philippine de Rothschild of Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Eduardo Guilisasti Tagle, Chairman of Viña Concha y Toro. This partnership, formed in 1997, aimed to produce a single exceptional Franco-Chilean cuvee, named Almaviva (after Count Almaviva from The Marriage of Figaro). The first vintage of this wine was launched in 1998, and it has enjoyed international fame and recognition for its quality ever since. Almaviva was the very first wine to be created from Chilean terroir under the French chateau concept, expanding over 60 hectares of vines in the highest part of the Maipo Valley (650 metres above sea level) in Chile's Central Valley. The soil here is alluvial, rocky and poor, consisting of loamy clay, sandy loam, gravel and rocks. The vines here enjoy a semiarid Mediterranean climate, cool breezes from the Andes mountains and a great oscillation of temperatures between the days and nights. The result is fruit that develops slowly and gradually for a higher concentration of colors and aromas. The vineyard is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot, typical varietals of the Bordeaux region.
The 2015 vintage was characterized by a very dry winter and low temperatures during flowering, which did not affect the future production of the vines. Summer was hot and dry, with the onset of veraising occuring earlier than expected and the harvest of Merlot picked on March 16th (two weeks before schedule). The harvest was very long, lasting over 10 weeks, with Carmenere harvested last, on May 26th.
The Almaviva 2015 blends 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Carmenere, 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot for a truly captivating wine that displays a brilliant opaque red color in the glass. The wine was matured in new French oak barrels for 18 months, lending perfectly integrated touches of oak to the flavor profile. On the nose, this Chilean red wine is powerful and complex, seamlessly blending ripe fruit and subtle floral aromas, which are followed by caramel, licorice and graphite notes. On the palate, this wine is very well-balanced. The juicy attack, rich in ripe fruit (raspberry, blackcurrant and black cherry) is framed by a beautiful structure formed by polished and fine tannins. On the finish, this wine is silky with mineral touches.
Wine Advocate-Parker :
2015 was a dry and warm year, and the 2015 Almaviva shows ripe and voluptuous, with a full body and sweet fruit on the finish. The varietal breakdown is 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Carménère, 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot; the high percentage of the Carménère, a constant in warmer years, comes from Puente Alto and also Peumo, the classical zone for the grape in Cachapoal. The élevage was in 82% new barriques and lasted 18 months. It's creamy and sleek, with polished tannins. It was a ripe and dry year, with higher yields than 2014, which is more concentrated; in 2015 the yields were a little higher with slightly larger grapes and bunches, and for winemaker Michel Friou, this results in better balance, with a ratio of skin to juice that is more balanced than in years when the grapes are smaller and might produce very tannic wines. However, the wines show very consistent in the last few years, always harmonious and combining power with elegance while showing the nuances from the year, which tend not to be huge. This has a little less alcohol than the 2014, and the day I tasted it, it showed more Cabernet Sauvignon personality. This is more approachable than the 2014. 180,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in January 2017.