Almaviva 2017 is an outstanding wine. The site is obviously perfect for high-quality, Cabernet dominant wines. Almaviva 2017 has been given some great reviews, and having tried it with Sena (another Bordeaux-styled Cabernet from Chile) it is clear that there is something special about the 2017 vintage. Almaviva was double decanted before lunch and served about an hour later. It still changed and evolved for the rest of the afternoon. It is a young pup and in need of a lot of time in the cellar.
Having said that, we proved you can drink and enjoy the Almaviva 2017 now. It was well paired with a steak at Scopri. But just be aware that this wine will change a lot and improve a lot over.
[box]Almaviva Maipo Valley 2017 and all wines are eligible for at least 5% off any six bottles. And 10% off any 12 bottles. Some wines will be at a more significant discount and not subject to further discounts.[/box]
Almaviva is a collaboration between Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Château Mouton Rothschild and Chilean winery Concha y Toro. They want Almaviva to be seen as the equivalent of Grand Cru Bordeaux. Since 1997 (first release 1998) they used 60 hectares of vines in Puente Alta, the Maipo Valley’s highest point. The blend is where mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with Carmenère, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. At lunch at Scopri in January 2021 we tasted the 2016 and 2017 together with Cheval Des Andes and Sena. My feeling is that Almaviva is ahead in terms of sheer quality and ageability. But the other two are certainly close to Almaviva when you talk about the enjoyment of a glass of wine, and that is what I am focused on. Almaviva is a wine to store for the long-term (15 years plus).
Almaviva Maipo Valley 2017 Wine Review
JamesSuckling.com (April 2019)
“The aromas of blackberry leaves and iodine are wild and exotic here with mussel shells and earth underneath. Full-bodied, tight and chewy with powerful tannins that show muscle. It’s structured and powerful. Dense and very, very deep. Don’t touch this until 2025.”
Just south of Santiago in Chile. Maipo is Chile’s leading wine region. Many of the great producers and wines come from here, and it is a fantastic place to start learning about the wines of Chile. Maipo is most famous for Bordeaux styled blends and has a speciality in Carmenere.
If you love Australian wine, then Chile is a natural extension of that. If you have a taste for top-flight Bordeaux, then Maipo can scratch that itch too.
The noble variety of Bordeaux’s left bank. Firm tannins, a streak of acidity and punctuated by flavours of cassis, violets, spice and leather. The best examples can age for the long-term. Although Cabernet does often require blending with Merlot, Cabernet Franc or Shiraz to fix the hole it has in its middle palate.
Carmenere is a red grape originally from Bordeaux but has almost been removed from the vineyards entirely. Luckily for the grape, it has found a new home in Chile.
Deep colour, red fruits, spices, softer tannins than Cabernet and a medium body. It is often made into a rich wine, tasting of currants or raisins. This distinctive nose makes it perceptible in blends too.
Is actually one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon… along with Sauvignon Blanc (oh! The name makes sense now!). It is most famous for being the third most important grape in quality Bordeaux. But also excels in the Loire Valley (where it lived before it went to Bordeaux), especially Chinon and Saumur. The wines are bright red in colour, highlight aromatic with raspberries, rose petals, violets along with tobacco, cassis and some herbal elements. The best examples can live as long as any great wine.
Chile has had vines since the 1500s. But it wasn’t until the 1990s that they became a real player in the international wine market.
The climate here is near ideal, with consistently warm, dry weather. The Andes provides irrigation via snow melts. Proof of the idyllic terroir is the amount of French investment and know-how that has had it into Chile.
The top wines are generally Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet blends, and they are equal to great Bordeaux. But there is a whole range of magnificent wines to taste from the international varieties. They have made Carmenere a particular flagship after finding about half of their Merlot was actually Carmenere.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is impressive. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fun fact; most of the colour for wines comes from the skins. There are only a handful of grapes that have red juice. Alicante is the most well known of these grapes.
By macerating the juice on the skins, the wine gains tannins, and flavours. Certain compounds change the chemistry of the wine too.
Red wines tend to have higher alcohol. More tannin and more oak flavours compared to other styles of wine. But the thousands of grapes and terroirs they grow in influence this.
The Wine Depository
I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.