100 points, “Wine of the Decade.” – James Suckling
Almaviva is one of the world’s greatest wines. This joint venture between Baroness Philippine de Rothschild (from the Château Mouton Rothschild side of the family) and the mighty Concha y Toro was launched in 1997 and Viña Almaviva Puente Alto is the only wine that the estate produces. This Franco-Chilean blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot from Puente Alto terroir is matured in new French oak for 19 months. And in many ways, it was the red that put Chile on the fine wine map. So, it was only fitting that the 2017 vintage was crowned the ‘Wine of the Decade’ by respected American wine critic James Suckling. And he wasn’t alone in his praise, as Tim Atkin MW described it as: “The best your vintage of Almaviva I’ve ever tasted… My Chilean red wine of the year.”
Winemaker Michel Friou created a masterpiece in a challenging vintage. We’d recommend laying this down until 2025, but if you open it now you’ll discover and immensely complex and powerfully muscular wine with nuances of crème de cassis, brambles, cherry chocolate liqueurs, plum crumble, mocha, Cuban cigar boxes, dried herbs, Kalamata olive, earthy petrichor, vanilla and black pepper. Bordeaux lover or New World wine aficionado, everyone will love this exceptional wine.
Located in the highest part of the Maipo Valley, Almaviva was the first Chilean wine to follow the French château concept, focussing one team’s attention on one wine from one terroir. Combine that much French know-how with the near-perfect viticultural conditions in Chile, and it was always going to be something special. It’s named after Count Almaviva, the hero of The Marriage of Figaro, written by Beaumarchais (that’s his handwriting on the label) and turned into an opera by Mozart. The label also features the drum designs of the Mapuche, an indigenous inhabitants who once spread from Chile’s Aconcagua Valley to Patagonia.
The French side of the Rothschild dynasty is legendary in the wine world. In 1853 Nathaniel de Rothschild created Château Mouton Rothschild, and fifteen years later his uncle James Mayer de Rothschild acquired Château Lafite Rothschild. The former is the most flamboyant of Bordeaux’s First Growths and part of the Primum Familiae Vini – an association of the world’s finest family-owned wineries that include the likes of Antinori, Vega Sicilia, Tenuta San Guido of Sassicaia fame, Egon Müller, Pol Roger, the Symington Family Port house and many more. Neighbouring Château Lafite Rothschild has also become one of the most famous and sought-after wines in the entire world. Esteemed wine critic Neal Martin describes it as the “quintessential wine of elegance”, and it’s widely regarded as the most consistent of the First Growths. In 1962 the Lafite branch of the Rothschild family took the “Lafite Spirit” that they’d nurtured on the great terroir of Pauillac and began to expand their empire. Starting in Bordeaux they procured nearby neighbour Château Duhart-Milon, then Château Rieussec in Sauternes and Pomerol’s Château l’Evangile. They then branched out into South America with Viña Los Vascos and Viña Almaviva in Chile and Bodegas Caro in Argentina, then further afield in France with Languedoc’s Domaines d’Aussières and even into northeast China with a new project called Long Dai. The three Rothschild Barons came together in 2007 to create Champagne Barons de Rothschild. All these ventures work to the same exacting standards as the legendary First Growths, befitting of wine’s most iconic family.
£25.33 per 100.00ml
SKU No.: 3283884
Style No.: 827345
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