The latest release from the Place de Bordeaux is 2021 Almaviva, a New World 'First Growth' and Chile's answer to Opus One. At just £744 per six in bond and scoring 96-98 points, this makes for an attractive alternative to the Bordeaux First Growths, for both investment and drinking.
An ambitious partnership between Philippine de Rothschild of Château Mouton-Rothschild and Concha Y Toro, Almaviva was established in 1997, with vines in the 'Puente Alto' vineyard, in the highest part of the Maipo Valley. Named after a philandering French Count in "The Marriage Of Figaro", it's a Bordeaux blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Carmenère, 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Winemaker Michel Friou has been in charge here since 2007 and the style of the wine intentionally reflects that of both Mouton-Rothschild and Opus One (Patrick Leon of Mouton, who initiated the Almaviva blend, consulted at both properties until his death two years ago). In a cool, precise and elegant style, the '21 vintage receives wide praise from Vinous.com, The Wine Advocate and Jamessuckling.com, the latter scoring it 98 points.
Almaviva's second wine is named 'Epu' and is great value at just £192 per six. The name means 'Two' in the indigenous Mapuche language. Also from the Puente Alto vineyard, but from younger vines, The Wine Advocate scores it highly, with 94+ points. This would make a great and affordable introduction to top-tier Chilean winemaking.
Availability is extremely limited, so please let us know straight away if you would like to order.
Offered en primeur, available spring 2024.
|RED||2021||Almaviva||75cl||£744 per case of 6||Almaviva
2021 / / 75cl
£744 per case of 6
Tasting Notes“The 2021 Almaviva is a blend primarily based on Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere, but not limited to these, and was aged for up to 18 months in French barrels. Its color is garnet with a purple sheen. The enticing nose showcases blackberry, cassis marmalade, black and green pepper, ashes, camphor and cigar box aromas. Indulgent and rich on the palate, it carries taut, fine-grained tannins, velvet texture and balanced acidity, leading to a long, ripe finish. This bold and layered red wine reveals nuanced depth and richness on the palate, promising further development as it matures in the bottle. 96 points." Joaquin Hidalgo, Vinous.com Jun '23------"2021 was an overall cooler year than 2020, with more elegant wines with more finesse and less angular tannins. The sleek 2021 Almaviva is a good example of that, still very young and still marked by the élevage in oak after spending 20 months in French oak barrels, 71% of them new and the rest only second use. The final blend was 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Carmenere (from Peumo), 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, a variety that might gain in percentage, as they have even planted some more with the idea to possibly replace Merlot in the medium or long term. It's not a shy wine, hitting the scale at 15% alcohol and with mellow acidity, 4.65 grams (tartaric) and a pH of 3.81 The fruit is dark, ripe and spicy, nothing green about it; it's a little shy, less expressive than the warmer years are early on and a little more discreet but with potential to develop in bottle. The tannins are still present, and it should benefit from some more time in bottle. The 2019 had more volume than the 2018, and the 2020 is closer to the 2019 than the 2018. 200,000 bottles produced. It was bottled between late January and early February 2023. I tasted it next to the 2020 and 2018, and it's closer to the latter; but this 2021 is more elegant, and 2018 is a little more austere and herbal. 96+ points." Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate, Jun '23------"A fresh and discreet Almaviva with subtle pencil shavings and cigar box to the cassis and hints of chili chocolate and peppermint. Nuanced and subtle on the nose. This is medium-bodied and subtle on the palate with silky tannins in the seamless finish. Very long. 71% cabernet sauvignon, 22% carmenere, 5% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot. Drinkable now, but it will take its time to deliver complexity. 98 points." Jamessuckling.com