Mouton of the Andes: 97 pt. Almaviva 2016

Posted on: 09/19/18 12:00 PM


Almaviva is a collaboration between Concha y Toro and Baron Philippe de Rothschild. Founded in 1997, the idea was to create a Chilean Grand Cru Classé. To say that they have achieved their goal is an understatement. The wine has achieved a level of global recognition as not just a Chilean First Growth, but one of the world’s great Cabernet blends.

With 60 hA in Maipo Valley’s Puente Alta, the highest point in the valley, the alluvial soils are ideal for the traditional Bordeaux grapes, with a strong core of Cabernet Sauvignon but also supporting vines of Carmenère, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Aged in 75% new oak barrels, the wine has a lush, sultry feel that still retains its sense of place and a real identity that has been fascinating to follow over the past few years.

The critics, too, have taken notice. With monster scores for the 2015 (100 pts. from James Suckling and his wine of the year last year) and equally strong performances in 2016, Almaviva has moved to the next level. This is a serious wine you should be collecting every year.

2016 is another ringing success for this new kid on the block and has the scores to prove it. Don’t miss out.

2016 Almaviva Proprietary Red

97 pts. James Suckling: “A very fine and elegant Almaviva with fresh fruit and herb character. Medium-to-full body, tight and focused with very fine, linear tannins and a chocolate and light cedar undertone to the whole thing. Savory, too. Smoked meat and succulent. It’s tight but opens with air. Classicism here. 66% cabernet sauvignon, 24% carmenere, 8% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot. Drink in 2021.”

95 pts. Luis Guttierez: “The 2016 harvest was complicated by rain in late April, which made them hurry up and finish two weeks earlier than normal. The year was also cooler, and the 2016 Almaviva, a blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Carmenère, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot has less alcohol at 13.9% compared to 15% in 2014. The élevage was shortened to 16 months, and they decreased the percentage of new French barrels used—down to 77% from the 82% in the previous year. The wine is fresher and less marked by the oak, a more fluid version, with fine tannins. This is a little different, a lighter and fresher year. It was a very dry winter, complicated by rains. I found very good harmony and fine tannins, balance and freshness in one of the most elegant vintages I remember from Almaviva. This has contained power, very accessible tannins and no green notes at all. It’s young but accessible and should develop nicely in bottle, as it has the balance and freshness. This is an elegant and fresh vintage for Almaviva, young and tender, taking advantage of the natural conditions for it. Well done! 180,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in December 2017.” Wine Advocate

Posted in Reserve List By Ian Halbert