• Domaine: Vina Almaviva
• A.O.C.: Maipo Valley, Wine of Chile
• Classification: Chile, Maipo Valley, Puente Alto
The name Almaviva has a Hispanic sonority. It actually belongs to classical French literature: Count Almaviva is the hero of The Marriage of Figaro, the famous play by Beaumarchais (1732-1799), later turned into an opera by the genius of Mozart. The label bearing the name Almaviva is in Beaumarchais’ own handwriting.
Though not claimed by the owners, the referral to a play reminds a curiously minded observer of the successful theatrical career left behind by the Baroness Philippine de Rothschild to assume leadership at her father's business when he died. Her stewardship of the venerable Bordeaux estate plus her success in breaking new grounds led her to be made an Officier of the Légion d'Honneur in 2007. In 2013, she was given a lifetime achievement award by the Institute of Masters of Wine.
Almaviva was intentionally chosen to pay homage to Chile’s ancestral history, with three reproductions of a stylized design, which symbolizes the vision of the earth and the cosmos in the Mapuche civilization. The design appears on the kultrun, a ritual drum used by the Mapuche. Two great traditions thus join hands to offer the whole world a promise of pleasure and excellence.
"A glorious and complex nose of tobacco, blackberries and hints of stones and flowers. Hints of bitter chocolate. Full-bodied, very tight and compacted. Linear backbone gives this form and tension. It has the same character on the palate as well as cayenne and other spice. Loved the 2014 but this shows more fine-grained tannins. So balanced and harmonious. A blend of 69% cabernet sauvignon, 24% carmenere, 5% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot. Needs four or five years in bottle but a joy to taste now." - James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (05/29/2017), Rating: 100
"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." - Luis Gutiérrez, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (9/6/2018), Ratings: 93+