Almaviva Wine Reviews (Chile’s First Growth)

Almaviva Wine Reviews

2015 Almaviva Wine Reviews

almaviva wine reviews

100 Points James Suckling

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.

96 Points Decanter

This latest release has 2% of Petit Verdot, adding a dash of dark pepper spice. It’s a lovely wine, structured, intense but not tight, and beautifully balanced. There are some great liquorice and soft berry spice flavours, with notes of dark chocolate, cinnamon and sage. It has soft, smooth tannins which lend a supple texture to the wine. This gets better and better in the glass and has a freshness and grip that suggests great ageing potential.

95 Points Wine Spectator

Powerful and rich, this is full of juicy dark plum, cherry tart and berry compote flavors that are creamy and lush. Hints of French roast and spice emerge midpalate, with a long finish that is elegant and savory. Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2023.

2014 Almaviva Wine Reviews

Suggested Retail Price $110.00

From the Maipo Valley

97 Points James Suckling

A wine with wonderful blueberry, blackberry and hints of cedar and spice. Full body, dense and beautiful fruit. Chocolate, walnut and berry. It goes on for minutes. A fabulous wine. Better in 2020 but gorgeous now.

94 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The current release is the 2014 Almaviva, the classical Bordeaux blend from Puente Alto, one of the most prestigious appellations in Maipo. This is a late and slow ripening terroir. This was the reason why the frost of September 2013 didn’t affect them, because the vines had not yet sprouted. In the last few years they have been on a quest in search of more purity, precision and character, improving the quality of the tannins to make them silkier without losing length and volume. It’s easier said than done, but they are getting there. The harvest started on April 1st with the first Merlot and finished on May 16th with the last Carmenere.

The final blend is 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Carmenère, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot; they didn’t use any Merlot this time. After a sorting of bunches and individual grains, the grapes fermented in stainless steel tanks, some with native yeasts, others with selected ones. Malolactic was in oak barrel or tank, especially in warmer years. The élevage was in 77% new French oak barrels, the remaining ones second use, and it lasted 18 months. 180,000 bottles were produced. There is one single lot that was bottled between January 6th and 20th of 2016. I retasted the 2012 and 2013 for comparison, and they are developing as expected, showing the character of the vintages.

2012 was warmer and riper, an early, warm vintage, harvested two weeks before average. 2013 was the opposite, a late and cool harvest with bigger bunches and higher yields, harvested mostly in May, and as a result, it’s a more harmonious and subtle vintage. 2014 would be something in between 2012 and 2013, without the excesses of heat or cold from those years but with lower yields in 2014. The last weeks before the harvest were a little cooler, so it has some of the freshness of 2013 and part of the power of 2012. For winemaker Michel Friou, 2014 could be a similar style to what they got in 2007.

92 Points Wine Spectator

Elegant, with good cut to the pure-tasting dark plum, green herb and dried cherry flavors that feature plenty of loamy notes. Espresso and dark chocolate accents fill the refined finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2022.

2013 Almaviva Wine Reviews

97 Points James Suckling

Superb aromas of Indian spices, blackberry, blueberry and dried flowers. Full body, soft and polished tannins and an amazing finesse of subtle yet intense flavors. This is so pure and fruity. Another great Almaviva. Reminiscent of the great 2010. A blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Carmenere, 6% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Merlot.

94 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2013 Almaviva couldn’t have had a more different growing season from 2012, as 2013 was wetter and cooler than the average. It was a good year for Cabernet Sauvignon, which took the leading role with a 72% in the final blend alongside 19% Carmenère (a grape that tends to suffer in cooler years), 6% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Merlot. It had a classical vinification in stainless steel and an élevage of 18 months in 74% new French barriques.

In the last few years, the blend comes from approximately two-thirds older vines (37-years-old) and one-third from younger ones (11-years-old); for other parts of the world, this might seem young, but in this part of Chile where the vines do not tend to have a long life, they are relatively old. 2013 was also a higher yielding vintage, which somehow helped produce balanced juice. The wine is fresher and more fluid, not as concentrated as previous vintages.

It has a subtle nose with very nicely integrated spicy aromas from the élevage. The palate is very approachable, soft and velvety, with very good balance and a fine texture because of the very fine tannins. In a way it reminds me of the texture of the 2006, which is possibly the most Burgundian of their vintages. Yes, it’s still a baby, but a baby that is approachable from now on, and should have a long life and development in bottle.

92 Points Wine Spectator

An elegant red, with suave flavors of dried berry, red currant and roasted plum matched to plenty of rich, savory notes. Hot stone and black olive accents in the midpalate, with a finish that lingers with dried meat and spice hints. Drink now through 2020. 14,200 cases made.

2012 Almaviva Wine Reviews

96 Points James Suckling

A young red that shows dark and intense fruits overflowing from the glass with aromas that diffuses into spices, nuts and iron. Also dusty like the vineyards of Puente Alto on a hot summer’s afternoon. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a gorgeous wet clay, currant and blackberry aftertaste. Very refined and pretty texture. Bordeaux blend. Better in 2017.

93 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

2012 was particularly dry in Puente Alto, the main appellation in Maipo where the 2012 Almaviva was produced. There was two-thirds of the normal rain and an early season in all senses: bud breaking to harvest, although the end of the picking was delayed and the late-ripening varieties, Carménère and Cabernet, were picked at cooler temperatures. Being close to the Andes Mountains, the zone is always later than other zones like Colchagua. It kind of became normal with lower temperatures in April after a very warm March and things slowed down.

The blend in 2012 was 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Carménère, 8% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% /Merlot. The grapes are never pumped, and fermented in stainless steel vats with a total cuvaison of three to four weeks. The wine matured in 78% new French oak barrels for 19 months. As almost 90% of the grapes were picked at cooler temperatures, the wine does not really show in excess the heat of the vintage, certainly less than in other warm vintages in the past. There are notes of Mediterranean herbs and hints of tree bark over a core of ripe berries.

The particularity of this terroir is to be able to achieve freshness because of its proximity to the mountains, and the ripening is slow. Winemaker Michel Friou tells me that 2012 is somehow similar to 2015, where the record temperatures in March were again surpassed. This 2012 is quite approachable, with its round and abundant tannins and soft acidity, flavors of ripe berries, good freshness and balance. This is less powerful and approachable than the 2011.

92 Points Wine Spectator

An elegant and refined red, showing concentrated cherry and plum flavors that take on meaty accents. Savory notes cascade through the creamy and focused finish. Very Bordeaux-like. Drink now through 2020.

92 Points Wine Enthusiast

Warm-vintage characteristics of earthy berry aromas require time to come into focus. In the mouth, this Cabernet Sauvignon blend feels ripe, chunky and lush. Loamy, baked plum and cassis flavors are rich and easy, but short on the complexity that Almaviva usually offers. On the finish, this is smooth, lightly herbal and spicy. Drink through 2022.

2011 Almaviva Wine Reviews

95 Points James Suckling

This shows wonderful length with subtle dark fruits as well as mint, floral and walnut undertones. Full body, with fine tannins that give this wine energy and focus. It’s long and flavorful. A blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Carmenere, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot.

93 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2011 Almaviva, from a cool, dry vintage, is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot which feels young, fresh, serious and quite classical-styled with notes of cassis, graphite and ripe black fruit, but also some raspberries and aromas of sweet spices, licorice and fennel. It has a special brightness and light, starting to slowly develop some complexity.

The palate is concentrated, medium to full-bodied with ripe, round tannins, no edges, good concentration and weight. It’s still a baby, a little marked by the oak, but with enough density and freshness to come into greater balance. It should grow up slowly and live a long life. Today I see this 2011 slightly above the 2010, slightly more complex. Drink 2016-2029.

93 Points Wine Enthusiast

Berry aromas with a mineral twang lead to notes of earth, olive and freshly fallen leaves. As per usual for Almaviva, the palate is round and smooth as silk. Blackberry, cassis, toasty oak and cocoa powder flavors finish creamy and oaky, but this still holds the line and is perfectly balanced for the long haul. Best from 2016 through 2022.

92 Points Wine Spectator

Big, rich and ripe, with well-structured flavors of dried berry, savory herb, smoke and spice. Firm tannins balance the lively minerality midpalate. Cocoa powder notes show on the muscular finish. Drink now through 2020.

2010 Almaviva Wine Reviews

97 Points James Suckling

A joint venture of Concha y Toro and Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Almaviva made a wonderful red in 2010. Full-bodied, it shows purity of fruit, with violets, currants and hints of mint, and has ultra-fine tannins and a long, intense finish. Needs three or four years to soften. Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon.

94 Points Wine Spectator

A svelte red, with excellent focus and length to the powerful dark plum, slate, dark currant and dried blackberry flavors. The black olive notes grow in intensity and join bittersweet chocolate accents on the long, well-framed finish.

92 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2010 Almaviva is a Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend complemented with Carmenere, Cabernet Franc, and for the first time in 2010, a small quantity of Petit Verdot. 2010 was a cool vintage, giving the wine an herbaceous character with good freshness and balance. It is still young with some lactic notes and some aromas derived from the elevage (roasted coffee and dark chocolate), with terse black fruit and some beef blood overtones. This vintage seems to be a worthy follower of the 2005, with sweet round tannins, intense flavors, very good balance and the stuffing to live a long life in bottle. Drink 2015-2025.

2009 Almaviva Wine Reviews

96 Points Wine Spectator

Classically built, with a compact and fine-tuned frame giving way to rich cassis, black cherry reduction, fig paste, spice box and licorice notes woven with fine tannins, juicy acidity and a firm, minerally spine. The finish reverberates the focused flavors, but should expand with mid-term cellaring. Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Drink now through 2020.

2008 Almaviva Wine Reviews

92 Points Wine Spectator

Broad and muscular, boasting lots of dark currant and fig paste notes laced with loam, licorice snap and espresso flavors. The dense, fleshy finish lets a hint of roasted sage smolder. Very solid for the vintage. Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2018. 12,000 cases made.

2007 Almaviva Wine Reviews

93 Points Wine Spectator

Dense and dark, with black currant, braised fig and black licorice flavors laid over notes of loam and freshly brewed espresso. Muscular but well-integrated, delivering nice focus that carries through the lengthy finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Drink now through 2019. 12,500 cases made.

93 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2007 Almaviva continues a series of successful vintages for this Chilean icon. Medium purple-colored, it exhibits an expressive bouquet of wood smoke, pencil lead, Asian spices, incense, blackcurrant, and blackberry. Elegantly styled and impeccably balanced, it will evolve for several more years and drink well through 2027 at the least.

93 Points Wine Enthusiast

Dark, toasty and minerally to start with, then throw in some olive, herb and cassis and it’s pure Maipo Cabernet at its best. The palate is deep, layered and lush, with smooth, elegand yet lusty flow of cassis, berry, olive and herbal flavors. Fine on the finish, with mild barrel-influenced chocolate. Ready to drink but could be cellared for another 4-5 years.

2006 Almaviva Wine Reviews

93 Points Wine Spectator

Muscular and broad-shouldered, with lots of bittersweet cocoa, dark currant and braised fig notes, followed by a long, loam- and coffee-filled finish. There’s also plenty of iron-tinged grip for the cellar. Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Best from 2010 through 2015. 12,500 cases made.

92 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2006 Almaviva continues a series of successful vintages for this Chilean icon. Dark ruby-colored, it exhibits an expressive bouquet of wood smoke, pencil lead, blackcurrant, and blackberry. Elegantly styled and impeccably balanced, it will evolve for several more years and drink well through 2021 at the least.

2005 Almaviva Wine Reviews

95 Points Wine Spectator

This is very packed, with a great core of black currant, braised fig and licorice notes backed by mouthwatering briar and tobacco. Lots of sage, loam and roasted cedar is integrated nicely on the powerful finish. Starting to hit its stride. Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Cabernet Franc.

94 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2005 Almaviva continues the string of successes for this collaborative effort between Concha y Toro and Chateau Mouton-Rothschild. In this vintage, the wine is a blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Carmenere, and 5% Cabernet Franc aged in 100% new French oak for 18 months before bottling without fining or filtration. Purple-colored, it offers an expressive bouquet of pain grille, pencil lead, tobacco, black currants, and blackberry. This leads to an elegantly styled wine with layers of sweet fruit, succulent, spicy, black fruit flavors, and superb depth and concentration. It has enough structure to evolve for 5-7 years and will be at its best from 2015 to 2030

93 Points James Suckling

Intense aromas of blueberries, blackberries, sweet tobacco and a dark chocolate character. Full body with finer tannins than earlier vintages, yet they are still a little austere and very present. Delicious shaved dark chocolate and dark fruit. 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Carmenere and 5% Cabernet Franc.


2004 Almaviva Wine Reviews

93 Points Wine Spectator

The 2004 Almaviva is styled similar to the 2005. The multi-faceted aromatics deliver vanilla, clove, floral notes, red and black currants, and a hint of chocolate. It is a bit more forward than the 2005 with excellent focus and delineation. Give this elegant yet concentrated wine 3-5 years in the cellar and drink it through 2030. Almaviva is a partnership of Bordeaux first-growth Chateau Mouton-Rothschild and Concha y Toro. Made in the style of top of the line Pauillac, the blend is typically 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22-23% Carmenere (a very close relative of Merlot), and 4-5% Cabernet Franc. It spends 18 months in new French oak and is bottled unfined and unfiltered.

92 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The style of the 2004 Almaviva seems to go back to the more elegant style. They had some rain during the harvest that might have created some issues. The final blend was 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Carmenere, and they didn’t use any Cabernet Franc, perhaps because of some rains in April that could have affected the variety (2000 and 2004 are the only vintages without any Cabernet Franc). The nose shows some developed aromas, spices and a hint of leather, quite classical, with a medium-bodied palate with some grainy tannins that would welcome some food. A little less concentrated and dense than other years.

2003 Almaviva Wine Reviews

95 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2003 Almaviva is a real blockbuster, powerhouse vintage for this estate. With an inky blue/purple color, a beautiful nose of camphor, charcoal, blueberry, blackberry, and some spicy but subtle new oak, the wine is quite full-bodied, powerful, rich, but with silky tannins and loads of glycerin. This could turn out to be one of the all-time great wines released by this partnership and should continue to drink well for another two decades.

94 Points Wine Spectator

Quite ripe, with braised fig, stewed plum, black currant paste and cherry preserve notes backed by roasted coffee and bacon notes. A tarry edge drives through the very lush finish. Shows more raw power than freshness, but still quite packed and in need of more unwinding.

94 Points Wine Enthusiast

Impressive in every way. The color shines an irridescent ruby, while the bouquet is massive, an amalgamation of fresh-cut cedar, pencil lead and lush berry fruit. Ripe as can be and balanced, with plushness and depth you don’t normally find. Finishes round and creamy, with vanilla and liqueur notes.

2002 Almaviva Wine Reviews

93 Points Robert Parkr’s Wine Advocate

The 2002 Almaviva is the finest produced to date by this joint venture between Vina Concha y Toro and the Baron Philippe de Rothschild. This Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine has a saturated, opaque, black ruby color as well as nose of sweet dark fruits, spices, and vanilla-laced smoky new oak. On the palate, this medium to full-bodied effort is broad, lush, and velvety-textured. Blackberries, cassis liqueur, and black cherries make up this deep, seamless wine’s flavor profile. It is concentrated, has outstanding balance, and a long, suave, ripe tannin-filled finish. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2016.

2001 Almaviva Wine Reviews

94 Points Wine Spectator

There’s lots here still, with mature aromas of coffee and sage giving way to a wide range of roasted fig, tobacco, dark olive, tar and charred mesquite notes. A brawny edge defines the still-muscular finish. Not the purest vintage, but with plenty of complexity and character. Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Cabernet Franc.

92 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2001 Almaviva remains youthful. Its color is dark ruby/purple and the bouquet features pain grille, violets, leather, coffee, blackberry and black currant. On the palate, the wine is balanced and elegantly styled with excellent depth and concentration. The ripe tannins are well concealed and will support another 3-5 years of cellaring. It should drink well through 2030. There is no doubt that Almaviva merits its status as one of Chile’s icon wines.

2000 Almaviva Wine Reviews

92 Points Wine Enthusiast

Just the fifth vintage of this Concha y Toro/Baron Rothschild joint venture superbly blends the robust with the reserved… the wine is ripe, with cassis and licorice aromas and expressive currant and plum flavors. The tannins are mild, the finish deep with plum and coffee.

90 Points Wine Spectator

The currant, cedar, mineral and cocoa flavors smolder underneath the fleshy, enveloping mouthfeel, with a wall of ripe, finely grained tannins taking over on the smoky finish… clearly outstanding. Cabernet Sauvignon with Carmenère.