2017 Vina Almaviva Proprietary Red

Year: 2017
Appellation: Puente Alta
Country: Chile
Wine Advocate: 94+
James Suckling: 100
Red Wine

Pre-Order
DUE IN: DECEMBER 2019

Price :
$119.95

JAMES SUCKLING TOP 100 WINES OF 2019: #15

WE BEAT THEM ALL!!

"2017 was an unusual year, warm and extremely dry (178 liters of rain, but there was some rain after the 2016 harvest, so the soil had some water), and the harvest and the whole cycle was two to three weeks earlier than normal. That is the context for the 2017 Almaviva, whose vines saw extremely low yields (ten hectoliters per hectare in the older parts, 36 hectoliters per hectare in the young vines) and produced concentrated juice. The bottled blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Carmenère, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Merlot, quite similar to the 2016, and the alcohol level reached 14.6% with a pH of 3.65 and 4.9 grams of acidity (measured in tartaric acid). It matured in French oak barriques (825 of them new) for 19 months. It's a riper, rounder and softer vintage, with moderate acidity and a tender mouthfeel, really marked by very high temperatures all year round. They used a little more Petit Verdot in the blend, but there is no overripeness. The wine shows some herbal aromas (I really notice the touch of the Carmenere this year). They harvested extremely early (three weeks earlier than normal!) and were able to keep the tension in the wine, and it has a polished mouthfeel and very round tannins. It's a nicely crafted red blend, and they were able to overcome the difficulties of the year; I see the style of something between 2016 and 2015, quite compact. It might require some more bottle age to open up, and it should develop nicely in bottle. 180,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in January 2019.

I tasted the new release of Almaviva, 2017, and as always, I also had the last couple of vintages and some older wines to check the evolution of the wines in bottle as well as to see how the winemaking has changed over the years. The wines have evolved positively, and I was surprised by the 1998—at the time considered one of the worst years ever, the wine shows more of a Bordeaux style. 2006 is definitely more Chilean, and 2008 had a very cold winter but overall was very dry. 2015 and 2016 showed pretty much like I tasted them on release, with 2016 still one of my favorite years ever, classical and herbal, and 2015 a little riper and evolving faster than 2016. As for 2017, it was another warm and very dry year, with terrible fires, though they did not have any impact in the Almaviva vineyards." (WA)

"The aromas of blackberry leaves and iodine are wild and exotic here with mussel shells and earth underneath. Full-bodied, tight and chewy with powerful tannins that show muscle. It’s structured and powerful. Dense and very, very deep. Don’t touch this until 2025." (JS)

Winery Notes:
Made from a blend of classic Bordeaux varieties, in which Cabernet Sauvignon predominates, Almaviva is the result of a felicitous encounter between two cultures.

Chile offers its soil, its climate and its vineyards, while France contributes its winemaking savoir-faire and traditions.

The result is an exceptionally elegant and complex wine.  Its launch was a major milestone in the development of Chilean wines, both in Chile itself and in the international market.