Peter Maude Fine Wines

2020, Almaviva, CHILE


Baron Philippe de Rothschild & Viña Concha y Toro

ALMALVIVA a collaboration between Bordeaux 1st Growth Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chilean winery Concha y Toro. It's an elegant Bordeaux-style red blend from spectacular vineyards on the cool climate hillsides of Puente Alto, in the Maipo Valley.

Fresh and deep nose, full of blueberries, minty cassis, mussels, cigars, dark spice and roasted sesame oak, which will need a year or two to fully integrate. A medium-to full-bodied Almaviva with supple, silky tannins and a wealth of black and blue fruit that provides a lot of charm now. Voluptuous and flattering on the palate, hallmarked by its tension and taut texture. Very long. This is the 25th anniversary bottling. 68% cabernet sauvignon, 24% carmenere, 6% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot. Drinkable now, but better from 2024. 98/100 James Suckling.

2020 was exceptionally dry, with 75% less rain than usual in the period between May and September, which resulted in an earlier harvest to produce a 2020 Almaviva. Ageing of 20 months in French oak barrels, 73% of them new and the rest second use. It still shows the effect of the élevage a bit, with abundant notes of sweet spices, a creamy touch and some smoke. I tasted it next to the 2019, and the wines have a very similar aromatic palette with a clear note of baked peppers. What was amazing in 2020 was that they harvested the Carmenere almost five weeks earlier than they normally would, and the result is not a green wine at all. As in all dry years, the wines show a little more tannic, a little in the style of the 2017—but the 2020 has more tension than the 2017, and the 2017 was more powerful and with a bigger tannic structure. The 2019 had more volume than the 2018, and the 2020 is closer to the 2019 than the 2018. 96/100 Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate.

Now one of the old hands on the Place de Bordeaux and still setting the pace; full of complexity and pleasure, with an embrace of blueberry and raspberry fruits. Cardamon, turmeric spices with lemongrass and dill, giving sculpted lifted acidities that have been maintained through the heat of 2020, an impressive wine with a floral edge. The 2020 vintage marks 25 years of this property. Winemaker Michel Friou. 75% new oak. 95/100 Jane Anson.

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