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 ( high altitude, located just under the Andes snow caps) , while France (Mouton Rothschild) 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.  It is being called the Chilean OPUS ONE. 
 
We were privileged to join some other sommeliers at Pappas Steakhouse several Mondays ago for a vertical wine dinner with Almaviva (2012-2014).  First I will say the wines were EXCELLENT!!  The wines were all very food worthy... went great with beef carpaccio done with balsamic vinegar, red onions and potatoes, Caesar salad, cream of wild mushroom soup, I forget which steaks we had...Rex will remember, a beautiful cheese plate and a crazy chocolate concoction with Oreos and crème fraiche. 
 
2012 was the hit of the night with almost everyone. I found it funny that the national sales rep was as wild on the 2013 as I was (and we were the only two females in the room).  Cooler rainier season made it a touch softer for me, I guess.   Many discussions were had on which was the best....I say that either is something I highly recommend. Ratings below confirm how awesome they are!!   2014 is a pre-arrival offer...we will give it more time in the bottle as it is huge!!
 
After tasting and being absolutely enamored by the wines, we offered them at Classic Café tasting at the end of March.  I do not believe there was anyone at the tasting that did not purchase some of the 2012 (that is what we chose to show) as well of selling some 2013 even though we only discussed it. Every time Rex tastes it, he says it is a dead ringer for Mouton Rothschild.  We sold out of all we ordered, we were just told another shipment has made it to Dallas!!    
 
The Almaviva, your price $99 per bottle on both vintages - 5% off 6, 10% off 12. 

I also included Robert Parker's write up on both growing seasons and how it affected each vintage.
Michele

 
The name Almaviva, though it has an Hispanic sonority, 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, meanwhile, pays 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. The label bears the name Almaviva in Beaumarchais' own handwriting. Two great traditions thus join hands to offer the whole world a promise of pleasure and excellence.
 
2012
2013
65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Carmenere, 8% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Merlot
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+. - 96 points, James Suckling.

Dark purple. Sexy, highly perfumed aromas of dark berry liqueur, cherry-cola, pipe tobacco, cedary oak and vanilla, along with smoke and floral topnotes. Smooth, broad, appealingly sweet blackcurrant and cherry flavors show outstanding depth and energy, with a suave spicecake note coming up with aeration. The smoke and floral notes resonate on a strikingly long, seamless finish that features fine-grained tannins and sappy dark fruit character. This flamboyantly aromatic wine was aged in 100% new French oak. 
94 Points Vinious

65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Carmenere, 8% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Merlot. This 2012 is quite approachable, with its round and abundant tannins and soft acidity, flavors of ripe berries, good freshness and balance.  93 Points- Wine Advocate.
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. 12,900 cases made. 92 points
-KM 
Wine Spectator
 
72% cabernet sauvignon, 19% carmenere, 6% cabernet franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% merlot
 
"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."  97 points James Suckling
 
.72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Carmenere, 6% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Merlot. Has a subtle nose with very nicely integrated spicy aromas from the elevage. The palate is very approachable, soft and velvety, with very good balance and a fine texture because of the very fine tannins."  94 Points- Wine Advocate
 
(aged for 18 months in 75 percent new French oak barrels) Vivid ruby-red. Expressive, oak-spiced cherry, black currant and rose pastille aromas are complemented by suggestions of vanilla and licorice. Sweet, seamless and penetrating in the mouth, offering intense dark berry, bitter cherry and spicecake flavors and a repeating vanilla note. Shows excellent focus and appealing sweetness on the long, juicy finish, which features repeating spiciness and subtle, slow-building tannins. (JR) (2/2017)   93 points Vinous
 
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. 158,000 bottles produced.
I met again with winemaker Michel Friou to taste the current releases, 2012 and 2013, and review some of the older vintages, which is always interesting to see the evolution of the wine in bottle. This time we reviewed 2006, 2007 and 2008, all still very young and lively. Coincidentally, I crossed paths with a bottle of 1998 a mere couple of days before our meeting, and while the aromas of the early vintages were there, the wine was very lively and fresh (it had been the wettest and coolest vintage ever). The aging potential is still to be assessed, but seems quite long, no less than 20 years. The focus in the last few years has been on the vineyards, increasing the density of planting and taking a more organic approach, a work that they see as something for the future generations. 2013 is a cool vintage that produced a very elegant wine. In general, the last few vintages have been quite consistent, without major qualitative differences, perhaps also because this is a blend and the effect of the vintage can be somehow compensated by changing the percentages of the different grapes.
Luis Gutierrez, December 2015
 
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. 165,000 bottles were filled between January 5th and 14th of 2015.
 
 
It is dark in the wine room at Pappas...


Rex Perry, 972-904-9917 rex@masutawineconsulting.com
Michele Mercy 214-906-5251  michele@masutawineconsulting.com
Francis Silmon 817-271-2720  francis@theclassiccafe.com