Almaviva PUENTE ALTO RED 2015
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|Region||Chile, Maipo Valley, Puente Alto|
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.
"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."'
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.
Michel Friou describes the 2015 vintage as “balanced - neither cool nor hot” - and the equilibrium is apparent in this superb blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with 24% Carmenère, 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, aged in 85% new oak. More open than the 2014 was at the same stage, it’s a complex, savoury, seductive red with fine tannins. Subtle wooding and leafy cassis fruit. 2020-32. Alcohol: 14.5%
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. 15,000 cases made.
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.