2017 rothschild & concha y toro, almaviva, maipo valley
Why We're Buying
Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Concha y Toro joined efforts to produce this extraordinary Bordeaux-style red blend using the best vineyards of the Maipo Valley. Debuted in 1996, Viña Almaviva has reshaped the definition of investment-worthy wine. In 2020, wine critic James Suckling hailed it as the “Wine of the Decade,” beating out more than 100,000 other entries for the title.
A ruby color with rusty edges and aromas of plum, cherry, cassis, olive, chocolate and spice make for an exciting opening. A structured palate is solid in feel but not hard, while this Cabernetled blend tastes of ripe plum and currant along with oak-based spice. A full finish is generous but mellow, meaning this is drinkable now but should improve over the next several years; drink through 2026.
Brilliant winemakers come into their own in difficult vintages and it's fascinating to hear Michel Friou talk about how he dealt with the contrasting challenges of the 2016 and 2017 growing seasons. If the former was very good indeed, the latter is the best young vintage of Almaviva I've ever tasted. It’s a wonderfully complex, harmonious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with 23% Carmenère, 5% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot and 2% Merlot. Fine, elegant and subtle, with good density, scented cigarbox oak and a lovely interplay between acidity, cassis and bramble fruit weight and 77% new oak. My Chilean red wine of the year. 2023-32
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I retasted the 2016 and 2017 next to the current 2018 to get some comparisons. Tasting the three years side by side, the 2017 Almaviva is clearly the one with more herbal notes and lots of concentration. It was a warm year with low yields and high concentration, but funnily enough, there are more herbaceous notes in the wine. This is a year of power and concentration, but the tannins are nicely coated by juicy fruit. Rating : 94+
Taut and savory, with loads of freshly crushed green herbal accents to the mineral-infused red currant and plum flavors. Cedary midpalate, featuring a burnished finish filled with spicy notes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot. Drink now through 2026.