You have some big shoes to fill if James Suckling anoints you the “Wine of the Decade”. A joint venture between Château Mouton Rothschild and Concha y Toro, the single-wine estate Almaviva has been a labor of love by chief winemaker Michel Friou, a Chilean industry veteran and native Frenchman.
Made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon dominate Bordeaux varieties, like Friou himself, Almaviva is the result of a fortunate encounter between two cultures. Chile offers the raw ingredients while France’s Mouton- Rothschild contributes winemaking savoir-faire and tradition. The result is an exceptionally elegant and complex wine.
While Suckling’s review says not to touch this gem till 2025, I couldn’t help myself. That’s like telling little Timmy to look at the chocolate chip cookie but don’t touch, and definitely don’t eat. We know how that story goes. Good thing I stashed away another bottle to ease my guilt. Yesterday evening we went over to our good friends’ house for dinner and I placed the Almaviva 2017 on the table . . . as if channeling a mic drop. Everyone’s eyes wide open excited about what’s to come.
While still young, the Almaviva 2017 did not disappoint. The bouquet offered layers upon layers of perfectly ripe cassis, blackberries, black pepper, and earth. Deep and full-bodied but not overpowering, coating your mouth with the perfect balance of tannins and acidity — which leads to a long harmonious finish. I’m looking forward to enjoying this wine again in 2025 — assuming I can wait that long!
Blend: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Carmenère, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Merlot
4.6 Vivino Stars (950+ reviews)
James Suckling 100
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.
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