Almaviva Red Wine 2016
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|Region||Chile, Maipo Valley, Puente Alto|
"A very fine and elegant Almaviva with fresh fruit and herb character. Medium-to-full body, tight and focused with very fine, linear tannins and a chocolate and light cedar undertone to the whole thing. Savory, too. Smoked meat and succulent. It's tight but opens with air. Classicism here. 66% cabernet sauvignon, 24% carmenere, 8% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot. Drink in 2021."
A Cabernet Sauvignon with 24% Carménère, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot from Puente Alto, Maipo that spent 18 months in French barrels. In a cold year, Michel Friu brings out fresh black currants and sour cherries with hints of sweet spices and notes of cigar box and mint. Complex, with a loose structure, it is juicy on the palate, with more flavor than kick, enhanced by the refreshing herbal flourish at the end of an already lengthy finish.
Elegant, powerful and well-structured, with a refined mix of dark fruit, dried red fruit and spice flavors. Dried herbal notes emerge midpalate, with a minerally finish that is long and rich-tasting. Cabernet Sauvignon, CarmenÃ¨re, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2025.
The 2016 harvest was complicated by rain in late April, which made them hurry up and finish two weeks earlier than normal. The year was also cooler, and the 2016 Almaviva, a blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Carmenère, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot has less alcohol at 13.9% compared to 15% in 2014. The élevage was shortened to 16 months, and they decreased the percentage of new French barrels used-down to 77% from the 82% in the previous year. The wine is fresher and less marked by the oak, a more fluid version, with fine tannins. This is a little different, a lighter and fresher year. It was a very dry winter, complicated by rains. I found very good harmony and fine tannins, balance and freshness in one of the most elegant vintages I remember from Almaviva. This has contained power, very accessible tannins and no green notes at all. It's young but accessible and should develop nicely in bottle, as it has the balance and freshness. This is an elegant and fresh vintage for Almaviva, young and tender, taking advantage of the natural conditions for it. Well done!
After giving this several passes and all the time it deserves, this vintage of Almaviva, while nowhere near bad, is not at its usual level of excellence, probably due to poor 2016 vintage conditions. As for the wine, it's earthy on the nose, then saturated and a bit soft and soupy in feel. Moderate berry flavors show burnt caramel and chocolate notes, while the finish is drying and underdeveloped.