Vertical Almaviva tasting at the Prime Society

In 1997, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA, and Eduardo Guilisasti Tagle, Chairman of Viña Concha y Toro S.A., sealed a partnership agreement with a view to create an exceptional Franco-Chilean wine called Almaviva.

Produced under the joint technical supervision of both partners, the first vintage achieved immediate international success upon its launch in 1998.

Enough said, i reckon you’re keen to know about the tasting and how it went yeah?!

Photo: Almaviva

So let’s break it down to the five vintages we had. (note that all the wines were opened 1-2hours before tasting)


Cabernet Sauvignon: 61%
Carménère: 29%
Cabernet Franc: 9%
Petit Verdot: 1%

My impression of the 2010 vintage was a little too tight on the nose despite decanting it for over an hour prior to tasting, probably because it’s still too young to tell or perhaps the wine was still “asleep”, it took me another hour, towards the end of the dinner to really taste the potential of the wine.. A fruit-driven wine with lots of ripe fruits, dark cherries and plums, i thought that the alcohol level in the wine over-powered the entire experience in the 2010 vintage, a much more tannic touch to it on the palate, definitely a wine that i reckon would go better with food then its own.


Cabernet Sauvignon: 73%
Carménère: 22%
Cabernet Franc: 4%
Merlot: 1%

The 2009 vintage was somehow a little more showy then the ’10 vintage, the acidity and tannin structure were very apparent with deep and intense flavours of dark black fruits such as black berries and cassis followed by aromas of liquorice, cigar and spices, the wine presented to many of us as a complex  and intense wine with lots of fruits. Definitely something able to age for another 10-15 years.


Cabernet Sauvignon: 66%
Carménère: 26%
Cabernet Franc: 8%

The ’08 vintage, one of the two of my favourites for the evening. The 2008 vintage, considered to many as one of the great vintage of Almaviva wines was indeed a good representation of how a wines of such great quality and prices could fetch. Flavours of blackcurrent, strawberries, blackberries and a hint of earthiness surrounded the glass and the balance of the wine on the palate was simply impeccable with a long finish. Definitely something one should look forward drinking now or keep for another 15 years.


Cabernet Sauvignon: 73%
Carmenère: 24%
Cabernet Franc: 3%

The other of my favourites for the evening, the ’03 vintage was just the right wine for me. A very balance structure of fruits, tannins and acidity with a long finish. The 2003 vintage came with aromas of tobacco, blackberries, spices, chinese herbs and minerals that were really appealing for one to taste. Once it enter the palate, the intense flavours on the nose began to fall into place alongside the balance of acidity and tannins. Definitely one of the wines that i would personally buy to keep.


Cabernet Sauvignon: 70%
Carmenère: 27%
Cabernet Franc: 3%

I was actually expecting more from it, especially after the two of my favourites for the evening showed-up. the 2001 vintage seemed a little too shy on the nose, but the palate seemed to be bursting out with bombastic flavours such as spices, black pepper, smoky cigar, blackberies and grounded-coffee. The tannin level was a tad too high as compared to to the acidity, not forgetting the alcohol level that was a little too over-powering. All in all, i probably would give it a pass.

So yes, we had some-what of a pairing for the wines we were having, of which, i felt that only the beef kinda made it to the pairing in a way.


Now… Don’t get me wrong, the beef we had was good, but for a wine like Almaviva, i think a meat with more marbelling would do more justice to the wine. Generally in all the vintages we had in the evening, they are very fruit-driven, and to a certain extend, full-bodied, so with such a structure, a meat dish that is rich and full of flavours would definitely pair-up well with the wines that were tasted.


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