2012 was particularly dry in Puente Alto, the main appellation in Maipo where the 2012 Almaviva was produced. There was two-thirds of the normal rain and an early season in all senses: bud breaking to harvest, although the end of the picking was delayed and the late-ripening varieties, Carmenere and Cabernet, were picked at cooler temperatures. Being close to the Andes Mountains, the zone is always later than other zones like Colchagua. It kind of became normal with lower temperatures in April after a very warm March and things slowed down. The blend in 2012 was 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Carmenere, 8% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% /Merlot. The grapes are never pumped, and fermented in stainless steel vats with a total cuvaison of three to four weeks. The wine matured in 78% new French oak barrels for 19 months. As almost 90% of the grapes were picked at cooler temperatures, the wine does not really show in excess the heat of the vintage, certainly less than in other warm vintages in the past. There are notes of Mediterranean herbs and hints of tree bark over a core of ripe berries. The particularity of this terroir is to be able to achieve freshness because of its proximity to the mountains, and the ripening is slow. Winemaker Michel Friou tells me that 2012 is somehow similar to 2015, where the record temperatures in March were again surpassed. This 2012 is quite approachable, with its round and abundant tannins and soft acidity, flavors of ripe berries, good freshness and balance. This is less powerful and approachable than the 2011. 158,000 bottles produced.
Author: Luis Gutierrez
Wine Spectator | Rating: 92
An elegant and refined red, showing concentrated cherry and plum flavors that take on meaty accents. Savory notes cascade through the creamy and focused finish. Very Bordeaux-like. Drink now through 2020. 12,900 cases made.