Wine Advocate | Rating: 95The 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! 180,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in December 2017.Drink Dates: 2018 - 2032Author: Luis GutierrezIssue: Mid-September New Releases
James Suckling | Rating: 97A 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.Drink Dates: 2021+Author: James Suckling
Wine Spectator | Rating: 95Elegant, 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, Carmenère, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2025. 15,000 cases made, 3,000 cases imported. — KMDrink Dates: 2019-2025Author: Kim MarcusIssue: May 31, 2019
Cabernet Sauvignon is a thick-skinned variety that is high in color, flavor, tannin, and body, displaying aromas of black currant, blackberry, violet, bell pepper, and black cherry. It is late-ripening and therefore struggles to grow in cool climates. Quality can vary tremendously depending on terroir, vineyard management, and winemaking style, with the highest quality wines coming from the and in , and and in .
The powerful flavors, tannin, and body of Cabernet Sauvignon make it well suited to ageing and allow it to stand up to a large proportion of new oak without overpowering the wine. 225-litre barriques are the most popular size barrel and French oak is commonly used by the best producers to add structural complexity and flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and clove to the nose and palate. The best wines, many of which are below, can age further in the bottle for decades.
Old-World Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with , which ripens earlier than Cabernet and adds plum, softer tannin, and lighter body to this . These wines typically have earth-driven aromas such as wet leaves and truffle along with bell peppers and leather. producers such as , , and consistently produce some of the highest-quality Cabernet Sauvignon-based blends.
New-World Cabernet Sauvignon is seen both as a blend and single varietal. Warmer climates and long sunlight hours result in an extended growing season, bearing grapes with richer fruit, bigger tannin, higher alcohol, and lower acidity than their Old-World counterparts. Some of the best expressions of these full-bodied wines come from producers like , , and .
All Cabernet Sauvignon pairs phenomenally well with meat-forward dishes such as rib-eye steak, short ribs, lamb shank, or a cheeseburger. Vegetable-forward dishes featuring mushrooms are also a great choice for this variety.