The Tocornal Vineyard is the source of some of the classic wines in Chile's modern era - Don Melchor, Viñedo Chadwick, and, of course, Almaviva. It grows on a long, wide hillside of alluvial soils from the Maipo River. In the case of Almaviva, it was planted to cabernet sauvignon some 40 years ago on sandy soils and gravel, which, judging by the results, cabernet likes a lot. Those soils lend elegance to the tannins and the herbal tones that are so characteristic of the variety. And that is evident even in warm years, such as this 2019, which had a late bud break, although it ripened earlier. Winemaker Michel Friou says that they cut the bunches a week earlier that year. The 2019 Almaviva blend is 68% cabernet sauvignon and 23% carmenere (from the Peumo zone of the Cachapoal Valley), plus 5% cabernet franc, 3% petit verdot, and the rest is merlot. This is an excellent vintage and perhaps more succulent than the 2018 (one of the great vintages in the history of this classic). It has a bit more fat - the heat of the year shows itself in that broader aspect - but the fruit is perfectly ripe and juicy and delicious in its expression of place while leaving room for the herbal and menthol notes that are so typical of Alto Maipo cabernets. Score - 97. (Patricio Tapia, guiadescorchados.cl, 2022)
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