Puente Alto 2017 Almaviva
2017 was an unusual year, warm and extremely dry (178 liters of rain, but there was some rain after the 2016 harvest, so the soil had some water), and the harvest and the whole cycle was two to three weeks earlier than normal. That is the context for the 2017 Almaviva, whose vines saw extremely low yields (ten hectoliters per hectare in the older parts, 36 hectoliters per hectare in the young vines) and produced concentrated juice. The bottled blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Carmenère, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Merlot, quite similar to the 2016, and the alcohol level reached 14.6% with a pH of 3.65 and 4.9 grams of acidity (measured in tartaric acid). It matured in French oak barriques (825 of them new) for 19 months. It's a riper, rounder and softer vintage, with moderate acidity and a tender mouthfeel, really marked by very high temperatures all year round. They used a little more Petit Verdot in the blend, but there is no overripeness. The wine shows some herbal aromas (I really notice the touch of the Carmenere this year). They harvested extremely early (three weeks earlier than normal!) and were able to keep the tension in the wine, and it has a polished mouthfeel and very round tannins. It's a nicely crafted red blend, and they were able to overcome the difficulties of the year; I see the style of something between 2016 and 2015, quite compact. It might require some more bottle age to open up, and it should develop nicely in bottle. 180,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in January 2019.
Winespectator / James Suckling (100)
The aromas of blackberry leaves and iodine are wild and exotic here with mussel shells and earth underneath. Full-bodied, tight and chewy with powerful tannins that show muscle. It’s structured and powerful. Dense and very, very deep.