Robert Parker 96
2020 was exceptionally dry, with 75% less rain than usual in the period between May and September, which resulted in an earlier harvest to produce a 2020 Almaviva with 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Carmenère (from Peumo), 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, so with no Merlot this time. The process was as careful as possible, without using any bombs, doing manual and optical sorting of the grapes, pressing in small vertical presses and aging of 20 months in French oak barrels, 73% of them new and the rest second use. The wine reached good ripeness with 14.9% alcohol. It still shows the effect of the élevage a bit, with abundant notes of sweet spices, a creamy touch and some smoke. I tasted it next to the 2019, and the wines have a very similar aromatic palette with a clear note of baked peppers. What was amazing in 2020 was that they harvested the Carmenere almost five weeks earlier than they normally would, and the result is not a green wine at all. As in all dry years, the wines show a little more tannic, a little in the style of the 2017—but the 2020 has more tension than the 2017, and the 2017 was more powerful and with a bigger tannic structure. The 2019 had more volume than the 2018, and the 2020 is closer to the 2019 than the 2018. 200,000 bottles produced. It was bottled during the second half of February 2022.
Anticipated maturity: 2024-2036
James Suckling 98
Fresh and deep nose, full of blueberries, minty cassis, mussels, cigars, dark spice and roasted sesame oak, which will need a year or two to fully integrate. A medium-to full-bodied Almaviva with supple, silky tannins and a wealth of black and blue fruit that provides a lot of charm now. Voluptuous and flattering on the palate, hallmarked by its tension and taut texture. Very long. This is the 25th anniversary bottling. 68% cabernet sauvignon, 24% carmenere, 6% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot. Drinkable now, but better from 2024.
Jane Anson 95
Now one of the old hands on the Place de Bordeaux and still setting the pace; full of complexity and pleasure, with an embrace of blueberry and raspberry fruits. Cardamon, turmeric spices with lemongrass and dill, giving sculpted lifted acidities that have been maintained through the heat of 2020, an impressive wine with a floral edge. The 2020 vintage marks 25 years of this property. Winemaker Michel Friou. 75% new oak.
Anticipated maturity: 2023-2035