Other Producers

Almaviva Epu 2019

R1,995

The Second Wine of icon Almaviva, in its first International release

In stock

Description

Description

 

Additional information

Additional information

Curated Selection

NEW, Top Rated, Second Wines

Grape Variety

Bordeaux Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Other Varietals

Producer

Other Producers

Product Type

Red Wine

Vintage

2019

Wine Occasion

Indulgence

Wine Region

Chile

Critics Top Rating

94 points

Story

Story

In 1997, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA, and Eduardo Guilisasti Tagle, Chairman of Viña Concha y Toro S.A., sealed a partnership agreement with a view to create an exceptional Franco-Chilean wine called Almaviva. The rest is history. Not only did the 2017 vintage achieve a perfect score from James Suckling, it was awarded the prestigious Wine of the Decade designation. You’ll want to make room on your top shelf for some of these bottles winelovers…

EPU, the name of Almaviva’s second wine means “Two” in the language of the Mapuche, one of the main indigenous cultures of southern Chile. The symbol is a reference to the Tupu, an ornament which expresses fundamental aspects of the worldview of various ancient Andean civilisations. It is a Bordeaux-style blend in which Cabernet Sauvignon predominates.

The wine has been a labor of love by chief winemaker Michel Friou, a Chilean industry veteran and native Frenchman who joined the single-wine estate in 2007.

The presence of carmenere derived from a happy accident. Back in 1978, the estate originally thought it planted merlot and cabernet sauvignon vines as its two primary varietals. But, due to a nationwide mix-up across Chile’s vineyards, the estate later learned that their merlot vines were actually carmenere.

The accidental inclusion of carmenere created a unique legacy for Almaviva’s single-estate wines, which are neither wholly New World nor Old World, but somewhere in between. It works beautifully in the glass, too: the winery has scooped up several 94-plus scores from James Suckling over the past decade, achieving his highest praise twice in two years. “We are so cognizant of what we need to do to make great wines,” Friou says. “It’s about small changes. It’s all about the details.”

Specifications

Specifications

Blend – 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Carmenere, 2% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc

EPU comes from the same exceptional vines and terroir of Almaviva, Puento Alto, one of the coolest areas of Chile’s Maipo Valley that offers the perfect conditions for growing Cabernet Sauvignon which is the heart of the blend. Modelled on the second wines of the most prestigious Bordeaux châteaux and produced in very limited quantities, EPU shares many characteristics of Almaviva, nonetheless, expressed through its own personality.

Having forged its own personality along the years, Cabernet Sauvignon is predominant in EPU at more than 80% of the blend, while its proportion in Almaviva is closer to 70%, conferring the wine a different identity that is less creamy with more verticality than Almaviva.

EPU 2019, the first international release of EPU, is the perfect introduction to the exclusive world of Almaviva.

Tasting Notes

Tasting Notes

The nose is attractive, vibrant and fruit forward, with aromas of wild raspberry and cassis, combined with subtle notes of spices and tea leaves.

On the palate, the attack is round and pleasant; nicely balanced between tension and ripeness, density and ¬finesse, the wine presents smooth and polished tannins. The predominant Cabernet Sauvignon reveals the pure expression of the Puente Alto terroir, with an intense, fresh and distinctive fruit of cassis and berries.

An elegant, harmonious and youthful wine, with persistent notes of vanilla and red berries throughout its long savoury finish.

Critic Ratings

Critic Ratings

James Suckling – 94 points

  Aromas of blueberries, blackberries and fresh flowers. Very cool and pure. Medium-bodied with fine, linear and very integrated tannins that are compressed and silky-textured. New second wine of Almaviva. Needs time to open. Try after 2024.


Robert Parker Wine Advocate – 93+ points

The first truly international release of the second wine is going to be the 2019 Epu, which has changed image and label, looking a little more like Almaviva, and is going to be sold through the Bordeaux négoce. 2019 was a very dry vintage, and the blend is 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Carmenere, 2% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc with slightly higher alcohol than 2018 and with lower acidity, matured in used barriques for one year. In terms of freshness, the wine is quite similar to the 2018 that I tasted next to it, obviously a little younger, quite intense and fruit-driven, spicy and herbal, with a creamy texture and fine-grained tannins. It’s a second wine, but they also want to do something different and Epu is perhaps a little more classical, perhaps this is more Bordeaux and Almaviva is more Chilean. 70,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in December 2020 and January 2021.

I spoke to winemaker Michel Friou who told me about the driest year in 2000 and a very good year but perhaps with some challenges for some places as they had a lot of rain in late January. I tasted 2019 (and the 2018 vintage, a great and homogeneous year, of the second wine that will be sold through Bordeaux for the first time in September 2021), a year that is more heterogeneous, but in some places it could be even better than 2018. At Almaviva, the behavior of temperatures was above the average and it was an early harvest. But the difference in Puente Alto was the winter, 300 liters of rain in 2018, but with 150 in 2019 (between May and October), but in the end he told me the wine from 2019 could be compared with the one from 2018. In a drier year, they irrigate a little more and end up having less stress in the vines.

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