In 1997, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild and Don Alfonso Larraín, Chairman of Concha y Toro, concluded a partnership agreement in order to create a fine Franco-Chilean wine called Almaviva. The Almaviva estate includes a mansion and a winery as well as a 50 hectare (124-acre) vineyard planted with three typical Bordeaux grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Carmenere. The wine is the result of the successful encounter of two cultures: Chile offers its soil, its climate and its vineyard, while France brings its winegrowing traditions and expertise.
The name Almaviva is taken from classic French literature: Count Almaviva is a central figure in the famous play The Marriage of Figaro by Beaumarchais (1732-1799), turned into an opera by the genius of Mozart. The label bears the name “Almaviva” in Beaumarchais’ own hand and pays tribute to Chile’s ancestral history with three reproductions of a symbolic drawing from the Mapuche civilisation.
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. EPU comes from the same exceptional vines and terroir of Almaviva, Puente Alto. 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.
"The current release of their second wine is the 2020 Epu. It's selected from the same terroir and vineyard in Puente Alto, one of the most reputed places for Cabernet Sauvignon in Chile, but from the younger vines (five to 20 years old) and harvested a little earlier to preserve acidity and fruit. In the warm and dry 2020 vintage, the wine was produced with a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Carmenere, 5% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, usually higher in Cabernet and lower in Carmenere than Almaviva. It has red ripe berries, the textbook blackberries and cassis and some creamy oak." - 94 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"Shows lovely floral blueberry and loam notes up front, while the fleshy core of concentrated blackberry and cassis grabs your attention and lingers nicely around saline and iron notes. Ends with firm, dusty tannins and hints of dark chocolate. Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Merlot and Cabernet Franc." - 93 points, Wine Spectator