I sat down today with Viña Almaviva winemaker Michel Friou today to get caught up on his latest efforts at the winery, which produced one of Chile's top red wines. Friou is excited about the release of the 2007 Viña Almaviva – it’s not just any new release for him. The 2007 is the first vintage he made at the icon winery after he was hired there that same year.
It’s the end of a year and the end of a decade, which affords a nicely rounded off number to look back on. When it comes to wine, a lot has happened in 10 years, From the rise of regions like Argentina and South Africa, the rise (and subsequent fall) of the Australian powerhouse, an unmatched string of vintages in the Southern Rhône, the emergence of major wine consuming markets in Eastern Europe and Asia to the passing of the legendary Robert Mondavi. Yes, it’s been a busy 10 years. For me though, one thing stands out as the single most important aspect of the last decade – the rise to prominence of high alcohol, fruit forward, heavily oaked wines. Yes, I’m serious.