2018 Terrazas de Los Andes 'Cheval des Andes'
Varietal: Malbec - Bordeaux Blend
Profile: Rich and Intense
Intense shiny red with purple hints. Very intense aromatic expression. The bouquet of aromas of red fruit (cherry, wild strawberries) and spices is intensified by the freshness and complexity of the wine. On the palate, the balance of this wine is predominant. A supple and fresh attack add a lovely liveliness. Soft, precise tannins bring an attractive structure with an elegant finish.
Blend: 70% Malbec and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon
A joint venture between Chateau Cheval Blanc and Terrazas De Los Andes, this wine is a groundbreaking blend of legendary Bordeaux "First Growth" winemaking expertise with the very best terroir in Argentina.
Cheval des Andes originated as Director Pierre Lurton sought out a special international terroir in which to apply the storied blending heritage of the French chateau. Lurton was intrigued by the notion of unearthing a connection with the Saint Émilion past: Malbec, decimated by phylloxera in the 1860s from its position as the one of the most important varieties in Saint Emilion and Pomerol, had since been reincarnated in ungrafted form in Argentina, producing some of the world's best Malbecs in recent years.
Cheval Blanc's reconnection with its past was consummated in 1999 as Pierre Lurton visited a select parcel of the most treasured high elevation terroir in Argentina: Terrazas de los Andes' 76-year-old Las Compuertas vineyard, found in Vistalba, Mendoza. In resulting launch vintages of 2001 and 2002, according to Pierre Lurton, Cheval des Andes has proven to "fit in the spirit of Cheval Blanc," refined and elegant in its Bordeaux style, while displaying the characteristic fruit intensity of its Argentine roots.
Joint venture between Chateaux Cheval Blanc and Terrazas de Los Andes. Indicative blend: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Depending on the vintage the blend may vary
The wine of Cheval des Andes combines the vibrant and intense expression of Argentinian Malbec with the rigour, elegance and savoir-faire of a great Bordeaux.
It is a unique blend of Malbec grapes and Bordeaux varietals – an ensemble with the exuberance of Malbec balanced by the temperance of Cabernet Sauvignon, completed with hints of Petit Verdot.
The vision of Cheval des Andes is to bring Château Cheval Blanc’s winemaking philosophy – which focusses on cellaring potential and elegance – to Argentina. Cheval des Andes makes wines that age gracefully and “travel through the decades,” according to Pierre Lurton, President of Château Cheval Blanc and Cheval des Andes.
These wines are elegant, meaning they are the most refined expression of the terroir of Mendoza. On the nose, they are complex rather than intense and on the palate, they are balanced rather than powerful.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2018 Cheval des Andes is a blend of 70% Malbec and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon fermented in small lots in 3,000- to 8,000-liter tanks and matured 40% in 225-liter oak barrels, 40% in 400-liter oak barrels and the remaining 20% in 2,500-liter oak vats for 13 months. Ninety percent of the oak used was French and the rest a blend of Austrian, Slovenian and German oak, 50% of it new. 2018 has been one of the best vintages in recent times in Mendoza, and the wine shows it. It's a cooler vintage, and the wine has improved in freshness and elegance without losing any clout. It's 14.5% alcohol and has a pH of 3.73. This is young, juicy, elegant and balanced and still has some herbal and toasted notes; it's medium to full-bodied, with the creamy and luxurious texture of the modern Bordeaux, ultra fine tannins and a long, dry and precise finish. It's still undeveloped and seems to have all the components and the balance between them for a long and positive development in bottle. With wines like this, I sometimes wish I had a time machine so I could see them in 20 years from now... I think this is the finest Cheval des Andes I've ever tasted.
This is a plush, rich Cheval with blueberry and floral aromas and flavors. HInts of tar and fresh lavender. Full body. The depth and richness are impressive, as are the ripe yet fresh tannins. Very long and structured, yet controlled and in balance. This will be a great wine indeed. Release in September 2021. Drink after 2023.