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 Cheval des Andes, the Grand Cru of the Andes, Celebrates Launch of its Latest Release at Château Cheval Blanc

On June 20th, 77 guests among international wine merchants, sommeliers and media were invited at Château Cheval Blanc to discover Cheval des Andes, the Grand Cru of the Andes, and to taste its latest release: the 2013 vintage. Cheval des Andes is the perfect alliance between Cheval Blanc, renowned for its skill and savoir-faire in the art of blending, and Terrazas de los Andes, with one of the best Argentine high-altitude terroirs and expertise in Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

Hosted by Pierre Lurton, President of Château Cheval Blanc, and Lorenzo Pasquini, Technical Manager & Winemaker of Cheval des Andes, guests were taken to a cellar tour and immersed in the Argentinian culture and landscapes while being at the very heart of Château Cheval Blanc, in Saint Emilion.


The prized vineyard of Las Compuertas, home of Cheval des Andes in Mendoza, was reflected in staggered mirrors, installed in Château Cheval Blanc cellars and vineyard’s surroundings, symbolically illustrating the fusion of the two cultures from which Cheval des Andes was born.

A dinner followed in this spectacular setting. The Petit Cheval Blanc 2014 was served with the starter. The delicate and fresh aromas of the Cheval des Andes 2013, unveiled that evening, that followed paired perfectly with the Suckling Pig & Corn Cream. Lorenzo Pasquini described the Cheval des Andes 2013 as “a wine reflecting the generosity coming from the warm climate of the vintage while revealing the elegance, the freshness and the finesse that has been characterizing the style of Cheval des Andes in the past vintages.” The guests then enjoyed the Cheval des Andes 2008 over Truffled Pecorino before concluding this superb dinner with the Cheval Blanc 2006.


About Cheval des Andes

Cheval des Andes is born from the fusion of Cheval Blanc, renowned for its skill and savoir-faire in the art of blending, and Terrazas de los Andes, with one of the best Argentine high-altitude terroirs, and expertise in Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The association was initiated at the end of the 1990s, when Cheval Blanc sought out a special international terroir in which to apply its storied blending heritage. Underlying the initiative was the idea of unearthing a connection with the history of Saint-Emilion: Malbec, once one of the most important grape varieties in Saint-Emilion and Pomerol, had been decimated by phylloxera in the 1860s, but since reborn in non-grafted form in Argentina. Along with the Malbec renaissance in Argentina, there emerged an ambitious vision to forge a new path in international winemaking. Château Cheval Blanc’s reconnection with its past was consummated in 1999 by selecting a parcel of the one of the most treasured high-elevation terroirs in Argentina: Terrazas de los Andes’ 1929 Las Compuertas vineyard in the foothills of the Andes.

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The Cheval des Andes collaboration came to be as the result of one French winemaker’s voyage to the other side of the world and a glass of impressive Argentinean wine.

Visiting Argentina in the 90s, Pierre Lurton, President of Château Cheval Blanc, legendary Premier Grand Cru Classé A of Saint-Emilion, found himself in the sloping plains of the majestic Andes mountains at the Terrazas de los Andes vineyards. Cheval Blanc’s reconnection with its past was consummated in 1999 during this visit through the select parcel of the most treasured high elevation terroir in Argentina: Terrazas de los Andes’ 80 year-old Las Compuertas vineyard, found in Vistalba, Mendoza. Upon tasting their Malbec, he was captivated by the quality of the wine being produced in this breathtaking yet seemingly inhospitable location and was intrigued by the notion of unearthing a connection with the Saint-Emilion past. Decimated by phylloxera in the 1860s from its position as the one of the most important varieties in Saint-Emilion and Pomerol, the Malbec had since been reincarnated in ungrafted form in Argentina, producing some of the world’s best Malbec in recent years. Along with this renaissance in Argentina emerged an ambitious vision to forge a new path in international winemaking.

His vision paved the way for the birth of Cheval des Andes, the first and only alliance the prestigious Château Cheval Blanc vignoble has seen fit to launch. The noble fusion of a Premier Grand Cru of Saint-Emilion with the best Argentine terroir innovative high-altitude expertise; the extraordinary experience of the old world and the creativity and inventiveness of the new, together as they should be in one glorious wine.

Cheval des Andes is the first fusion of the Premier Grand Cru Classé A of Saint-Emilion, Cheval Blanc, with its skillfulness and savoir-faire, and Terrazas de los Andes, with the best Argentine high-altitude terroir, and its expertise in producing Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. The philosophy of successive harvests directly addresses the synergy born as a driving idea to bring together the art of assemblage, the experience of the old world, and the creativity, vitality and innovation of the new world in one wine.

Cheval des Andes is the Argentinean expression of Château Cheval Blanc, Premier Grand Cru Classé A of Saint-Emilion: refined, elegant, vibrant and extravagant. Proving to be the best exponent of the French-Argentine style, Cheval is "the perfect assemblage reborn".

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Situated in the Andes more than a thousand meters above sea level, the vineyard is located in the Las Compuertas district, right at the heart of Vistalba, one of the most distinguished areas in Mendoza. Sitting against this breathtaking backdrop, we occupy 50 hectares of naturally privileged land. Irrigation of the vineyard relies on pure meltwater from the Andes delivered by small furrows located at the foot of the vines. The soil is sandy-loam with stone content at the depth and good drainage which encourage deep root growth and ensure greater balance, durability and the finest expression. Average temperatures in this great terroir couldn’t be more beneficial to our grapes, with warm daytime temperatures contrasted by fresh, crisp thermometer drops after-dark, thanks to breezes coming down from the hills at night.


Organic by nature, we practice the French art of assemblage in our winemaking as our five varieties - Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot – are matched, blended, and cajoled to play off each other’s true natures in the hands of our esteemed and impassioned winemakers. All these factors are essential to make Cheval des Andes the most expressive and refined ‘Grand Cru of the Andes’.


Our vineyards are watered by a traditional irrigation system: the natural meltwater from the Andes mountain range runs through small furrows that cover the total surface of grapevines with pure water rich in minerals. The historical vineyards extended over 50 hectares also reflect the long-lasting commitment to the environment. They are organic by nature.

Our sustainable production system consists in the rational use of natural resources, eliminating synthesis products. Cultivation works practiced in our vineyards are focused on the best balance of plants and soil, preserving the existing ecosystem. Our philosophy of the art of assemblage is expressed through 5 varieties planted in our vineyard: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. For the purpose of revealing their full potential, fruit and colour, each variety is planted in the terroir which offers optimum conditions within our representative and precious vineyards. In addition to such amazing growing conditions, our oenologists bring everyday their careful savoir-faire to bring out the most elegant and refined expression of our grape varieties.

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Winemaking steps of Cheval des Andes

1. The different varieties are hand-harvested in the cool hours of the morning.

2. Bunches and berries are thoroughly selected in the facilities. Gravitation filling of fermentation tanks.
3. Alcoholic fermentation is followed by a gentle and prolonged maceration during 30 days average, combining pumping-over and delestage.
4. Varietals undergo 18 months of ageing in French oak barrels. First the ageing is done during 6 months in separated lots for each grape variety and then during 12 months for the final blend. 30 to 60% of new barrels are used according the vintage, except for a first part of Malbec which uses second use barrels to obtain more fruit and freshness.
5. Assemblage definition and realization: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
6. Final blend is aged in new French oak barrels during 6 more months. Regular racking of barrel wine to achieve clarity and brightness with no filtering.
7. Bottling and extended bottle aging for at least 18 months.


Five Varieties

Each variety plays a key role in the art of assemblage, contributing unique characteristics expressed in a single wine: Cheval des Andes.

The ELEGANCE of Malbec
Malbec provides fruit, especially red fruit such as plum and cherries, and violet notes. It also adds roundness and sucrosity with very elegant fine tannins. It is graceful and distinctive.

The STRUCTURE of Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon delivers structure, firm tannins, and complexity, with a spicy profile filled with green and black pepper, and redcurrant and blackcurrant notes.

The SWEET SPICES hints of Merlot
Merlot exhibits notes of black fruits such as blackberries, blackcurrants or black cherries, accompanied by sweet spicy nuances. Full-bodied, with soft tannins and a fleshy palate.

The COLOUR of Petit Verdot
Petit Verdot is a variety that easily adapts to different conditions. Wines obtained from this variety have a beautiful colour, fruit flavours, and plum, cherry and raspberry notes. It adds acidity and a vegetal touch.

The INTENSITY of Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc offers structured and fruity wines with intense colour and notes of raspberries and violets.

The art of Assemblage: Cheval des Andes blend plays with the complexity of the place, the terroir, and several grapes varieties in order to highlight the synergy through blending.

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Inside information

Cheval des Andes inherits its precision viticulture from Terrazas de los Andes, where, after years of identifying terraced slots with the best altitude for the best varietal expression of its different grapes, the team used advanced soil analysis to further divide vineyards into sub-plots, each of which is cultivated, harvested and vinified separately, to optimize the terroir expression of each. Only at the end are they blended together, relying on 180 years of expertise in this art.

Las Compuertas means “the floodgates” in Spanish – a name which comes from the unique way the vineyard gets its water. Traditionally, Mendoza vineyards are characterized by a unique flood irrigation method originally developed by the Incas. Pure water from the snowmelt of the Andes flows down the rivers and is channelled into small ditches that run along the vines. This traditional system has key advantages: because the water is drained at depth, it forces the vines to develop deep roots; it also allows for the cultivation of ungrafted vines by periodically drowning pests such as phylloxera.

In 2018, a modern drip irrigation system – still using the snowmelt, which the Estate stores in reservoirs – was implemented. This technique favours the distribution of water with more precision, meeting the vines’ specific needs efficiently (they absorb around 90% of this water).

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Cheval des Andes . In a tasting of  4 wines 

It was a great week-end with the chance to taste some exquisite wines, which reached my office just a few days ago. For example Cheval des Andes: Mission accomplished! When Château Cheval Blanc and Terrazas de los Andes teamed up to make a unique wine, nothing less than a real Grand Cru from Argentina was the goal. Although earlier vintages have already proved, that Cheval des Andes has the potential for this great category of wine, the 2017 gives the liquid prove. Mission accomplished could also be the title for the wines from Château d'Yquem. Both, the classic Premier Cru Classé of Sauternes, which has found a successful new interpretation over the last vintages as well as the dry version "Y" are stunning examples from Bordeaux. Another positive surprise comes also from the French South-West, Fleur de Clinet. The "second label" of Château Clinet in Pomerol has become a wine with own character and style, worth to be discovered.

25d 21h ago

 Jancis Robinson MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Cheval des Andes . In a tasting of  28 wines 

Roussean Chambertin 1990 / Bright ruby – quite a deep colour actually. Delightfully shaded. Pungent and definitely with lots of tertiary aromas. This has crossed the Rubicon into something serious! Fireworks and explosions. Great breadth and richness. Long and kerpow. So complex and beautfully balanced, Struck match quality. Fine tannins on the finish but lots of pleasure. Tense and exciting.

7m 23d ago

 Francisca Mendoza, Wine Importer (Argentina)  tasted  1 wines  from  Cheval des Andes . In a tasting of  14 wines 

The 2009 Carruades de Lafite shows purity and aromatic vibrancy, characteristics due to the alternating of sunny days and fresh nights appropriate for the aromatic expression. The palate is straight, precise, aromatic, round with finely chiselled tannins. The varietals perfect ripeness plays a great role in the sensation of balance.

2y 5m ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Cheval des Andes . In a tasting of  45 wines 

BWW-Finalist Dinner at restaurant Palace with 40 finalists.

2y 8m ago

 Cheval des Andes  has news

 Cheval des Andes, the Grand Cru of the Andes, Celebrates Launch of its Latest Release at Ch&ac  more ...

3y 3m ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Cheval des Andes . In a tasting of  59 wines 

“The Sommelier World Championship 2016 was hold in Mendoza. This event presented a great opportunity to taste a number of wines during the journey through Argentina. The wines were tasted in open tasting, partially at the wineries, partially during presentations, lunches or dinners.

4y 5m ago

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BWW- The Best Wine of the World 2020 -competition

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