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  • Country ranking ?

    1
  • Producer ranking ?

    1
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2035

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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The Story

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.

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Wine Information

The 2013 harvest was one of the most important in recent decades in terms of quantity and quality, with only one climatic risk factor. As the season was characterized by a number of hot days with temperatures over 30°C, the challenge was to avoid over-ripeness, which results in excessive concentration in the grapes. In order to maintain the natural balance and freshness typical of Cheval des Andes, the decision of when to harvest was key. This wine achieves an aromatic balance between red fruits and spices.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

A complex wine that balances refinement and power, the 2013 vintage stands out for its lighter, fresh, aromatic profile. A new style of Cheval des Andes, true to what a high-altitude Argentinian wine should be.Drawing on a rich heritage of winemaking from Bordeaux, combined with New World innovation, Cheval des Andes has crafted a silky and elegant red from the finest terroir in the prestigious Mendoza region.

Deep, almost black core, with bright violet highlights in colour. The opens with notes of fresh red berries, combined with blackcurrant and redcurrants, followed by roses and violets. It is completed by hints of Asian spices such as fresh ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon.

At Cheval des Andes they consider 2013 as a warm vintage, because even if the winter saw average temperatures, the spring and summer were warmer than normal. The 2013 Cheval des Andes came up to 67% Malbec, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot mostly from their vineyards at Las Compuertas at some 1,1000 meters altitude and some fruit from their 15 hectares at La Consulta in the Valle de Uco, that they use when they don't find it too ripe. Even if they tend to pick early, the bottled wine is a ripe and heady blend hitting the scale at 15% alcohol fermented relatively warm (28 degrees Celsius) for some 25 days. After malolactic in tank, all different lots go into barrel and they try to make the blend as soon as possible, usually during the first winter so the wine ages together for some 15 to 18 months in French oak barriques. They have reduced the amount of new wood used (only 30%) to avoid overwhelming the fruit with aromas but providing complexity and clarifying the wine naturally. From this vintage onward they have been able to not acidify the wine, as they changed their approach to viticulture, and they are now able to burn the green notes and harvest early, with natural acidity and lower alcohol. The key to this is to get something like 30-35 hectoliters per hectare. I think this is absolutely the right approach, and this change started in 2010--with 100% estate fruit, no oenological products used, fresh maturity without greenness through lower yields. In 2013, they consider they have achieved what they want, but kept improving in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The 2014 had just been bottled and I didn't have the chance to taste it, but they told me they prefer 2014 to 2013. If that is the case, 2014 should be mind-blowing, because 2013 is simply superb.

To Pierre Olivier Clouet, another key point is how to manage irrigation. The result of all this is more and more precise wines, with greater definition, purity and freshness. They are also avoiding residual sugar, so the wines are completely dry. They also started to work with 500-liter oak barrels, trying to find the integration of the oak keeping the percentage of new barrels but using larger ones. Malbec is quite sensitive to oak, and again, this approach has worked perfectly here. Finally, they are also moderating extraction, with a longer maceration but less pumping over, because with too much pumping over you have the risk of extracting too much dry tannin. It has great balance and freshness, with great elegance, and super-refined tannins. I've never tasted such an elegant Cheval des Andes, all about finesse and balance. Bravo to the new team! I'm really looking for ward to tasting the following vintages. 70,000 bottles produced.

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Information

Origin

Mendoza, Lujan de Cuyo

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