About the Wine
Meet the “Grand Cru of Argentina.” You’re going to want to get to know it better.
In 1999,Château Cheval Blanc—Premier Grand Cru Classé A of Saint Emilion in Bordeaux—and Terrazas de Los Andes in Mendoza teamed up to create Cheval des Andes,and a star was born. The predominantly Malbec, Bordeaux-style blend is the signature of Cheval des Andes and is recognized asone of Argentina's premier wines. The 2019 is the 20th anniversary of this distinguished wine, and the first under new French winemaker, Gerald Gabillet.
Cheval des Andes combines the vibrant and intense expression of Argentinian Malbec with the rigor, elegance, and savoir-faire of a great Bordeaux. The wine iselegant, the most refined expression of the terroir of Mendoza.
Apioneer of cool-climate high-altitude winemaking in Argentina, Cheval des Andes produced the 2019 wines from two high-altitude vineyards: Las Compuertas in Luján de Cuyo, the oldest and most classic winegrowing region of Mendoza, and Paraje Altamira, one of the most famed in South America, renowned for its silky and seductive Malbec wines. Las Compuertas sits at 3,500 feet, on gentle slopes in Luján de Cuyo. It has alluvial, deep silty-loam soils composed of sand, limestone, and clay that are well-suited for Cabernet Sauvignon. Paraje Altamira soils are stony with a layer of calcium carbonate.
The result of the blending of the grapes from these two distinguished, biodiverse vineyards— harvested by hand and vinified separately by sub-plot—is awine defined by freshness, elegance, and exceptional aging potential.The winemaking team crafts the finest possible expression of the unique, high-altitude terroir in each given year, making each vintage unique.
Aging: 16 to 18 months in a selection of new and second-use Bordeaux barrels of French and Austrian oak.
Tasting Notes: 50% Malbec and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. On the nose, the wine is complex with blue fruits, herbs, and bacon on the nose. Incredibly balanced, with brambly blackberry, refined tannins, and a gorgeously long finish.
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Cheval des Andes continues its steady ascent towards the summit of the very best and most sought-after New World reds. I tasted this wine over the space of a day and was very close to giving it 100 points. Made from an equal blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon it combines fruit from Las Compuertas and Paraje Altamira to brilliant effect. Aged in 50% new barrels and foudres it's effortlessly complex and detailed with refined tannins graphite and cut grass aromas cassis and bramble flavors and remarkable palate length. 2025-40. ~ 99 Tim Atkin.
The 2019 Cheval des Andes had a more reductive vinification and élevage, making the wine a bit shy and in need of time to open up, as one of their objectives was to make it more age-worthy. Another objective is to get to a 50/50 blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, which they achieved in this vintage for the first time, going back to the initial character of the wine that was the idea of Argentinean winemaker Roberto de la Mota; so, they are closing the circle and going back to the initial idea, with more implication from the Cheval Blanc team. This is the first vintage fully under the charge of the new French winemaker, Gerald Gabillet, who fermented by plot, isolating some specific parts of the vineyard, like the borders where you tend to get higher yields because of the irrigation. It matured in 225- and 400-liter oak barrels and in oak vats. They used more barrels and vats from Stockinger, which they like and rotate; the wine spends an average of 13 to 14 months in oak, but some lots get 11 months and others get 16. 2019 was a mild vintage, cooler than 2017 and warmer than 2018, with rain at the right time, which helped to avoid hydric stress, and without extremes (which they had in 2020 with three weeks of extreme heat). The wine is young and tender and a bit oaky, which Gerald attributed to the reductiveness; it's ripe without excess, with around 14.2% alcohol, mellow acidity, and velvety tannins. There's more Cabernet here, so the aromatic expression can be something between 2017 and 2018, but Cabernet marks the palate a lot and makes the wine more age-worthy, as it provides the structure and length that the Malbec lacks. So, the wine might be less accessible when young and should develop slowly in bottles. It's tasty and supple and has the ingredients and the balance for what they are aiming for. In the following vintages, they follow this path, and Gabillet feels that having more precision allows the wines to reflect the differences between vintages better. They keep producing around 100,000 bottles. It was bottled in late January 2021. The way they want to describe the wine is the Argentinean expression of Cheval Blanc. And I can only agree. ~98 Wine Advocate.
A refined but spicy Cheval showing charcoal blueberries wild herbs lavender and hints of bacon and cedar. Medium to full body with extremely fine tannins that get dialed into the fruit with violet spices and sweet blue fruit at the end. Long and subtle. Drink or hold. ~97 James Suckling.
The 2019 Cheval des Andes is a 50/50 blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon from Las Compuertas and Paraje Altamira Mendoza. The 2019 was 40% aged in 225-liter barrels 40% in 500-liter barrels and 20% in foudres. It’s red with violet flecks in the glass. It has a fresh nose of plum and blackcurrant accompanied by hints of white pepper mint and violets over a bed of cedar and sandalwood. On the palate, the feel is finely grained with a leaner more agile flow than in previous years while the freshness brings plenty of energy before the lengthy finish of fruit and country herb aromas. ~97 Vinous Media.
Smooth and so seductive, I love the texture here, supple but silky. Tannis give structure and support and the focus is on perfumed red and black fruits with a richness and concentration yet liveliness from sharp acidity. It doesn't feel at all heavy but sintilates with fragrance and freshness. Easy to drink, lovely detail on show - blackcurrants, red cherries, violets with vanilla and liquorice hints. Very smooth and charming while still being a full wine. This has extreme delectability. Great winemaking on show.~ 96 Decanter.
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