- Nick's Import
2018 Cheval des Andes
Cheval des Andes is the brainchild of Pierre Lurton from Cheval Blanc with the dream to follow the original Malbec vines from Bordeaux to Argentina. Malbec was brought to Argentina in the mid-19th century, and having avoided the phylloxera epidemic that swept through Europe, the ungrafted vines here represent a unique opportunity to express Malbec in a way not possible with the grafted vines found elsewhere. With this aim, Chateau Cheval Blanc started a joint venture with Terrazas de Los Andes in 1999 and Cheval des Andes was born. Since then, a predominantly Malbec, Bordeaux-style blend has become the signature of Cheval des Andes. On the eve of the estate’s 20th anniversary, the 2018 has yet again greatly improved in terms of precision and style, offering a luscious, well-balanced wine, with tannins that are already fabulously integrated. The blend includes 70% Malbec and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.
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. 100,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in January 2020. Drink 2022 - 2040.
Luis Gutiérrez - Wine Advocate (Sep 2021)
The 2018 Cheval Des Andes is a blend of 70% Malbec – half from Las Compuertas and half from Paraje Altamira – and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon from Las Compuertas. It was aged in barrels and foudres, 50% in new oak. Purplish red in the glass. It shows an expressively complex nose of plum, cherry and hints of spice, pepper, ink, blackberry, and blackcurrant. The oak provides a profound and subtle backdrop of sweet spice. In the mouth, it’s viscous and broad with a little juice, velvety in texture and with very fine tannins. The finish is long-lasting with a satisfying feel. A relaxed, delicate, extremely well-balanced wine with a more generous core than the 2017 vintage. Drink 2021 - 2038.
Joaquín Hidalgo - Vinous
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.