Other Producers

Cheval des Andes 2016

R2,695

The Wine of the Decade for James Suckling – a powerful and structured wine to stand the test of time

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Description

Description

 

Additional information

Additional information

Curated Selection

NEW, Top Rated

Grape Variety

Bordeaux Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Other Varietals

Producer

Other Producers

Product Type

Red Wine

Vintage

2016

Wine Occasion

Indulgence

Wine Region

Argentina

Critics Top Rating

99 points

Story

Story

The inspiration for Cheval des Andes came from the dream of founder Pierre Lurton to follow the original Malbec vines from Bordeaux to Argentina.

Years ago, Malbec was widely cultivated in Bordeaux and was brought to Argentina in the mid-19th century, only decades before the grape would be decimated in France by a phylloxera epidemic. Today, the only Malbec that exists in Bordeaux has grafted roots, which make it more resistant but also alter its quality. The vines which travelled to the New World over a century ago are ungrafted.

When Pierre Lurton discovered the stunning Malbec vineyard of Las Compuertas, planted in Mendoza in 1929, he was immediately captivated, declaring, “This will be a journey to the roots of Bordeaux.” He wanted to bring yesterday’s Bordeaux wines back to life, reconnecting Château Cheval Blanc with the history of Saint-Emilion.

In 1999, Château Cheval Blanc started a joint venture with Terrazas de Los Andes and Cheval des Andes was born. Since then, a predominantly Malbec, Bordeaux-style blend has become the signature of Cheval des Andes.

Specifications

Specifications

« Exceptional » is the word we can use to describe the 2016 harvest. The new vintage was cropped from a completely unusual year due to unstable temperatures – cooler than the average and with an exceptional amount of rain marked by El Niño, a cyclical phenomenon caused by the warming of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. This resulted in heavy rainfall between October and December.

Thanks to the spring rainfall during budburst and veraison, the phenological cycle was delayed by 20 days. On one hand , due to higher temperatures followed by a dry summer, the vines produced lower yields than usual. While on the other hand they produced small but rich and concentrated berries.

Following a careful selection process, the vintage was vinified in small stainless-steel vats (80hl). The 2016 vintage was aged for 14 months in oak; 2/3 in 225 litre barriques and 1/3 in larger 400 litre barrels.

70% of the wine was aged in new oak and 30% in 1-year-old barrels. All of the barrels were made from oak from Central France. The barrels used to age this vintage of Cheval des Andes were made by world-class French coopers.

In the 2016 vintage, 100% of the grapes came from the top ‘terroirs’ of Las Compuertas and La Consulta. The resulting wines have good ageing potential and are notable by their precision, balance and freshness.

BLEND

Malbec (58%), Cabernet Sauvignon (37%) , Petit Verdot (5%).

Tasting Notes

Tasting Notes

COLOUR

Intense shiny red with purple hints

AROMAS

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.

PALATE

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.

Critic Ratings

Critic Ratings

James Suckling – 99 points

Super refined and beautiful with flowers, spices, dried fruit and hints of stones. Medium to full body with very fine tannins and a gorgeous finish. Shows great finesse and depth. Savory character, as always, but in check.


Robert Parker Wine Advocate – 97+ points

The new vintage to be released in September 2019 is the 2016 Cheval des Andes, which was cropped from a completely unusual year—cooler than the average and with an exceptional amount of rain (around 600 liters), yet the wine has achieved exceptional freshness. It’s 13.9% alcohol, and there’s more red fruit on the nose, which is subtle and elegant, a little closed at first, shy and subtle. They have done great adjustments in the élevage, with the wine matured in 30% to 40% 400-liter barrels and only some 40% new wood. It’s 58% Malbec (approximately 50/50 from Luján and Valle de Uco, where they have 15 hectares in Altamira), 37% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot. This has less structure than the 2015, but there’s more tension; this is a wine that should develop beautifully in bottle. This is a vintage of precision and with great aging potential. I think this wine is the most elegant produced so far. Bravo!

Vinous – 95 points
Bright, dark red-ruby. Wild, musky scents and flavors of black raspberry, black pepper, olive tapenade, licorice and rocky salinity. Plush, savory and seamless; a mouthcoating Malbec-based blend with superb depth and palate presence. As concentrated as this wine is, it’s medium-bodied in the style of this cooler year but also remarkably nuanced and harmonious from the start, communicating an impression of restrained sweetness. Finishes extremely long and edge-free, with noble tannins and palate-saturating breadth. Incidentally, with this 2016, Cheval des Andes is now made entirely with estate fruit, from their properties in La Compuertas and Altamira. (aged in 70% new oak)

Decanter – 93 points

An atypical vintage in Mendoza marked by El Niño. The 2016 is also made by the Cheval-Blanc team. Once again the nose suggests a northern Rhône or Syrah bouquet. Al dente raspberry, graphite, lavender and violet hints. Laser-like tannins, perfectly balanced texture, and an impressive and densely-fruited wine elevated by superb tannic structure and freshness. A vertical wine, admirably elaborated.


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