Cheval des Andes 2006
Bordeaux Red Blends from Argentina, South America
Deep black cherry color with mauve glints on the rim. Upon agitating, aromas of dried apricots and floral notes mix with warm scents of tobacco, red berry fruit macerated in brandy, cherry stones and home-made jam, together with cedar-wood, bay leaves and chocolate. The palate is warm and balanced, with freshness and minerals coming through on the mid-palate, along with black currant, spices and almond. Highly integrated, sweet tannins mingle with a long and elegant finish.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2006 Cheval des Andes was bottled in early 2008 but has not yet been released. The 2006 vintage is superb throughout Mendoza and this wine, as in many other bodegas I visited in April 2008, shows off the extra dimension of complexity made possible in an exceptional year. The wine is composed entirely of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a bit more saturated than the 2005 with a splendid perfume of pain grille, mineral, espresso, black cherry, and black raspberry that leaps from the glass. More opulent and layered than the 2005, it also conceals a bit more structure. The finish seems to go on and on. Drink it from 2015 to 2035."
Wine Enthusiast - "Dense and dark, with aromas of rubber and leather. Complex and stylish, but with raw power, and the flavors of blackberry, fig paste and herbs register as modern Mendoza. Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon-Petit Verdot; best from 2011-2015 "
Wine & Spirits - "From the joint venture between Cheval Blanc of St-Emilion and Terrazas de los Andes, this 2006 is still youthful, full of vitality and force. The tannins are wild, almost unruly, corralled by ripe flavors with the kind of depth that will reward cellaring. Give it three or four years, then open it with a ribeye."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright medium ruby. Initially restrained aromas of currant, black cherry and chocolatey oak accented by pepper and herbs. Suave and claret-like, with mounting energy and inner-mouth floral character to the delineated flavors of currant, tobacco leaf, graphite and pepper. Intensely flavored but understated and backward wine, with strong but well integrated acidity. Finishes firmly tannic, refined and long, with a chocolatey sweetness and stronger minerality emerging with extended aeration. This laid-back wine, a joint venture between Cheval Blanc and Terrazas de los Andes, needs at least a few years of cellaring. (An earlier bottle began a bit less floral and more youthfully tough but became markedly sweeter and more pliant with 24 hours in the recorked bottle.) "
Wine Spectator - "This broad-shouldered red delivers a mix of dark currant, licorice, damson plum and blackberry fruit flavors, well-integrated with espresso-tinged toast. Stays dense and loamy through the finish. Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2011"
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Cheval des Andes Winery
A joint venture between Chateau Cheval Blanc and Terrazas De Los Andes, this wine is a groundbreaking blend of legendary Bordeaux "First Growth" winemaking expertise with the very best terroir in Argentina.
Cheval des Andes originated as Director Pierre Lurton sought out a special international terroir in which to apply the storied blending heritage of the French château. Lurton was intrigued by the notion of unearthing a connection with the Saint Émilion past: Malbec, decimated by phylloxera in the 1860s from its position as the one of the most important varieties in Saint Emilion and Pomerol, had since been reincarnated in ungrafted form in Argentina, producing some of the world's best Malbecs in recent years.
Cheval Blanc's reconnection with its past was consummated in 1999 as Pierre Lurton visited a select parcel of the most treasured high elevation terroir in Argentina: Terrazas de los Andes' 76-year-old Las Compuertas vineyard, found in Vistalba, Mendoza. In resulting launch vintages of 2001 and 2002, according to Pierre Lurton, Cheval des Andes has proven to "fit in the spirit of Cheval Blanc," refined and elegant in its Bordeaux style, while displaying the characteristic fruit intensity of its Argentine roots. View all Cheval des Andes Wines
About ArgentinaView a map of Argentina wineries (ahr-jen-TEE-nah)
Notable FactsUnlike its Chilean neighbor, Argentina's vineyards are spread out around the country. The best known region is Mendoza, almost parallel to Santiago to the west. Mendoza contains the sub-regions of Maipu (pronounced MY-pu) and San Rafael. Grape-wise, the most important white is Chardonnay, making wine similar to California's style on the variety. Another fun white grape to try is Torrontes. Almost only grown in Argentina, Torrontes makes wines that are crisp, aromatic and easy-drinking. Some of the best versions of this wine come from the northern region of Salta, with very high altitude vineyards. As for the reds, Cabernet Sauvignon is the main grape for many wines leaving the country, but Malbec, the grape Argentinians like to call their own, makes very distinctive wines that are structured, dense and velvety. Many more varieties happily grow in the country, but for export, and consistent quality, these are the primary grapes.
About South AmericaRelated Links:
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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