Cheval des Andes 2007
Bordeaux Red Blends from Argentina, South America
The discovery of Cheval de Andes defies tasting terms. The Bordeaux-style blending of this "Grand Cru" from the other side of the world expresses, in turn, finesse and exoticism, power and freshness, elegance and authenticity. Its prestigious tutors have guaranteed its powers of seduction. It is a wine that follows no fashion.
Wine Spectator - "This tight, compact red displays cassis, linzer torte and macerated black cherry notes, backed by fine tannins and juicy acidity, as the finish lingers with hints of tobacco, spice and leather. Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2012 through 2015. 1,000 cases imported."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2007 Cheval des Andes is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Malbec, 4% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot that is aged for 18 months in oak. Tasted on two occasions, it was unexpectedly bashful and unresponsive on first acquaintance. The second meeting was more promising. It offers a ripe bouquet of raspberry coulis, strawberry, vanilla and cedar, augmented by cigar box with a little aeration. It is well-defined, and the oak is neatly folded into the fruit. The palate is fleshy in the mouth, to the point where you would think it was more Merlot than Cabernet Sauvignon. It is nicely balanced, although I searched for more backbone and structure, especially on the finish, which is delineated but laconic. It is undoubtedly a very pleasurable wine, but I feel it could give so much more."
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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