Peter Maude Fine Wines

2018, Cheval des Andes ARGENTINA

$163

Blend: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot

Cheval des Andes is collaboration between Bordeaux and South America which came about after Pierre Lurton (Ch. Cheval Blanc, St. Emilion) visited the Mendoza valley in Argentina back in the late 1990s. Realising the potential for fine wine production he purchased a plot of old ungrafted Malbec vines - something that had long disappeared from Bordeaux - and which presented a chance to make an "exotic wine with a Bordelais touch."

 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. 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.
98/100 Luis Gutiérrez, Robt. Parker Wine Advocate.

This is a plush, rich Cheval with blueberry and floral aromas and flavours. 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.
98/100 James Suckling.

Lovely depth to the fruit, clear chocolate, liquorice, rosemary and black pepper spice, along with blueberry, black cherry, nuances of luscious nectarine. Lower levels of Cabernet Sauvignon than they have historically used in the blend, it still pulls its weight. They are still vinifiying at Terrazas de los Andes, but currently working on a cellar plan that will be completed for 2023. Last vintage with Lorenzo Pasquini before he headed back to Bordeaux (he is now with Yquem), with the 2019 onwards with Gérald Gabillet winemaker (previously at Château Angélus in St Emilion).
95 Jane Anson, Decanter.

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