The third vintage of this wine we have worked with, made by the same extraordinary team at Cheval Blanc in Bordeaux, Cheval des Andes, hones this terroir and improves every vintage. In the early days of this project, the team from Cheval Blanc made the wine but did not control the vineyards purchasing grapes that went into previous vintages. Today they are only using 100% estate fruit, converting to organic farming, and are cutting yields which is why the quality has skyrocketed these past few years. The wines see a long cold fermentation using only native yeasts and about 40% new oak in several different sizes and varieties of barrels, including several 400 liters with each plot vinified separately. Omitting the Petit Verdot used in previous vintages 2018 is a blend of 70% Malbec and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. Powerful and elegant, Cheval des Andes has become one of the best wines in Argentina and the southern hemisphere and is a world-class example of Malbec. 2018 looks to be the greatest yet fueled by an incredible vintage in Mendoza, one of the best of all time, as Luis notes below. A classic and structured wine that will age as long as some of the top Bordeaux examples and those with patience will be greatly rewarded. Two excellent notes below, we have very friendly pricing here on bottles that are due to arrive in December.
James Suckling 98 points! "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."
Wine Advocate (Luis Gutierrez) 98 points! "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."