(JS=100) This is the greatest Cheval des Andes ever. Discrete aromas of blackberries, flowers, stone and liquorice. So perfumed. The integration of fruit, tannins and acidity is fantastic. Full-bodied, tight and solid with beautiful depth and integrity. Extremely long and exciting. Complex and compelling with such refinement and length. A blend of 62% malbec and 38% cabernet sauvignon. Available in September 2020. Better after 2024.
(RP=97+) The 2017 Cheval des Andes is one such wine. 2017 saw an early harvest, but they started picking on the 6th of March and continued until the 10th of April, more or less normal dates, early but not so much. The varietal break down this vintage comes to 62% Malbec and 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the wine is slightly riper and higher in alcohol than 2016 (this 2017 is 14.2% alcohol). The different plots were fermented separately with selected yeasts, and the cleavage lasted for 15 months and was in 50/50 new and second use barrels, 90% of the French and the rest made with wood from Eastern Europe. They used 45% Bordeaux barrels, 45% 400-litre barrels and, for the first time, a 2,500-liter oak foudre. This is clearly the darkest of the trio of vintages I tasted together here ”2015, 2016 and 2017” but all three have the elegant and powerful profile, the luxurious and creamy character found in the best Bordeaux wines in the last few years, wines of power with precision, concentration, energy and finesse.
(AG=95) The seventeenth vintage of Cheval des Andes, a wine that has undergone a model transformation. I recently tried the 2007, and it's fascinating to trace the different stages of its evolution, all of which say something about the contemporary history of Argentine wine. To sum up, it started out with a French love of concentration and ripeness and ended up with an equally French love of equilibrium and local terroir. The 2017 is a new beginning in itself. A blend of Malbec with 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, it presents a bold nose of fresh fruit such as sweet and sour cherry with fleshy aromas and a touch of white pepper over a bold, woody backdrop. A fluid wine, slightly taut on the palate with medium structure, a delicate feel and active tannins well integrated into the terse texture, overall it is nuanced and full of flavour. Possesses a balance that respects the concentration of the vintage without ever letting it get out of hand. An Argentine wine made with more than a nod to French expertise.