2012 Cheval des Andes Bordeaux Blend Mendoza

SKU #1279907 97 points James Suckling

 Fabulous aromas of blackberry, spice and flower. Perfumed. Lavender, rose and lilac too. A wine that grows on the palate with extreme finesse and complexity that shows ultra-fine tannins, currants, and flowers. Super length. Mostly mablec with cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot. Best Cheval des Andes ever? Drink or hold.  (5/2015)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 2012 was a warmer vintage but they harvested earlier to preserve freshness. The 2012 Cheval des Andes has more floral notes (that they attribute to the early picking) violets and lilies. While the blackberries and blackcurrants are there, they do not overpower the nose. In this vintage the final blend (which changes every year, they have no rules) was 64% Malbec, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon (a higher percentage to provide freshness in this warmer vintage) and then 8% Petit Verdot. This is a hedonistic Cheval showing the character of the vintage but with better balance and more integrated oak than in the earlier releases. They reduced the percentage of new oak to 30% and also started experimenting with some 500-liter barrels that were widely used in 2014, and the aging was longer at 14 months. The palate is powerful, and to drink at around 15 C. It gets more depth and nuanced with time in the glass. Even if young, this is polished and can be drunk starting now. 68,000 bottles were produced in 2012.  (8/2015)

93 points Vinous

 (a joint venture between Cheval Blanc and Terrazas de los Andes): Bright ruby-red. Highly complex nose and palate meld currant, plum, licorice, mocha, tobacco, wild herbs and a sexy floral element. Utterly suave and seamless blend in the style of a ripe Right Bank wine, with saline soil tones leavening the wine's sweetness of fruit. One senses the 15% alcohol on the finish of this very long, firmly tannic, classically dry wine, which needs a couple more years in the bottle to come into full focus. My sample improved dramatically over 24 hours in the recorked bottle, showing purer fruit character without any loss of energy.  (3/2016)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Dark, lightly toasted aromas of licorice root, coconut, blackberry and peppery spice are inviting. This blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot is lush, ripe and loaded. Toasty, blackened berry and cassis flavors finish with woody spice, length and complexity. Drink now through 2021.  (10/2016)

92 points Wine Spectator

 A dense, rich and ripe red, with well-structured flavors of dark cherry, plum and chocolate. The creamy finish is filled with Asian spice and minerally notes, revealing lingering blackberry accents. Drink now through 2020.  (9/2016)

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Price: $79.99

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

Argentina

- Argentina is regarded as one of the most dynamic wine-producing nations in the world, and possibly the most important wine-producing region in South America. Only four countries in the world produce more wine than Argentina. Considerable investments (much of which has come from famous French, Italian and California wine producers) have been made in new vineyards and winemaking technology in the past several years, which along with recent plantings of more premium varieties of grapes, has made Argentina much more competitive internationally. The Mendoza region is the most important region in Argentina's wine industry. And Malbec, among other Bordeaux varietals grown here, reigns supreme. Click for a list of bestselling items from Argentina.
Alcohol Content (%): 14