2013 Cheval des Andes Bordeaux Blend Mendoza

SKU #1327780 98 points James Suckling

 The purity of fruit is so impressive here with flowers, dark fruit, and strawberries. Full body, ultra-fine tannins, and a focus and beauty that makes you think. So long and elegant. 67% malbec, 25% cabernet sauvignon and 8% petit verdot.  (5/2016)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 At Cheval des Andes they consider 2013 as a warm vintage, because even if the winter saw average temperatures, the spring and summer were warmer than normal. The 2013 Cheval des Andes came up to 67% Malbec, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot mostly from their vineyards at Las Compuertas at some 1,1000 meters altitude and some fruit from their 15 hectares at La Consulta in the Valle de Uco, that they use when they don't find it too ripe. Even if they tend to pick early, the bottled wine is a ripe and heady blend hitting the scale at 15% alcohol fermented relatively warm (28 degrees Celsius) for some 25 days. After malolactic in tank, all different lots go into barrel and they try to make the blend as soon as possible, usually during the first winter so the wine ages together for some 15 to 18 months in French oak barriques. They have reduced the amount of new wood used (only 30%) to avoid overwhelming the fruit with aromas but providing complexity and clarifying the wine naturally. From this vintage onward they have been able to not acidify the wine, as they changed their approach to viticulture, and they are now able to burn the green notes and harvest early, with natural acidity and lower alcohol. The key to this is to get something like 30-35 hectoliters per hectare. I think this is absolutely the right approach, and this change started in 2010--with 100% estate fruit, no oenological products used, fresh maturity without greenness through lower yields. In 2013.(LG)  (12/2016)

94 points Decanter

 When Château Cheval Blanc’s Pierre Lurton visited Mendoza in the late 1990s, he teamed up with Roberto de la Mota, finding a block of ungrafted Malbec planted in 1929 in Las Compuertas. Selected for its elegant, refined expression, Cheval des Andes was born once the use of the revered Cheval name had been personally sanctioned by LVMH’s owner Bernard Arnault. Malbec has taken over from Cabernet Sauvignon as the senior partner in the blend, as its properties in viticulture and winemaking have become better understood. ‘After 18 years of experience,’ says Lorenzo Pasquini, technical manager and winemaker, ‘our aim is to create the same vision and style in Mendoza as at Château Cheval Blanc: ageing potential with elegance, complexity, freshness and balance.’ Scented cedar gives way to a lip smackingly rich black fruit quality, polished oak adding to a suave texture, before morphing into a firmer structure of youthfully vigorous grip and a fresh acid spine.Drinking Window 2018 - 2030. (AR)  (10/2017)

94 points Vinous

 Bright, dark ruby. Sexy oaky high tones to the classy scents of blackberry, cassis, licorice pastille, tobacco leaf and violet. Wonderfully fine-grained wine with a seamless, velvety texture and terrific restrained sweetness to its blackberry, licorice and mineral flavors. Very penetrating, savory, rather powerful wine with terrific ripe tannins, a repeating licorice pastille quality and outstanding rising length. Really terrific subtle sweetness of fruit here. Has the density of texture and energy for a slow and eventful evolution in bottle.(ST)  (7/2017)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 Inky aromas of black fruits include hints of graphite. This feels lush and dense, with fairly soft tannins. Blackberry, beef jerky and leathery notes comprise the flavor profile. Notes of coffee and chocolate grace a ripe, rich finish. Drink through 2021.  (10/2017)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Offers a rich, loamy aroma, with flavors to match, along with plenty of roasted plum and dark cherry elements. Well-structured, showing mocha notes on the dense finish. Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2021.  (7/2017)

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Price: $79.99
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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 Médoc 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.


- 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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14