Cheval des Andes 2016

Special Price $69.85 Average US Price $102.00
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Other Vintages We Offer:

• Domaine: Cheval des Andes
• Appellation: Mendoza
• Origin: Argentina

In the late 1990s Pierre Lurton, the president of Château Cheval Blanc, was in search of pristine Malbec vines.  Finding these vines was a form of connecting to the origins of Bordeaux.  For context, the majority of France’s Malbec was almost eradicated by the devastating outbreak of phylloxera in the 1860s.  Fortunately, many of these plantings were saved because of a practice called, “grafting,” but the identity of this grape would be forever changed.  Because of this, Pierre Lurton set his sights on Argentina – the one country home to a sea of ungrafted and unaltered Malbec vines.  After discovering the Malbec vineyard Las Compuetras at the foot of the Andes Mountain range, Pierre knew he had stumbled upon something extraordinary.  Cheval des Andes is the result of a joint venture between Château Cheval Blanc and Terrazas de Los Andes. The wine is a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot that captures the intensity of Argentinian terroir mixed with Bordeaux viticultural techniques.

Though Cheval des Andes has achieved the milestone of its 20th vintage, the estate’s history is a long one.  In the 1850s, the French transported plantings of Malbec vines from Bordeaux to Argentina and these cuttings thrived in the country’s warmer temperatures and extreme terroir.  The cuttings of Malbec were spared from the French phylloxera outbreak at the turn of the century that nearly eradicated the majority of the Malbec vines in Bordeaux.  The Las Compuetras vineyard was one particular property in the prestigious Luján de Cuyo region that would be planted with old vine Malbec in 1929.  Seventy years later, it would be these vines that would capture Pierre Lurton’s attention, inspiring him with the idea of creating a wine that would uncover the origins of Bordeaux. 

The name, “Las Compuetras” means, “The Floodgates,”  which is an homage to the irrigation methods used by the Incan people who were indigenous to this region.  They would typically use snowpack to water the vines from the Andes Mountain range.  Interestingly enough, this method drowned phylloxera pests, which very well may be the reason why the majority of old vine Malbec were spared from the devastating outbreak that affected the rest of the world.  The team at Cheval des Andes has refined this practice, collecting the snowpack from the Andes Mountain in snow reservoirs and then using it to irrigate the vines at this "Grand Cru" vineyard at the base of the Andes Mountains.  They ensure that each parcel is planted in perfectly compatible terroir, and harvest at the optimum date to ensure freshness.   The Petit Verdot is imported directly from Château Margaux prior to being added to the final blend depending on the vintage.

The Cheval Blanc team started a biodiversity project on the property, ensuring that local birds and bees are attracted to their vineyards.  After the vines are harvested by hand, they implement the vinification process, ensuring the final blend is nothings short of perfection. Cheval des Andes favors elegance and restraint over power and bold fruit, making it a stylistically unique wine from Argentina and a leader from the region. 

Tasting Notes

''Immediately seductive floral and smoke notes. The complexity in the construction of the wine is clear - precise cassis and blueberry along with slate, scorched earth and the seductive, succulent and powerful spice of Malbec. Excellent quality, with liqourice root and violet curling out of the glass. First year with 100% of grapes from their own plots, entirely given over to Cheval des Andes, without any from Terrazas de los Andes. Lorenzo Pasquini winemaker. 70% new oak.'' Jane Anson, Best Pomerol 2020 Wines Tasted En Primeur (07/18/2021) Ratings: 98 Drink: 2021-2042

"I also tasted the 2015 and 2016 next to the newly released 2017 to give it some context and to see the evolution and changes implemented in the last few years. The 2016 Cheval des Andes is probably the freshest wine produced to date and the first vintage when they used 100% own grapes. Of the trio of vintages tasted together—2015, 2016 and 2017—this is the one with less alcohol and more freshness, and it remains a more austere expression, reflecting a cooler and wetter year that resulted in a less exuberant wine, a benchmark for freshness. I'm looking forward to 2018 to see where they go in the next cool vintage after this 2016... They produced 60,000 bottles and 2,400 magnums. It was bottled in December 2017." - Luis Gutiérrez, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (8/31/20202), Ratings: 97+, Drink: 2020-2035

''The 2016 Cheval Des Andes is drinking nicely, with complex, nuanced aromas and flavors of red and black currants, green tobacco, cedarwood, damp earth, and spring flowers. A blend of 58% Malbec, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Petit Verdot brought up in 40% new French oak, it's already in its drink window, has medium-bodied richness, nicely integrated acidity, and supple tannins. It's certainly a Bordeaux lover’s Mendoza that, while not green per se, certainly has more herbal, leafy, complex nuances. Drink it over the coming decade.'' Jeb Dunnuck, Bordeaux 2020: En Primeur (3/02/2022) Ratings: 92 Drink: 2022-2032

More Information
Stock Status In Stock
Appellation Mendoza
Vintage 2016
Brand Château Cheval Blanc
Shipping Weight 3.000000

Footnotes on Futures, Pre-Arrivals, and potential US Tariffs: 

1. As of June 15, 2021, the US and the EU agreed to suspend tariffs resulting from the Boeing-Airbus aircraft trade disputes. Accordingly, such import taxes are now suspended for the next five years.

2. Futures are expected to be available for delivery two years after the sales (e.g., the 2022 vintage, sold in 2023, will be delivered in 2025 mostly, or 2026 if the producer ages the wine longer).

3. Pre-Arrivals are items currently stored in our Bordeaux cellar or in transit from France to the US. It usually takes 1-6 months for Pre-Arrivals to become available for delivery, depending on the stage of the import process.

4. Regarding futures and pre-arrivals, we cannot guarantee specific delivery dates, which factors beyond our control may impact. However, we will notify you once your wine arrives in our cellar.

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