Super refined and beautiful with flowers, spices, dried fruit and hints of stones. Medium to full body with very fine tannins and a gorgeous finish. Shows great finesse and depth. Savory character, as always, but in check.
The new vintage to be released in September 2019 is the 2016 Cheval des Andes, which was cropped from a completely unusual year—cooler than the average and with an exceptional amount of rain (around 600 liters), yet the wine has achieved exceptional freshness. It's 13.9% alcohol, and there's more red fruit on the nose, which is subtle and elegant, a little closed at first, shy and subtle. They have done great adjustments in the élevage, with the wine matured in 30% to 40% 400-liter barrels and only some 40% new wood. It's 58% Malbec (approximately 50/50 from Luján and Valle de Uco, where they have 15 hectares in Altamira), 37% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot. This has less structure than the 2015, but there's more tension; this is a wine that should develop beautifully in bottle. This is a vintage of precision and with great aging potential. I think this wine is the most elegant produced so far. Bravo! (LG) 97+
Bright, dark red-ruby. Wild, musky scents and flavors of black raspberry, black pepper, olive tapenade, licorice and rocky salinity. Plush, savory and seamless; a mouthcoating Malbec-based blend with superb depth and palate presence. As concentrated as this wine is, it's medium-bodied in the style of this cooler year but also remarkably nuanced and harmonious from the start, communicating an impression of restrained sweetness. Finishes extremely long and edge-free, with noble tannins and palate-saturating breadth. Incidentally, with this 2016, Cheval des Andes is now made entirely with estate fruit, from their properties in La Compuertas and Altamira. (aged in 70% new oak) (ST)
An atypical vintage in Mendoza marked by El Niño. The 2016 is also made by the Cheval-Blanc team. Once again the nose suggests a northern Rhône or Syrah bouquet. Al dente raspberry, graphite, lavender and violet hints. Laser-like tannins, perfectly balanced texture, and an impressive and densely-fruited wine elevated by superb tannic structure and freshness. A vertical wine, admirably elaborated. (YC)
Tight and a little closed on the nose, smoky toasted coffee with sweet and perfumed fruit, lovely floral notes and a real density of plush fruit. A seductive wine that has nice vibrant acidity that crackles through the brooding dark fruit. The alcohol is just in check! (AC) 17/20 points
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