70% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep ruby colour. There is a touch of sweaty reduction at this stage that mutes the nose, but there are notes of deep cassis, blackberry and violet underneath. The palate finds an elegant ripeness – it shows admirable restraint despite the sweet black fruit at the core. There is a sour-cherry note and some remaining reduction that gives a slightly underripe note at the finish. There is also just a hint of warmth at this stage. Though awkward right now, there is promise here. I expect my score may be a little conservative as a result. (TP)
Anticipated maturity: 2025-2035
Robert Parker 98
The 2018 Cheval des Andes is a blend of 70% Malbec and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon fermented in small lots in 3,000- to 8,000-liter tanks and matured 40% in 225-liter oak barrels, 40% in 400-liter oak barrels and the remaining 20% in 2,500-liter oak vats for 13 months. Ninety percent of the oak used was French and the rest a blend of Austrian, Slovenian and German oak, 50% of it new. 2018 has been one of the best vintages in recent times in Mendoza, and the wine shows it. It’s a cooler vintage, and the wine has improved in freshness and elegance without losing any clout. It’s 14.5% alcohol and has a pH of 3.73. This is young, juicy, elegant and balanced and still has some herbal and toasted notes; it’s medium to full-bodied, with the creamy and luxurious texture of the modern Bordeaux, ultra fine tannins and a long, dry and precise finish. It’s still undeveloped and seems to have all the components and the balance between them for a long and positive development in bottle. With wines like this, I sometimes wish I had a time machine so I could see them in 20 years from now… I think this is the finest Cheval des Andes I’ve ever tasted. 100,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in January 2020.
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2040