Cheval des Andes 2006
The 2006 Cheval des Andes was bottled in early 2008 but has not yet been released. The 2006 vintage is superb throughout Mendoza and this wine, as in many other bodegas I visited in April 2008, shows off the extra dimension of complexity made possible in an exceptional year. The wine is composed entirely of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a bit more saturated than the 2005 with a splendid perfume of pain grille, mineral, espresso, black cherry, and black raspberry that leaps from the glass. More opulent and layered than the 2005, it also conceals a bit more structure. The finish seems to go on and on. Drink it from 2015 to 2035.
From the joint venture between Cheval Blanc of St-Emilion and Terrazas de los Andes, this 2006 is still youthful, full of vitality and force. The tannins are wild, almost unruly, corralled by ripe flavors with the kind of depth that will reward cellaring. Give it three or four years, then open it with a ribeye.
Dense and dark, with aromas of rubber and leather. Complex and stylish, but with raw power, and the flavors of blackberry, fig paste and herbs register as modern Mendoza. Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon-Petit Verdot; best from 2011-2015
Bright medium ruby. Initially restrained aromas of currant, black cherry and chocolatey oak accented by pepper and herbs. Suave and claret-like, with mounting energy and inner-mouth floral character to the delineated flavors of currant, tobacco leaf, graphite and pepper. Intensely flavored but understated and backward wine, with strong but well integrated acidity. Finishes firmly tannic, refined and long, with a chocolatey sweetness and stronger minerality emerging with extended aeration. This laid-back wine, a joint venture between Cheval Blanc and Terrazas de los Andes, needs at least a few years of cellaring. (An earlier bottle began a bit less floral and more youthfully tough but became markedly sweeter and more pliant with 24 hours in the recorked bottle.)
This broad-shouldered red delivers a mix of dark currant, licorice, damson plum and blackberry fruit flavors, well-integrated with espresso-tinged toast. Stays dense and loamy through the finish. Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2011
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Cheval des Andes produces its grapes entirely in two wholly-owned, high-elevation vineyards: Las Compuertas, our jewel vineyard... View More
The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness...
The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is the backbone variety in Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Elsewhere throughout Italy, it can make inexpensive wines for daily consumption ranging from inoffensive to deliciously easy. On the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed moderate popularity in California and Washington State over the last few decades.
In the Glass
Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with savory flavors of tart cherry, plum, tomato, fresh tobacco, anise, thyme, oregano, and dried earth. High-quality, well-aged examples will take on notes of smoke, clay pot, leather, gamey meat, potpourri, and dried fruits. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.
Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and grainy tannins create an affinity with tomato-based dishes, spicy meats, and anything off the barbecue.
Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines (with price tags to match) that are typically monovarietal or a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.