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Terrazas Cheval des Andes 2016 (750ML)

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Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions

99 JS / 97+ WA / 95 VM / 18+ JR

#10 James Suckling's Top 100 Wines of 2019

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. Drink in 2022. - James Suckling

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! 64,000 bottles produced. There is a big change at Cheval des Andes after the 2011 harvest, and the wines have gradually changed style, going more or less in the direction of a 50/50 blend of Malbec and Cabernet Franc and increasing the amount of grapes from their own vineyards. From 2016 onward, it's 100% grapes from their own vineyards in Luján de Cuyo (Las Compuertas) and in the Valle de Uco (Altamira). I tasted all the wines from 2012 to 2016 to see the evolution at this winery, including: more own grapes; simplification of the blend toward the Malbec/Cabernet idea; great changes in viticulture, especially the irrigation; moving toward organic farming (they have already stopped using herbicides); earlier harvest through a good ripeness early on; less extraction and a soft vinification; and better integration of the oak in the wine by using larger barrels (30% to 40% 400-liter barrels in 2016, with only some 40% new wood, and also large foudres starting in 2017) and trying to select better wood for their barrels. - Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate

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) - Stephan Tanzer, Vinous Media

Plummy and rich, but without undue excess. No obvious oak. Tremendous purity and clarity. Very impressive and dense. Some chocolate and smoke on the finish. This has all the power of Mendoza, with complexity already emerging. Finely coiffured tannin giving a tender yet structured palate. Excellent floral aromas too – really impressive. - Jancis Robinson

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