Thursday, February 5, 2009

What does Cheval Blanc, Krug, and the Andes Mountains have in common?

At this point it’s a winemaker, Nicolas Audebert, who worked with each of the great Champaign houses to learn the art of blending and then landed in Argentina to create a blend at the new South American property for Cheval Blanc and an Argentinean producer, Terrazas de los Andes.

Last night, at the retail store Sherry-Lehman, I was able to taste the 2005 and 2006 vintages of the Cheval des Andes and they do not disappoint. Both had a great character to them, showing off the skills of a talented winemaker and what the financial backing of one of the great French properties can do.

The 2005 was velvety, very smooth tannins with an impressive concentration of dark fruit flavors. The 2006 was rich and fleshy, really impressive for a young wine that has not hit the market yet. The tannins were light, with just the right amount of energy and brightness. Absolutely delicious. Both are made primarily of Malbec, with Cabernet Sauvignon and some Petit Verdot mixed in.

However, a bit of a pretty penny. Try $75 a bottle. Still almost $900 cheaper than the current release of Cheval Blanc, but a bit out of my price range for things to bring home for dinner…
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