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Terrazas & Cheval des Andes

text and photographs © 2008 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Argentina.

Cheval des Andes

Cheval des Andes 2004
First vintage with more Malbec than Cabernet Sauvignon. Very refined nose, with a glossy plum and ripe, cherry fruit. Lovely floral nuances, with tobacco and spice and a hint of briarwood. The palate has silky cherry fruit, with very fine tannins and a really silky, voluminous texture of coffee and chocolate, but retaining some bite and freshness, with a long, silky finish. 94/100. 13.5% ABV. Around £50.

Cheval des Andes 2005
Malbec 50%, Cabernet Sauvignon 35%, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Very coffeeish and deep, but has a blue/black freshness and purity of fruit too. Exceptionally smooth and silky. With ripe, full, very slightly baked quality. Perhaps misses the freshness of the 2004, but has a huge, spicy concentration and layered depth. Perhaps a touch hot. 92/100

Cheval des Andes 2006
Bottled only one week before tasting, Malbec dominates at 48%, with 39% cabernet Sauvignon and no Petit Verdot in this blend. Big, concentrated, very powerful wine with huge concentration of fruit, but very tough to judge. Will be released 2009. Potentially 93-94/100

Terrazas

Terrazas Chardonnay Reserva 2006
Tupungato fruit, 100% barrel fermented. In screwcap, very attractive almond and hazelnut nose, with ripe fruit hinting at custard apples, and with little tropical notes. Very sweet fruit on the palate, with a peach and almost lychee fruit. A big core of lemony acidity is perhaps slightly angular, but a lot of wine for the money. £9.99. 89/100

Terrazas Malbec Reserva 2005
Lifted floral nose, with a sweet raspberry and cherry fruit, and just an infill of charry oak. The palate has a lovely kirsch like fruit sweetness. The tannins are fairly big and drying, with a plumskin bittersweetness and fine acidity. Lovely wine. 90/100

Terrazas Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Nice hint of leafy and earthy quality, with a smoky dry quality and olive and earthy fruit. This has lots of thick black fruit, that is grainy and rich with roughening tannins. Good balance and persistence. 89/100

Terrazas Afincado Malbec 2005
Afincado is top of the range, and this has a touch of rosemary and mint to juicy black fruit. Classy, cedary oak. The palate has lovely texture, with a mouthfilling weight of creamy black fruit. There's a lot of tang and crunch to the fruit, with grainy, fine, drying tannin and juicy acidity. Very long and svelte, very impressive. 92/100 £22

Terrazas Afincado Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
Big spicy, vanilla and cedar nose. Fruit is quite smoky and earthy. Lovely fleshy quality, with plenty of thick, rich black fruit on the palate. Delicious slick of fat, sweet vanilla ids well integrated with the sweet fruit, and the tannins are very grippy, with a touch liquorice and black coffee. Very dense and lip smacking stuff. 92/100

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