As President of Chateau Cheval Blanc – one of only four Saint-Emilion Chateaux ranked Premier Grand Cru Classé (A) – Pierre Lurton knows his way around the world's finest terroirs. He also knows the fine art of blending, the importance of each varietal and its specific plot – and he knows the long historical relevance of Argentinian Malbec and its ties to Bordeaux. So when he and his partners went searching for the ideal location for their New World venture, it didn't take long to reach a decision.
Terrazas de los Andes, the most important, oldest vineyards in the western foothills of the Andes, are home to parcels of vines planted to their original rootstocks as far back as 1929. It was here, in the 1990s, that Pierre Lurton reconnected Cheval Blanc's historical past to its modern roots, securing Terrazas de los Andes' oldest single vineyard – the 80+-year-old Las Compuertas site – after tasting the Malbec it produced. This ancient, inhospitable site, with its high elevation had completely avoided the ravages of phylloxera, while Saint Emilion and Pomerol had been devastated by the root disease in the 1860s – decimating Malbec, once the most important varietal of the Right Bank.
Pierre Lurton was intrigued by the notion of forging a renaissance. He would combine the extraordinary experience of a Premier Grand Cru Classé (A) Saint Emilion estate with the very finest terroir in Argentina. This alliance opened the door to greater creativity, advancements in winemaking for their New World project (Pierre Oliver Clouet, head winemaker at Cheval Blanc now oversees winemaking for Cheval des Andes) and the never ending flexibility that has allowed this Argentinian project to become the envy of South America.
This wine is rightfully worthy of its moniker: The Cheval Blanc of Argentina.