Audebert: Single vineyard wines are like painting in monochrome

12th November, 2013 by Lucy Shaw

Nicolas Audebert, the French-born chief winemaker at Cheval des Andes in Mendoza, has poured water on the concept of single vineyard wines, comparing the practice to painting in black and white.

Nicolas Audebert favours blends over single vineyard wines

Nicolas Audebert favours blends over single vineyard wines

Speaking to the drinks business during a recent visit to London, Audebert said: “A single vineyard wine is like painting in monochrome. I’ve got a lot of respect for the winemakers that do it, but you don’t achieve the same level of complexity.

“We have incredible terroir in Mendoza to do single vineyard Malbecs, but for me, a single block, single grape wine is like a violin solo – it can be great, but it will never compete with the sound and experience of a full orchestra.

“There is only so much complexity you can glean from a single site. I believe more in the power of blends, which are more than the sum of their parts.

“Cabernet is the firm and dependable bone and muscle structure, while Malbec is the soft and juicy flesh in the blend.

Continuing with the musical analogy, Audebert added: “Winemaking is like composing – Mozart wasn’t making his wines for mortals, but for God, and I kind of feel the same way.

Cheval des Andes

Cheval des Andes

In terms of the ageing potential of his wines, Audebert admitted that people are still skeptical about the longevity of New World wines.

“It will take time for people to understand and trust in the ageing potential of Argentinian wine.

“It’s a challenge to make a wine that is both beautiful and approachable now but will be equally beautiful in years to come. I believe the secret lies in blending.

“Despite the current trend for not ageing wines, I’m building my wines with a long-term vision and am doing so by trying to lock the freshness in.

“I’m not making wine for competitions or investors, I’m making wine for wine lovers who want to drink the stuff,” he said.

“The wines are ripe, full and intense when young but are dressed in an elegant way. I want to bring the characteristics out of the wine little by little,” he added.

Audebert also defended the idea of vintage variation in Argentina, which is something he welcomes rather than dreads.

“People think that there is no vintage variation in the Southern Hemisphere, but I haven’t found that to be true. I’m happy to have different expressions each year as it keeps things interesting,” he said.

“Our weather is certainly not the same every year, it fluctuates, but we celebrate those differences,” he added.

Owned by LVMH, Cheval des Andes is a joint venture between Terrazas de los Andes and Cheval Blanc in Bordeaux.

4 Responses to “Audebert: Single vineyard wines are like painting in monochrome”

  1. Doug says:

    I’m sure the growers in Burgundy, Alsace, Germany, the northern Rhone and Piedmont (amongst others) will be devastated to learn that they have been getting it wrong for the past 1,000 years.

  2. Jim says:

    “Single Vineyard” is a commercial strategy for increasing the value of a brand by creating limitation and appealing to the stamp collector mentality of wine buyers” It’s not a formula for creating purity, wine truth or the best possible. Thank-you Mr, Audebert for saying the jester’s truth in the kings court.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

FINE WINE SALES ADMINISTRATOR

Davy's Wine Merchants
London, UK

Business Development Manager - On Trade

FINE+RARE
Central London, GB

Regional Sales Manager

Swallow Associates Ltd
Home Based: North-West England, UK

London Account Manager Role (Full Time)

LITTLE BIRD GIN
Home based with UK travel. , GB

Sales Operations Manager

Bibendum PLB
London, UK

Digital Marketing Executive (online content & community manager)

Corney & Barrow Limited
London E1W (near Tower Bridge), UK

Store Manager – Premium Drinks

Amathus Drinks PLC
London, UK

On-Trade Regional Sales Manager

Anthony Byrne Fine Wines
London and the South East, UK

Wine Sales – Northwest England

Gerrard Seel
North West England

Senior On-Trade Sales Manager – English Sparkling Wine Company

COREcruitment
London based with national travel, UK

National Account Manager – RTM – On Trade

COREcruitment
Home based with frequent UK travel

Sales Account Manager - Wine

COREcruitment
London, Devon, Manchester, Liverpool, Farnham, Cambridge, UK

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 14th June 2017

The Global Syrah Masters 2017

Deadline : 14th June 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 14th June 2017

The Global Beer Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st August 2017

Click to view more

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

The Global Malbec Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2016.

Click to view more