In any vintage there is invariably a handful of outliers, wines that transcend the vintage’s style, reputation or wines that seem to particularly suit a given property. 2011 Cheval Blanc is one such wine. At the château itself they rate the vintage particularly highly – they describe it as a beautiful and very classic year - and it is frequently missed for the 2009 or 2010 when served blind.
William Kelley of the Wine Advocate scored a recent bottle 97 points, noting that “While the 2009 and 2010 are more powerful and unctuous, readers who prize Cheval Blanc for its extraordinary complexity and unique perfume might well prefer the 2011, as it is a wine that could come from nowhere else.”
To add to this, the 2011 comes in at £4,450 per 12 in bond: a little over half the price of the two vintages that precede it, and a fraction under the recently-released 2021. It is the least-expensive vintage of Cheval Blanc on our list bar the 2004 & 2007.
An underrated vintage, the 2011 Cheval Blanc is evolving brilliantly. Wafting from the glass with aromas of smoky cassis, blackberries, loamy soil, tobacco leaf, bitter chocolate, mint and violets, it's full-bodied, velvety and multidimensional, with a layered core of fruit, rich and powdery structuring tannin and a long, resonant finish. While the 2009 and 2010 are more powerful and unctuous, readers who prize Cheval Blanc for its extraordinary complexity and unique perfume might well prefer the 2011, as it is a wine that could come from nowhere else. Drink 2021-2050.