It will be fascinating to follow the evolution of the 2009 Cheval Blanc versus the 2010 as well as the awesome 2005, 2000, 1998 and 1990. This famous estate's vineyard is situated at the juncture of Pomerol and the sandy, gravelly soils of St.-Emilion, facing the two noble estates of l'Evangile and La Conseillante. A blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, the 2009 Cheval Blanc tips the scales at just under 14% natural alcohol. Its dense blue/purple color is accompanied by an extraordinary nose of incense, raspberries, cassis, sweet forest floor and a subtle hint of menthol. Opulent and full-bodied with low acidity but no sense of heaviness, this dense, unctuously textured, super-smooth, velvety, pure, profound Cheval Blanc is impossible to resist despite its youthfulness. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2050+.
|Score: 99||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, March 2012|
The harvest for the 2009 Cheval Blanc began in mid-September and finished on October 8. One of this estate's greatest wines, the 2009 (58% Merlot and 42% Cabernet Franc) came in at 13.5% natural alcohol (some lots were as high as 14.5%). The wine exhibits sumptuous aromatics of subtle menthol intermixed with caramel, black raspberries, mulberries, kirsch, and cassis. With a stupendous opulence and a fleshy mouthfeel, but no heaviness or fatigue, this dense wine is staggeringly concentrated, very full-bodied, powerful, and silky smooth. Irresistible already, it is almost frightening to think how compelling this beauty should be in a few years. (Tasted once.) Anticipated maturity: 2015-2050.
|Score: 98/100||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (188), April 2010|
The 2009 Cheval Blanc has a rambunctious nose with copious red fruit, meat juices, sage and crushed stone aromas, ineffably complex. This is so refined, constantly mutating in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, saturated tannin. There is a mixture of red and black fruit, hints of cassis, cardamom and allspice. Immense depth and grip towards the finish expresses ripe Cabernet Franc. This is an outstanding 2009 destined for long-term ageing. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting.
|Score: 98||Neal Martin, vinous.com, March 2019|
Apparently the final blend of the Cheval Blanc 2009 included 64% Cabernet Franc - perhaps a moot point given just how splendid this Saint Emilion is turning out. It has an extravagant, heavenly bouquet that immediately goes out to make an impression with exuberant wild strawberry, black olive compote, black truffle and minerals. The oak is beautifully interwoven. The palate is full-bodied with super fine tensile tannins, great purity and elegant. This has more tension that its peers: shimmering with complexity and vibrancy. Long and quite profound on the finish, this is a marvellous 2009 - but having tasting it recently - could the 2010 be even better? Tasted December 2012.
|Score: 97||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, May 2013|
Tasted at the château. The Cheval Blanc is a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, started picking on 15th September until the 7th October. The bouquet is very pure, tightly coiled at the moment with an almost Margaux-like veil. Very fine delineation and with time: touches of espresso entwine with the black cherry fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with firm but fine tannins, that slight chalkiness to the texture, very good purity with that hint of espresso and minerals interwoven into the pure red fruits. Wonderful sense of symmetry here, the Cabernet Franc taking over towards the finish with just a faint hint of bell pepper and tobacco, more masculine towards the finish. Superb. Tasted March 2010.
|Score: 94/96||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2010|
Deep garnet colored, the 2009 Cheval Blanc offers up profound notions of baked blueberries, blackberry compote and crème de cassis with suggestions of chocolate mint, new leather and cloves plus a waft of candied violets. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is an exercise in elegance with very classy, super fine-grained tannins, beautiful freshness and layer upon layer of mineral-laced blue and black fruits, finishing long and perfumed. Drink 2020-2057.
|Score: 100||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, March 2019|
Deep garnet colored, the 2009 Cheval Blanc is a little closed at the moment, revealing notes of plum preserves, chocolate-covered cherries, baked blackberries and spice cake with touches of star anise, sandalwood and tapenade plus a waft of unsmoked cigars. The rich, full-bodied palate is rock solid at this youthful stage, with firm grainy tannins and tons of freshness supporting the generous, relatively savory/earthy fruit, finishing with long-lingering exotic spice notions. Drink Date 2024 - 2064
|Score: 99||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (238), August 2018|
This is ethereal. The nose is so perfumed and beautiful, with dried flowers, fresh mint, blueberries and plums that follow through to a full body and incredible power of super fine tannins. It's almost like a Romanee-Conti in texture and length. The fresh acidity makes it bright. It's all about texture. 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc. Try in 2022.
|Score: 99||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2012|
I have never smelled a Cheval like this, with red fruit and an undertone of seashell, lilac and sandalwood that makes you dream, turning to chocolate. Full-bodied, but tight and precise with a laser-guided finish of ultrafine tannins. Superlong. 60 percent Merlot and 40 percent Cabernet Franc. This is like the 1990 but superclean.
|Score: 96/99||James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, April 2010|
Tasted blind. Savoury and interesting on the nose. Biscuits and vitality. Polish and freshness. Great drive and balance with first-growth undertow. Very long. Great stuff. 14%
|Score: 19||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, March 2019|
60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc. 85% of the total went into the grand vin - they were so pleased, especially with the Merlot. Very rich and comfortable on the nose. Very juicy. Dry finish. Very serious wine. Lots of layers and a dry finish. Pretty long - opens out on the finish. But it's not a knocker-off-of-socks and has rather more classic Cheval character than some recent vintages. It's really quite subtle - but then there's no over-the-top ripeness, which is a relief. Rather contained and pretty. The challenge on the right bank after all was to keep it all in check... (compared with the left bank, which could wallow more in the extra ripeness). Certainly not that sweet... Almost like a child told to concentrate and do its piano practice. Date tasted 30th March 2010. Drink 2019-2034.
|Score: 18.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2010|
Cheval Blanc is one of the great names of Bordeaux and the most famous Chateau in Saint Emilion. Cheval can be a difficult wine to evaluate when young but rarely disappoints. The only criticism that we might have is the over-ambitious pricing policy in recent vintages. The 37 hectares of vines border Pomerol and this year the blend is 60:40 Merlot to Cabernet although the vineyard is actually planted with 58% Cabernet Franc and 42% Merlot. Picking took place between 15th September and 7th October and 65%| of production went into the grand vin itself. A lovely plump Cheval Blanc with a good balance between power and refinement. Juicy black fruits, good depth and a touch of silk.
|Score: 17.5||Farr Vintners, November 2009|
Dense, brooding and richly coated, with a well of steeped black currant, fig paste and roasted plum fruit to draw on while the layers of charcoal, Kenya AA coffee and loam resolve themselves. This displays both breadth and depth, offering a great undercurrent of acidity to match its heft. Should be among the most long-lived wines of the vintage. Best from 2017 through 2035. From France.-J.M.
|Score: 98||James Molesworth, Wine Spectator Insider (Vol 8, 3), January 2012|
The power of black fruits is balanced by the lovely freshness of red. The nose has red fruited fragrances backed up by bramble and black cherry. The richness of ripe fruit and rounded tannins is refreshed by raspberry giving brightness and a seamless flowing elegance. Drink 2020-2050.
|Score: 94/98||Derek Smedley MW, April 2010|
A wine with less Cabernet Franc than usual (there were two stressed parcels that Pierre Lurton chose not to include), but no matter. This is the best Cheval since 1998: aromatic and floral, showing lovely notes of cedarwood and red fruits. Minerally and fresh with remarkable length. The alcohol is noticeable (but low by the standards of some 2009s), but part of a harmonious whole. 20+ years.
|Score: 100||Tim Atkin MW, April 2010|
This is a lovely Cheval Blanc, full of luxurious fruit as well as elegant and refined. Still a little restrained aromatically (Le Petit Cheval was the more expressive at the tasting) but smoothly textured, pure and long. Add to the list of great years at this estate. Drink 2018-2040.
|Score: 19||James Lawther MW, Decanter.com, April 2010|
Super-spicy, this is an extremely elegant 2009 with enormous concentration and finesse. The complex finish lights up the sky and you wonder how this spectacular ripeness could have been more perfectly expressed. Drink or hold. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019)
|Score: 99||Stuart Pigott, JamesSuckling.com, March 2019|