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Le Petit Cheval 2010

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > St Emilion
Grape VarietyCabernet Franc/Merlot

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Tasting Notes

The best second wine I have ever tasted from Cheval Blanc is the 2010 Le Petit Cheval. This wine is essentially three-fourths Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc. Rivaling the brilliant 2009, thirty percent of the production from this monstrously sized estate made it into this wine, which offers up plenty of white chocolate, cassis and mulberry as well as a hint of roasted herbs. With fleshy, round flavors, full-bodied texture and an amazing finish, this is no second wine, and considerably better than some of the Cheval Blancs of the 1960s and 1970s! Drink it over the next 15 or so years.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (205), March 2013

The second wine of Cheval shows such glorious yet subtle fruit with chocolate, dark berries such as blackberries, and a light spice character. A walnut undertone. It's soft and silky with wonderful balance and beauty. It goes on for minutes. Hard not to drink now.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2013

Deep garnet colored, the 2010 Le Petit Cheval sashays out of the glass with expressive notes of warm black cherries, boysenberries and preserved plums plus wafts of mocha and cigar box. Full-bodied, the palate has firm, ripe, rounded tannins and oodles of freshness supporting the generous baked berries and earthy layers, finishing long and perfumed. 2020-2037

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (March 2020), March 2020

This absorbed a lot of the Merlot. 75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc. Sweet and spicy on the nose. Lovely texture and sweet start. Very charming start, then quite tough and drying tannins on the finish. Slightly hot finish. Great freshness. Apparently the analysis is exactly the same as for Cheval Blanc - most unusual. (IPT 84). 14.5%

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2011

The second wine of Chateau Cheval Blanc is made from 20% of Cheval Blanc's fruit with a further 20% being sold off in bulk. The blend has more Merlot than the grand vin itself - 75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc. This is sexy, smooth and plump - very Merlot in style and more Pomerol than St Emilion. The sweet fruit is complimented by some toasty, roasted coffee beannotes and a touch of milk chocolate. Silky, soft and creamy that will be a joy to drink in its youth.

Farr Vintners, April 2011

Although the nose is very red fruited it is sweet lush with lots of ripe fruit. Sweet fruit gives the palate a sensuous richness but behind is freshness that lifts the flavours. The back palate is power packed lots of sweet fruit depth and generosity of flavour.

Derek Smedley MW, April 2011
Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2011

20% of the crop this year and more Merlot (75%) than '09. Medium to full-bodied, round with supple texture and fine tannins. Acidity provides freshness and length. A very polished wine. Drink 2016-2028.

James Lawther MW, Decanter.com, April 2011
Read more tasting notes...

The strength of the selection process at Cheval Blanc has only increased, and the 2010 Le Petit Cheval (75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc) will rival their 2009 as the finest second wine ever made at Cheval Blanc. I know it is hard for readers to believe, but it is better than many of the vintages of Cheval Blanc in the 1960s and 1970s. Dense plum/purple, with notes of mocha, black cherries, and forest, this spicy wine displays no real evidence of wood, but plenty of plum, seductive fruit, a fleshy texture, and a tremendous finish. Not a hard edge can be found in this seamlessly built wine, which should be drunk over the next 10-15 years

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (194), May 2011

Representing just 20% of the production, the Le Petit Cheval has a fragrant bouquet with tertiary, blackberry notes, sous-bois and tobacco. It has fine transparency and lift. The palate is medium-bodied with quite an austere, but very well balanced, opening. It is almost like a Left Bank wine with its earthy, foursquare finish. Yet it has wonderful freshness and vitality and should aged well for 10-15 years. Tasted November 2012.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, February 2013

A blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc, this represents around 20% of the production. This has a very tight nose at first that needs time to open up: dark berries, loganberry, wild hedgerow and just a hint of Chinese tea. Good definition. The palate is medium-bodied with good definition and structure, the Cabernet Franc imparting a slight bell pepper tang towards the linear finish. Good focus, very smooth and just a little dry towards the finish. Fine. Drink 2013-2020. Tasted March 2011.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2010

Love the mineral, violets and berries on the nose. Turns to chocolate too. This is so silky and beautiful, with amazing texture for a second wine. Long and beautiful. It's like a top Pomerol this year. Better than 2009. 75 percent Merlot and 25 percent Cabernet Franc

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2011
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.