|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > St Emilion|
Cheval Blanc is one of the great names of Bordeaux and the most famous Chateau in Saint Emilion. The 39 hectares of vines border Pomerol but the wine is different from Pomerol thanks to the high percentage of Cabernet Franc in the vineyard. A stunning new winery has recently been completed. There is no doubt that this is a great vineyard with an excellent wine-making team led by the talented Pierre-Olivier Clouet and overseen by Pierre Lurton. It is now planted with 49% Cabernet Franc, 45% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon.
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One of the unequivocally great wines of the vintage is the 2019 Cheval Blanc, a stunning young Saint-Émilion that wafts from the glass with aromas of wild berries and plums mingled with notions of lilac, pipe tobacco, violets, raw cocoa, licorice, crushed mint and burning embers. Full-bodied, layered and enveloping, it's deep and intense, with beautifully rich, powdery tannins and vibrant flavors. Concluding with a long, saline finish, this rivals the 2016 as the finest Cheval Blanc of the decade, and in many respects it might be thought of as the latter vintage's sun-kissed cousin. Bravo to Pierre-Olivier Clouet and his team! - Drink 2027-2055
Blackcurrants, cassis, graphite and earth on the nose, then changing to roses, violets and berries. Full-bodied with incredible energy of fine tannins and lively acidity. It grows on the palate and escalates to the summit of perfect wine. Very powerful at the end. Holding back and a great finish. Quantity and quality. Menthol. Cool. One of the greatest young Cheval Blancs I have ever tasted. 58% merlot, 34% cabernet franc and 8% cabernet sauvignon. Great finish. Give it time. Try after 2028.
The 2019 Cheval Blanc is a blend of 58% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon. 41 out of 53 blocks have had a part to play this year, representing 10 different soil types. The Grand Vin in 2019 represents 82% of production. Deep purple-black in color, it needs a lot of swirling to shake loose fragrant scents of Indian spice, potpourri, star anise, and cardamom, over a core of preserved plums, boysenberries, and charcoal with touches of wood smoke and cracked black pepper. Full-bodied, rich and immediately impactful in the mouth, the layered nuances slowly expand, beautifully framed by ripe, rounded tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with cascading savory and earth flavors and lots of lingering mineral notes.
An enticing touch of cigar box straight on the first nose. The precision of this wine is striking, with a flexed, stretched out core supported by tannins that are creamy but precise, Depth, power and elasticity, driven through with black chocolate, slate, campfire smoke, liquorice root, bilberry and blackberry puree. There are inky depths here. 82.5% of overall production in the main estate wine this year. Bottled July 2021, 100% new oak, 82% 1st wine in this vintage, with a little less Cabernet Franc than usual due to replanting in the vineyard.
Tasted blind. Peppery, interesting nose with a light suggestion of (attractive) herbaceousness. Really fills the mouth with ripe, gorgeous fruit. Goes its own way. Luscious but structured too. Very long. 14.5%
Drink 2029– 2048
The harvest started on the 10th September with Merlot, which was almost all picked before the rains near the end of September. The last of the Cabernet Franc was picked on 4th October. The resultant wine has an abv of 14.4%. The blend is 58% Merlot, with 34% Cabernet Franc and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon. Interestingly 2019 was the 4th driest year on record at Cheval Blanc, behind 2005, 2015 and 2010 - all wines with 100 points at this property, and brilliant vintages across Bordeaux. The 2019 is a deep ruby purple colour. Expansive and intense on the nose, full of kirsch, red cherry, violets, graphite and sweet spices. It is impressively perfumed despite undertones of dark, ripe fruits. The palate is perfectly crafted, with velveteen, ripe tannins and fresh acidity coating the mouth to provide ample freshness and structure. At the middle, the fruit is deep, ripe and powerful, with plums, forest fruit and violets bursting through. The oak is perfectly judged, with hints of savoury spices and cedar complementing the intense fruit. The finish is cool, savoury and multi-dimensional. A brilliant effort in 2019 that is very true to Cheval Blanc. Tasted in Bordeaux.
Reminding me slightly of the 1990, the 2019 Château Cheval Blanc is a brilliant, brilliant wine from this estate that’s up there with the true greats. It shows the purity, finesse, and elegance of the vintage beautifully yet backs it up with density, concentration, and depth, revealing a stunning nose of red and black currants, tobacco leaf, new saddle leather, and spring flowers, with absolutely perfect ripeness. As complex and nuanced as only Cheval Blanc can be, even at this young age, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, abundant opulence, fat, and sweetness, polished tannins, and a gorgeous finish. It's almost in a class all its own. It deserves at least 5-7 years of bottle age and will shine for 30+ years. Hats off to Pierre-Olivier Clouet, who continues to keep this estate at the top of the pyramid in Saint-Emilion!
58% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Franc, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon. 82% of production. Barrel sample.
Aromatically a little more reserved than the 2018 at this stage. But ripe, intense and flickeringly floral. Beautifully poised on the palate with a density of fruit and silky texture of finely matted tannins. Pure, seductive and persistent, the finish long and digeste. A super Cheval Blanc but 2018 may just have the edge. (JL)
Drink 2027 – 2050
Extremely precise floral and berry aromatics build out of the glass and this sense of construction continues through the palate. On the attack you get a whoosh of powerful blueberry and blackberry, with sage, woodsmoke and crushed stone, all cut cleanly through, exposing juicy minerality and a feel of different elements layering on top of each other. 82% 1st wine in this vintage. Harvest from September 10, picking only in the mornings for two weeks (the only three plots of Merlot that were brought in after the September rains are in Petit Cheval). Biodiversity is blooming at Cheval right now - 40 brebis goats and sheep since October 2019, alongside pigs, 200 Bresse chicken, 40 egg-laying chickens and 16 beehives. They have planted 850 fruit trees this winter among the vines, and no longer work the soils. Less Cabernet Franc in the vineyard until 2022 due to replanting. Drinking Window 2027 - 2044