The 2008 Cheval Blanc (55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc) is a winner from this underrated, classic vintage. Notes of forest floor, Asian plum sauce, black currants, sweet cherries and spice are followed by a medium to full-bodied wine with deep fruit, admirable purity, and a long, textured finish. There is not a hard edge to this wine, and in all likelihood, it can be drunk now or cellared for two decades.
|Score: 93||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (194), May 2011|
In time, the profound 2008 Cheval Blanc will rank alongside this estate's great successes of 2005, 2000, and 1998. A harvest that began at the end of September and concluded October 19 has produced a wine with the 1998's complexity and the power of the 2000. A blend of equal parts Cabernet Franc and Merlot, the dense ruby/purple-tinged 2008 reveals an ethereal nose of subtle menthol intertwined with spring flowers, plums, black currants, and sweet cherries. The wine's seamlessness is enthralling, and, despite the late harvest as well as late malolactics, it is already displaying admirable complexity. This is a beautifully complete, full-bodied Cheval Blanc that dances across the palate with the finesse of a world-class ballerina. Analytically, there is plenty of tannin, but it is totally integrated. While the acids are slightly elevated, they are not noticeable. A tour de force! This wine should evolve for three decades or more
|Score: 95/97||Robert Parker, RobertParker.com, April 2009|
The 2008 Cheval Blanc has a very precise, mineral-driven bouquet, a mixture of red and black fruit, energetic and incredibly focused, perhaps even more so than Ausone? The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin though I discerned a patina of oak dragging its heels, waiting to be subsumed. There is great concentration and yet conversely it feels bright and fresh; with aeration evermore nimble and sprightly. Towards the finish there are subtle hints of bay leaf and cedar, the Cabernet Franc taking over the steering wheel from the Merlot. There is a lot going on in this outstanding Cheval Blanc that does not deserve to be in the shadow of the feted 2009 or 2010. 2020 - 2050
|Score: 95||Neal Martin, vinous.com, February 2018|
Tasted ex-château and single blind in Southwold. The Cheval Blanc 2008 is a great wine. Here, this bottle has a pure, elegant bouquet that unfurls with each swirl of the glass. It offers a smorgasbord of red fruits: wild strawberry, a touch of kirsch, cranberry and just a touch of lifted alcohol. The new oak is seamlessly integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent tannins that are ripe and rounded, perhaps belying the sheer weight of its sweet core of fruit. It is a little more ostentatious than I expected and blind, I conjectured whether it could be Château Angelus? Superb. Tasted January 2012.
|Score: 96||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, January 2012|
This has a more understated nose that usual but do not be misled, it has wonderful definition and poise, a sense of natural harmony that had already been perceived on the Second Wine. There is a tertiary scent that is coming from the Cabernet Franc which is superb. The palate is very well a balanced, great vibrancy and tension, super-fine tannins, a little more structure thanks to the Cabernet Franc. PL - "a pixellated wine." Lovely pure raspberry and red cherry towards the poised, fresh finish. This is a wonderful, natural Cheval Blanc. Tasted April 2009
|Score: 95/98||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2009|
Offers blackberry and flowers on the nose, with hints of prune and spices. Full and chewy, with vanilla and rose petal. This is muscular and angular now, but the finish lasts a long time
|Score: 92/95||James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, April 2009|
Exceptionally dark crimson. Very polished. Fragrant and fresh. I got a hit of pine on this wine as well as on its new stablemate La Tour du Pin - maybe from the trees outside the tasting room here at Cheval? Very fine and sculpted and well mannered even if without perhaps quite the spark of life that one would ideally hope for. Very cool and fresh. Lots of very ripe tannin. Clearly lots of Cabernet Franc. Succulent and supple. Ticks all the boxes - am I being niggly to ask for just a little more misbehaviour? Perhaps because I have just tasted the pretty wild Pétrus. Clearly this will have a long life and I can't see it disappointing anyone. But whom will it actually thrill? Limpid and unctuous.
|Score: 18||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2009|
The nose has a mix of flavours red fruits and black fruits lots of complexity. Fresh red fruits are
there at the start of the palate with sweet black cherry and bramble in the middle the
suppleness helped by rounded tannins. It is lighter at the back with the red fruits tending to
dominate and give length and elegance on the finish. 2015-2030
|Score: 95||Derek Smedley MW, November 2012|
There is a lot happening on the nose, first bramble and then redder fruited loganberry fleshed out by damson. The tannins feel ripe adding to the fleshiness but behind the richness is raspberry and wild strawberry freshness ensuring both elegance and length.
|Score: 93/96||Derek Smedley MW, April 2009|