Chateau Cheval Blanc Reviews

Chateau Cheval Blanc Reviews

 

2017 Chateau Cheval Blanc Reviews

(Futures Pre-Sale Price) $605.00

Available November 2020

A blend of 56% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Chateau Cheval Blanc

98 Points James Suckling

This is tight and very tannic with a linear and steely backbone of texture. Full-bodied, compacted and complete. Muscular and flexing it but polished and toned. Wow. There is 6% Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend, which may be giving this even more strength. Very, very long. Very Left Bank in terms of the power and depth.

97 Points Wine Enthusiast

Ripe and juicy with immense fruitiness, the black currant flavors and solid tannins are an indication of the long future ahead of this wine. Big in structure, it has a richly perfumed character as well as great fruit. It’s a great wine that’s ready to age for many years.

96 Points Decanter

A sense of forward motion here makes you smile – a reaction that’s missing in many wines this year. The tannins push their way right through the palate, but cradle the cassis and bilberry fruit rather than smother it, helped by the fact that floral and smoky aromatics rise up. There’s good persistency and you get that little kick and dance of minerality. The precision engineering is clear, but the overall feeling is simply of cohesion and enjoyment. 3.65ph. 100% new oak, but without a trace even now at this early stage.

Approximately 60% of the wine this year came from the gravelly plots which were less affected by the frost, which accounts for a slightly higher level of Cabernet Sauvignon than usual. They used perhaps 1% of secondary budding in this blend (five weeks behind schedule at bud-break and then around 15 days by harvest) and kept picking from 15 September to 11 October – an extremely long schedule compared to most estates in 2017. With around 30% loss to frost, there will be 50,000 bottles of Cheval in 2017, compared to 116,000 in 2016. 21hl/ha yield this year, 75% destined for the grand vin.

95 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2017 Chateau Cheval Blanc is composed of 56% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon—an unusually high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon for this wine. Deep garnet-purple colored, it opens slowly to reveal a gorgeous lilacs, roses, licorice and black truffles nose over a compelling core of cassis, warm plums, wild blueberries and cigar box plus a waft of wood smoke. Medium to full-bodied, firm and earthy in character on the palate, it packs in tightly wound fruits and mineral accents, culminating in a long, perfumed finish. 50,000 bottles are to be produced.

2016 Chateau Cheval Blanc Reviews

(Futures Pre-Sale Price) $730.00

Available November 2019

A blend of 59% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon.

100 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2016 Chateau Cheval Blanc is blended of 59.5% Merlot, 37.2% Cabernet Franc and 3.3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep garnet-purple in color, the nose is incredibly youthful yet not so shy as some other 2016s at this stage, giving wonderfully intense scents of red currants, black cherries, wild blueberries and violets with nuances of star anise, cinnamon stick, rose hip tea, cigar box and wood smoke plus a touch of beef drippings.

Medium to full-bodied, the palate has jaw-dropping elegance and depth, offering up layer upon layer of fragrant red and black fruits plus an extraordinary array of mineral sparks, supported by a rock-solid grainy texture, finishing with epic persistence and an edifying perfume. This is a very different style from the rich, opulently hedonic 2015, yet this wonderfully fragrant, beautifully poised and intellectually compelling 2016 is equally extraordinary.

99 Points James Suckling

This is very powerful Cheval with searing tannins and bright fruit, acidity and mineral undertones. Full and muscular yet beautifully formed and polished. It’s all about the form to this. Better than 2015.

99 Points Wine Enthusiast

Fruit and tannins have combined so harmoniously in this impressive, magnificent wine. The acidity shoots through to give considerable freshness, lifting the blackberry fruit. What makes the wine though are the tannins, which support the marvelous fruit. It will obviously age for many, many years.

99 Points Vinous

A wine of precision and extraordinary beauty, the 2016 Chateau Cheval Blanc is also one of the highlights of the year. In the glass, it is precise, delicate and understated. Hints of espresso, plum, spice and wild cherry all develop in the glass, but it is the wine’s feel and vivid personality that stand out most. I expect the 2016 will put on weight during its aging, both in barrel and later in bottle. It is an absolutely stunning wine in every way.

98 Points Decanter

Another excellent Chateau Cheval Blanc, this is a wine that every year stands among the greatest in the region. The main impression is of a softly-spun silky texture with complete focus and clarity through the palate. There is some of the density of 2010 here, with the florality of 2005. Gorgeous. Many people spent a long time picking in 2016, but at Cheval Blanc everything came in within just 10 days, rather unusually picking grapes on gravel and clay at the same time. The blend is 59% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 100% new oak.

2015 Chateau Cheval Blanc Reviews

A blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc.

100 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Chateau Cheval Blanc is still incredibly primary at this very youthful stage. With coaxing, it unfurls to reveal beguiling notions of ripe black cherries, mulberries, licorice, baking spices and smoked meats with touches of incense and potpourri plus wafts of cast iron pan and crushed rocks. Full-bodied, very rich, very firm/taut and with very ripe, fine-grained tannins, it allows a glimpse at its incredible depth of flavors with a very long multi-layered finish. Wow.

100 Points Wine Enthusiast Cellar Selection

Made with 45% Cabernet Franc, this great wine offers a beautiful, rich and perfumed character. This is an exceptional vintage for this estate which incorporated into the blend fruit from parcels of the vineyard that would normally go into the second wine. It is packed with black-fruit flavors and broad tannins, with a background of juicy acidity and a firm structure. Drink from 2027.

99 Points James Suckling

Phenomenal aromas of cherries, flowers, blackberries and sandalwood. Pure fruit. Full-bodied, dense and polished with incredible tannin quality like the finest, densest silk ball. In perfect proportions. Compact. Seamless and endless. Gorgeous to taste now but give it six or seven years to understand it better.

99 Points Vinous

Totally seamless in the glass, with no beginning and no end, the 2015 Chateau Cheval Blanc is simply extraordinary. It’s hard to describe the 2015, because all of its elements are so perfectly in place. Beautifully delineated aromatics make a strong opening statement. Vibrant and wonderfully nuanced on the palate, the wine exudes energy and vitality through to the persistent, silky finish. Many other 2015s speak with more assertiveness and volume, but Cheval Blanc is more understsated. In 2015, Cheval Blanc created quite a stir in announcing that a whopping 91% of their crop would be bottled as Grand Vin. There will be no Petit Cheval, while the rest of the wine was sold internally.

98 Points Decanter

My Right Bank wine of the vintage and close to perfection. 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc, representing 90.5% of this year’s production (no Petit Cheval this year). Exudes elegance, class and precision. Dense, fresh, perfumed nose and the most velvety of textures. Remarkable quality of tannin allows a gentle attack then prodigious length and persistence. Nothing out of place.

98 Points Wine Spectator

A lovely sanguine hint leads off, followed by racy, elegant juniper, tobacco, red currant and damson plum notes that move in unison. Broadens and deepens, adding notes of currant preserves, warm ganache and smoldering tobacco, with a swath of loamy structure. Yet even as the bass line increases in volume through the finish, this maintains purity and poise. Should deliver some stunning aromatics at peak, which will take awhile to achieve. Best from 2025 through 2045.

2014 Chateau Cheval Blanc Reviews

97 Points Wine Spectator

This has dreamy aromas already, with notes of Lapsang souchong tea, smoldering cigar and cold charcoal wafting up from the core of dense yet supple currant, fig and blackberry preserves. A loamy edge thumps through the finish, giving this an addictive, head-bobbing bass line. Best from 2026 through 2040.

96 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2014 Chateau Cheval Blanc is a blend of 45% Cabernet Franc and 55% Merlot, picked from 19 September until 8 October. It has a very succinct, almost understated bouquet, here a mixture of red and black fruit, cold limestone and crushed rose petals (the latter observed when the wine was in barrel). It is not a set of aromatics that go out and grab your attention, rather the sophistication creeps up on you. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin.

Unlike the Deuxième Vin, there is real structure and backbone here, a gentle but insistent grip in the mouth. It errs towards black instead of red fruit, intermingling with sage and cumin, then segueing into a precise finish with a long, lingering ferrous finish (à la Pomerol!), finally a hint of oyster shell on the aftertaste. It is one of the most subtle Cheval Blancs that I have tasted in a long time, although it will doubtlessly be deceptively long lived. This is a serious Chateau Cheval Blanc for serious oenophiles.

96 Points Wine Enthusiast

With its high proportion of Cabernet Franc (45%), this is a finely perfumed rich wine. It has great tannins, a smoky character that comes from the wood. The tannins are quite marked, giving a tight firm edge to the wine that otherwise has generous fruitiness. This is a complex wine, impressive, and likely to age over many years. Drink from 2028. Cellar Selection

96 Points James Suckling

Aromas of strawberries, flowers and rose petals. Medium to full body and such beautiful polish and finesse. The texture is remarkably silky. It’s a wine all in elegance and harmony. Such length. Try in 2022 but already a joy to taste.

2013 Chateau Cheval Blanc Reviews

95 Points Wine Enthusiast Cellar Selection

Smoky aromas and layers of tannin and fruit give this wine great complexity. It is smooth, juicy and fresh while also having perfumed tannins and an elegant, lightly mineral structure from the Cabernet Franc. The wine’s cherries and red berries are still encased in the structure, allowing it to develop slowly. Drink from 2024.

2012 Chateau Cheval Blanc Reviews

95 Points Wine Spectator

This wine is gorgeous in all facets, offering a simultaneously loamy and creamy mouthfeel, seamless layers of red and black currant, cherry, raspberry and blackberry fruit, and a long, tobacco-fueled finish that features alluring hints of black tea and incense. The fruit and terroir shine in this broad, deep and defined style. Best from 2018 through 2030.

95 Points Wine Enthusiast Cellar Selection

With a wonderful 45% blending of fragrant Cabernet Franc, this is a sumptuous, perfumed wine. It’s rich with a velvet texture that hides the dark tannins while bringing out the rich plum flavors. The dense texture is balanced by some fresh acidity and a fruity aftertaste.

94 Points James Suckling

A Chateau Cheval Blanc with an impressive center palate of blueberries, chocolate, almonds and spices. Full body, a solid core of fruit and a long, long finish. Goes on for minutes. Beautiful wine. Seamless tannins. Needs a few years of bottle age.

93 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Tasted blind at the 2012 Southwold tasting, the 2012 Chateau Cheval Blanc has a perfumed, outgoing, almost “glossy” bouquet that wants to be noticed, lavished with damson, wild strawberry, fig jam and crème de cassis scents that are totally seductive. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe, succulent, sensual red cherries and wild strawberry fruit, though perhaps the finish showed some superfluous hubris that just erased some of the potential delineation and focus. On this occasion it was pipped to the post by Ausone, but let us see how it matures, because the white horse always repays those that are patient.

2011 Chateau Cheval Blanc Reviews

95 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2011 Chateau Cheval Blanc is one of the more plump, opulent and sexy Cheval Blancs made over recent vintages. And its forwardness, lusciousness and complexity seemingly suggest this wine is on a fast evolutionary track. The wine exhibits a dense ruby/purple/plum color, a medium to full-bodied opulence, a sumptuous mid-palate (atypical for the vintage), and a lush, heady finish. It is a super, complex, evolved Cheval Blanc that can be drunk now or cellared for 15+ years. Bravo!

94 Points Wine Spectator

Offers a loamy, dense feel, with the vintage’s briary grip tumbled with dark plum, blackberry and black currant fruit. Anise and tobacco notes fill out the finish. Which expands steadily with air, showing added range and echoes of bittersweet cocoa and tobacco. Seems to have a lot in reserve. Best from 2016 through 2030.

94 Points James Suckling

A really beautiful wine with super silky tannins with chocolate, spice, berries and spices. Full body, with super polished tannins and a long, long finish. The first wine from the new winery of Cheval. Very precise. Very polished. Cabernet Franc gives the quality.

2010 Chateau Cheval Blanc Reviews

100 Points James Suckling

The aroma in this wine is crazy with flowers, mushroom, forest floor, and fruit. It seems like I am walking through a row of the vines in Cheval Blanc when I have my nose in the glass. It’s full-bodied, with fabulous layers of ultra-fine tannins and milk chocolate, raspberries, and a phenomenal finish. Truly one of the greatest Chevals ever. Better than 2009. Try in 2020.

100 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2010 is one of the most impressive two-year-old Chateau Cheval Blancs. I have tasted in 34 years in this profession. The final blend of 54% Cabernet Franc and 46% Merlot has the tell-tale berry/floral nose with subtle hints of menthol, blueberry, raspberry and flowers in addition to some forest floor. And a delicate touch of lead pencil shavings. The wine exhibits more structure and density than it did from barrel, and it was already remarkable then.

The foresty/floral notes seem to linger and linger in this surprisingly full-bodied, powerful Cheval Blanc. Yet it possesses a very healthy pH that should ensure enormous longevity. Dense purple in color, and a bigger, richer wine than usual. This is one Cheval Blanc that will probably need a decade of cellaring. I like the description from the estate’s administrator, Pierre Lurton. Who said it tasted like “liquid cashmere,” a perfect expression, despite the wine’s structure and intensity. This is another 50-year wine from this amazingly structured, rich vintage.

100 points Wine Enthusiast “Top 100 Cellar Selection of 2013”

This is the finest Chateau Cheval Blanc for many years. It is, quite simply, magnificent. The wine shows the greatness of Cabernet Franc in the vintage, with 57% of the variety in the blend. It is beautifully structured and perfumed with velvety tannins, balanced acidity and swathes of black-currant and black-cherry fruits. It’s well on course to becoming a legendary wine.

98 Points Wine Spectator

This is stone-cold shut down right now. But why worry? You’ll want to wait at least a decade before breaching a bottle as massively endowed as this. With loads of loamy bass notes thumping along underneath a riveting track of licorice snap, pastis-steeped black currant fruit, maduro tobacco and espresso. And then there’s an echo of petrichor at the very end that hints at the aromatic fireworks to come with cellaring. Should compete for wine of the vintage. Best from 2020 through 2040.

95 Points Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar

Good bright, deep red. Captivating scents of cassis, violet, minerals, bitter chocolate and wild herbs. Extremely fine-grained but also very dense and chewy for young Chateau Cheval Blanc. Showing great Cabernet Franc lift and perfume and a downright velvety texture. This deep, multilayered wine was a bit dominated by its brooding tannins and big structure when first poured. But I found my score going steadily higher as the wine benefited from air. My rating may look too conservative a decade from now–or three or four decades hence. 

Bonus Review Jancis Robinson 18.5+/20 Points.

56% Cabernet Franc, 44% Merlot. Meaty and savoury. Almost austere on the nose relative to how young Cheval usually tastes. Very youthful but aromatic, then lovely lusciousness on the palate. Recalls great old Chevals with that seductive freshness. Lovely dry finish. (Blend for 2009 was exactly the opposite.) Coulure affected Merlot in 2010. Lost lots of volume on Merlot. Great structure but also lovely floral seductive aroma. Opens out in the glass in the most convincing manner. Presumably they think it would have been even better if vinified in the new cellar that is due for completion this summer.