A rather seductive style of Cheval Blanc that has been delicious from its youth, this wine continues to develop beautifully, and although it seems to have attained full maturity, the wine shows plenty of sweet plum, mocha, coffee, and black currant fruit intermixed with some menthol, chocolate, and cola. The wine is lush, medium to full-bodied, very soft, and ideal for drinking now and over the next 5-7 years. Last tasted, 11/02.
Fully mature, but capable of lasting another 10-15 years, this flamboyantly scented wine (jammy black fruits, licorice, Asian spices, herbs, grilled meats) is a lusciously rich, opulent, medium to full-bodied, fat and juicy style of Cheval Blanc that seems to get better and better every time I taste it. Like so many Cheval Blancs, it has the uncanny ability to put on weight in the bottle. Anticipated maturity: Now-2005. Last tasted 1/98
I clearly underrated the 1985, which has improved significantly in the bottle. The dark garnet color with no signs of amber is followed by an explosive bouquet offering blackcurrant, truffle, herb, and licorice scents. Opulent and layered, with lavish amounts of succulent fruit, this medium to full-bodied wine is showing well. The finish is long and deep. Anticipated maturity: Now-2006. Last tasted, 6/93.
Several years ago, 10 of the world's top wine specialists were asked if they could own a wine estate, which one would it be. At least 5 of them said Château Cheval Blanc. Indeed, this château is like no other. Wonderfully silky and smooth yet powerful, Cheval Blanc is often approachable when young yet has the capacity to age for many years. Its unusually high proportion of Cabernet Franc (usually 50% or more) accompanied by Merlot has undoubtedly contributed to its allure.
South of Pomerol lies the medieval, perched village of St Emilion. Surrounding St Emilion are vines that produce round, rich and often hedonistic wines. Despite a myriad of soil types, two main ones dominate - the gravelly, limestone slopes that delve down to the valley from the plateau and the valley itself which is comprised of limestone, gravel, clay and sand. Despite St Emilion's popularity today, it was not until the 1980s to early 1990s that attention was brought to this region. Robert Parker, the famous wine critic, began reviewing their Merlot-dominated wines and giving them hefty scores. The rest is history as they say. Similar to the Médoc, there is a classification system in place which dates from 1955 and outlines several levels of quality. These include its regional appellation of St Emilion, St Emilion Grand Cru, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé and St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, which is further divided into "A" (Ausone and Cheval Blanc) and "B" (including Angélus, Canon, Figeac and a handful of others). To ensure better accuracy, the classification is redone every 10 years enabling certain châteaux to be upgraded or downgraded depending on on the quality of their more recent vintages.