- Château Cheval Blanc
- St Emilion
- Cabernet Franc / Merlot
- 2028 - 2045
- Case size
- En Primeur
Neal Martin, April 2022,
The 2021 Cheval Blanc was picked between September 22 and October 14, and for the first time in many years there is a higher proportion of Cabernet Franc. This has a lovely bouquet, very clean and precise, featuring black cherry, wild mint, sous-bois and orange sorbet, all vivacious and very focused. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, quite structured and very linear and strict. A bit like Ausone, this is an uncompromising Cheval Blanc, very saline and marine-influenced. While not as flattering as the 2020, it will appeal more to those who prefer a cerebral Cheval Blanc. One of the stars of the Right Bank in this challenging growing season. Drink 2030 - 2065
Wine Advocate, April 2022,
A terrific achievement, the 2021 Cheval Blanc is a blend of 52% Cabernet Franc, 33% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Unfurling in the glass with aromas of raspberries and cherries mingled with notions of cigar wrapper, vine smoke, rose petals and violets, it's full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with an elegantly muscular chassis of ripe, powdery tannin and lively animating acids. Long and penetrating, this is a serious, rather structured young Cheval Blanc that will require and reward patience.
Antonio Galloni, April 2022,
The 2021 Cheval Blanc is one of the wines of the vintage. Vertical and aristocratic in bearing, Cheval is just stunning. Time in the glass brings out compelling inner sweetness and perfume to play off a core of rich dark fruit, gravel, spice, menthol and dried flowers. I also tasted the final three blending components, none of which hints at the magnificence of the Grand Vin. Stunning. Drink 2031-2061
Goedhuis, April 2022,
Wine maker Pierre-Olivier Clouet explains that 2021 was a year when Cabernet Franc came to the fore, and so it is the principal variety in this year’s blend at 52%, with 43% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet control gives the wine real presence. The initial scent of mocha and fresh coffee bean recedes as the fresh berry fruits develop and blossom on the palate. A bold and exciting wine with dry tannins, whose power should not be underestimated. Wonderfully persistent bright red fruits on the finish complete the complex jigsaw that is this great wine.
Wine Cellar Insider, April 2022,
A gorgeous wine, especially when you consider the vintage, you start off with a nose offering complexities of tobacco leaf, violets, roses, spice-box, mint leaf, and ripe, red and black pit fruits. On the palate you find layers of sensual, pure, silky fruits, cashmere, polished tannins and a richness created by velvet textured plums and black cherries. There is a slight drop off in the weight of the fruit after the mid-palate that makes this a very, very good vintage for Cheval Blanc, but stops it from being one of the great vintages from the estate. Still, there is a lot to love about the 2021 Cheval, making this one of the contenders for wine of the vintage. The wine blends 52% Cabernet Franc, 43% Merlot, 5%, 13.25% ABV, 3.61 pH. Cabernet Sauvignon. the harvest took place September 24 - October 14, making this a very late vintage here. In fact, it is the lateness of the harvest that is the secret to the success of the vintage. Yields were low at only 28 hectoliters per hectare. Drink from 2029-2055.
Jane Anson, April 2022,
The 30th anniversary with Pierre Lurton as director, and the last official year as Premier Grand Cru Classé A following their withdrawal from the St Emilion ranking. Worth marking out for that fact alone, along with Ausone and Angélus, as whatever happens next there might be kudos in future years for having the last vintage where these three estates were at the top of the classification. This is easily one of the wines of the vintage, powerful, classical and intellectual, with stretched out, taut tannins and a slow build of raspberry, redcurrant and blueberry fruits, run through with rosebud and peony aromatics. It's not voluptuous like the 2015 or 2018 Cheval, but has gorgeous balance and depth, and will deliver for decades, putting it in a select band of 2021 estates. Biggest percentage of Cabernet Franc since 2011, and the first time to use more Cabernet Franc than Merlot in the blend. Ageing is expected to be 19 months, to ensure a little extra polish on the tannins. No chaptilisation. Lurton’s first vintage of 1991, by the way, was also impacted by frost, but far more severely, to the point where they made no 1st wine for the only time in their modern history.
Matthew Jukes, April 2022,
All of the young Cabernet Franc vines on the property made the grade for this Grand Vin, and it certainly feels like this wine is the epitome of an exemplary team effort. Arnaud de Laforcade explained that the younger vines had smaller root systems and didn’t “catch the water”. This makes perfect sense and explains why this is such an expressive and layered wine. The nose is nothing short of stunning, and this wine has reverted to the thrilling aromatics of past great vintages of this wine. Cabernet Franc-driven, chiselled, square-jawed and with matinee idol looks, there is no preening musculature or self-conscious glossiness. 2021 Cheval Blanc is made from a thousand intertwined flavour threads, and they are combined to create a wine imbued with modesty, calm, confidence, and uncommon composure. I asked Arnaud if he could explain why I always prefer this style of wine and mark down the warmer, more imposing and more crowd-pleasing vintages. He answered that I clearly like authentic Cheval Blanc and not just boldly structured red wine. This is another rare red wine in this vintage with hints of Immortelle (see my notes on Château Margaux and others). I explained my Immortelle theory to Arnaud. He recognised it immediately, putting it down to the aerial Atlantic influence coupled with the dune locations where this rare plant is found. I am convinced that this is one of the most impressive wines of 2021, and it is evidenced by the undeniable complexity and the unhurried yet all-pervasive way in which it delivers its sublime flavours. This is an incredible, live-giving Cheval Blanc, and it is both classic and also classical, and very few wines can tick both boxes in 2021.
Château Cheval Blanc
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.