2015 Cheval Blanc

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Average critic rating : 96.83 points



A wine of total finesse, the 2015 Cheval Blanc speaks to understatement above all else. Sweet floral notes meld into a core of bright red stone fruits and mint. Silky, nuanced and wonderfully persistent on the palate, the 2015 possesses remarkable depth, but in an understated fashion. There is plenty of tannin buried beneath the fruit. The 2015 is not an obvious Cheval Blanc, but rather a sublime wine that will only start to blossom with a decade plus in bottle. It will drink well for decades beyond that. Apr 2016, www.Vinous.com



The 2015 Cheval Blanc represents the entire vineyard this year, since there is no Le Petit Cheval (two plots that did not meet requirements were not included in any blend). A blend of 45% Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon and 55% Merlot, matured in 100% new oak, it has a very complex bouquet, subtle and tightly wound, very precise with dark berry fruit, hints of graphite, minerals and a hint of black pepper, perhaps a little spicier than recent vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with extraordinarily fine tannin. Beautifully balanced, perfectly controlled, this Cheval Blanc gently builds in the mouth, but remains strict and precise. The Cabernet Franc here is very expressive (though apparently the Merlot was showier prior to malolactic). This is an intellectual Cheval Blanc, thoroughly enjoyable, but it will need 10-12 years to really show its pedigree. A profound wine in the making, it will rank with the great wines of the past. Apr 2016, www.eRobertParker.com, Drink: 2025-2065



A Cheval with a depth and finesse that reminds me of the 1998. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and amazing length and beauty. Such finesse and harmony. Super silky and classic for Cheval Blanc. Mar 2016, www.JamesSuckling.com



55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Franc. 34 days of picking, 3 September - 6 October! Historic long vintage. No Petit Cheval, so 90% of the crop went into this wine. Very sweet almost balsam nose. Very distinctive! Really fine with lovely tannins. Lots of ripe fruit and masses of tannin as well as ripeness. The alcohol is only just moderate enough. Very dramatic without being at all exaggerated. Some red pepper powder notes. 14.35%. Apr 2016, www.JancisRobinson.com, Drink: 2027-2050



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. Apr 2016, James Lawther MW, www.Decanter.com, Drink: 2025-2050



For the first time since 1988, there was no second wine (Petit Cheval) at Cheval Blanc, such was the team’s confidence in the quality of nearly all of the 45 parcels. It sounds like hubris, but this is very special indeed. Complex, scented and nuanced, with a cool elegance that was difficult to achieve in 2015. The tannins are silky, caressing the palate, while the finish lingers like the last note of a great string quartet. Apr 2016, www.timatkin.com, Drink: 2025-2040

Graphs indicate market price trends as calculated by FINE+RARE’s internal market making system and are for guidance only. E&OE.

Chart showing (to 21/03/2017) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

Cheval Blanc 2015
+£498.67     (+9.25%) Latest price:  £5,891.67
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Cheval Blanc: The Importance

Château Cheval Blanc is widely considered to have created some of the greatest Bordeaux wines ever made. Robert Parker calls Cheval Blanc’s Grand Vin “One of the most elegant and noble wines in all of Bordeaux”, while John Gilman puts it on a par with Pétrus and Ausone as “the Right Bank First Growth”.


One of four St Emilion wineries to enjoy the status of Premier Grand Cru Classé (A), alongside Angelus, Ausone and Pavie, Cheval Blanc produces the world’s greatest Cabernet Franc-based wine and is a reference point for the best that can be achieved with the grape.


Cheval Blanc: The Insight

Located to the North West of the St. Emilion appellation on the border with Pomerol, Cheval Blanc neighbours a number of high profile estates, including Château Figeac to the South and Château Pétrus and Vieux Château Certan across the border in Pomerol.


A third of Cheval Blanc’s Grand Vin is located on the boundary with Pomerol, one third has the same gravelly soil as Graves and the remaining third is a classic St Emilion. The resulting combination of gravel, clay and sand helps shape and define Cheval Blanc’s unique taste. The vineyards are planted with some Merlot and a tiny proportion of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, but the main event is Cabernet Franc. This, in Parker’s words, leads to “a distinctive lighter, more delicate style” and “aromatic, long-lived wines that represent the quintessential, complex style of Bordeaux”.


Cheval Blanc’s Grand Vin has received a number of all-important 100 and 99 point scores from Parker, with the 2010, 2005 and 1947 among the most sought-after vintages. One of Cheval Blanc’s most admired qualities is its longevity, with some of the best examples capable of ageing for fifty years or more.


The estate also makes a highly respected second wine: Le Petit Cheval, launched in 1996, which Neal Martin describes as “equal to many a Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé” and which has earned very respectable scores from Parker.


Finally, Cheval Blanc is unusual in Bordeaux for also making a dry white wine. Le Petit Cheval Blanc was launched with a small number of cases of the 2014 vintage, creating a stir among collectors. Designed to echo the elegance and grace of the Grand Vin and intended to age well, this white wine is one to watch over years to come.


Cheval Blanc: The Background

Cheval Blanc’s history can be traced back to the 1830s, when the Ducasse family purchased a patch of land and vines from Château Figeac. This land, combined with a number of parcels bought from other wineries, eventually became the Cheval Blanc estate that we know today.


The historic château was built in the late 1800s and is now recognised as one of the most beautiful and classic examples of Bordeaux wine architecture. In 2011 famous architect Christian de Portzamparc led the renovation of the estate’s facilities, including a state-of-the-art winery, barrel cellars, vinification room and tasting area, making Cheval Blanc the envy of all other Bordeaux estates.

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