Château Cheval Blanc

Ch. Cheval Blanc is one the finest producers in Bordeaux. The Saint-Emilion estate’s Cabernet Franc-dominant wines are consistently among the top wines of the vintage.

Château Cheval Blanc

About the producer

Until it withdrew from the classification in 2021, it was one of four Saint-Emilion wineries to enjoy the status of Premier Grand Cru Classé A, alongside Ch. Angélus, Ch. Ausone and Ch. Pavie (although Pavie is the only estate using the official classification today).

Located in northwest Saint-Emilion, on the border with Pomerol, Ch. Cheval Blanc neighbours a number of high-profile estates, including Ch. Figeac to the south, and Pétrus and Vieux Château Certan in Pomerol. Located in Saint-Emilion, four kilometres north of the famed limestone plateau, Cheval Blanc is much closer on the map (and therefore in diversity of soil types) to Pomerol, with a mixture of 40% gravel, 40% clay and 20% sand.

The estate has a total of 39 hectares under vine divided into 53 plots across 10 different soil types – clay, sand and gravel in varying proportions – and grows Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. For the estate, this diversity is what defines it.

Each plot is effectively treated as an autonomous vineyard, with no blending taking place prior to vinification, creating a unique sense of identity and adding to the complexity of the finished wines. This gives a true reflection of the piece of land on which grapes have been grown since the 15th century.

Cheval Blanc is not organic because it believes that copper, permitted and widely used in organic viticulture to fight mildew, is more harmful than a synthetic alternative.

Over the last few years Cheval Blanc has been introducing permaculture, planting trees, plants, other fruits and vegetables, as well as introducing animal grazing, flower farming and beekeeping to the vineyard in an attempt to ensure soil fertility, promote diversity and capture carbon.

Many of the key components of the winemaking process have not changed since 1832, however technology has allowed the team to increase the precision and purity of each bottle.

As Technical Director Pierre-Olivier Clouet explains, “It’s the same picture, but with more pixels; we’re simply increasing the resolution of the wine.” There is meticulous care and attention to detail at every stage of production, from the vineyard to picking each plot when the grapes are precisely “al dente”, right through to bottling.

The winemaking team at Cheval Blanc takes intra-plot fermentation to the next level, treating each parcel individually throughout, including assessing and adapting extraction. The results are reliably precise, elegant and detailed expressions of Saint-Emilion at the highest level. Unlike most Bordeaux producers, press wine is not added to the Grand Vin – requiring more precision when racking off the skins.

Fermentation is in concrete tanks ranging from 20-110hl, with the wine then matured in 100% new oak for 18-24 months. 

One of Cheval Blanc’s most admired qualities is its longevity, with some of the best examples capable of ageing for 50 years or more.


Please wait

We are preparing your content...
    Related articles