Sublime wine. Fresh, floral, perfumed. More elegant and sensual than the '09. Pure, sumptuous fruit. Refined texture and tannins. Lovely acidity for balance. Seamless. James Lawther, decanter.com
The 2010 is one of the most impressive two-year-old 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. Wine Advocate.February, 2013
Robert ParkerScore: 100/100
Deep garnet colored, the 2010 Cheval Blanc is fairly shut down at this stage, offering up subtle glimpses of an incredibly complex array of aromas including smoked meats, yeast extract, cigar box and new leather with dried mulberries and creme de cassis at the core plus a waft of potpourri. Full-bodied, big, opulent and built like a brick house, it has super firm tannins and great freshness, packed solid with muscular fruit, finishing very long. Tightly wound and oh-so-youthful, yet perfectly formed and poised to be a blockbuster, readers should give this incredible vintage about decade in the cellar before broaching. Aug 2018, www.robertparker.com
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine AdvocateScore: 100/100
The blueberry and blackberry character and bouquet of violets is off the charts. Full body, the Cabernet Franc dominates the blend now, with so much dark fruits, minerals and flowers with hints of spices. It is a very powerful and linear CB and shows amazing length and purity. Zen-like focus.
James SucklingScore: 99-100/100
The 2010 Cheval Blanc gives off notes of violets, roses, cedar, tobacco, spices and blackberries, resulting in a very aromatic wine, with rich velvety tannins and a density that is prominent on the mid palate and finish. More restrained in style than the 2009, this is a classic, precise wine built to last for many decades. While the 2010 is wonderful I have a slight preference for the 2009, which has more sex appeal, perhaps on account of its much higher Merlot content - 60%, compared with only 44% in 2010. asianpalate.com
Jeannie Cho Lee MWScore: 96-98/100
Cheval Blanc Produced from a higher percentage of Cabernet Franc than usual, 56% Cabernet Franc, with the remaining 34% percent relegated to Merlot. that assemblage is similar to what is planted in the vineyards today. The wine reached 14.5% alcohol with a 3.75 pH, allowing for a rich, ripe wine that is also alcoholic and fresh. Placing your nose into this wine reminds you of walking into a flower shop. The aromatics are further complicated with scents of stone, oak, truffle, caramel and black cherry. Pairing delicacy with power, this is an elegant, deep, wine of finesse, purity and refinement. Part of the reason for the wines success is the long and exacting time spent harvesting the fruit. The estate took three weeks to conclude picking. Previously, they finished the harvest in two weeks. winecellarinsider.com
Jeff Leve, The Wine Cellar InsiderScore: 96-98/100
Lush and very rounded, with lots of muscle and heft, but also great polish and pose to the gorgeous boysenberry, plum and fig notes. Supercreamy on the finish, with bittersweet cocoa, violet, mint, anise and tobacco in reserve. Tasted non-blind. James Molseworth, winespectator.com
Wine SpectatorScore: 95-98/100
The whole team participates here, tasting the grapes as they ripen, the skins and the pips, which were nutty this year, and observing the resulting tannins and acidity. Concrete vats are used and a conservative attitude is taken to extraction, allowing the natural heat of fermentation only to be controlled if it is too high.The deep carmine-coloured outcome offers subtle aromas of mulberry, chocolate and forest fruits. The taste is full but subtle, not fully allowing the cornucopia of apricot, plum, damson, blackberry and blackcurrant to emerge until its long journey to maturity from 2020 to 2055.
Ivor DaviesScore: 18-19/20
A very sweet, almost jammy nose. Very polished an luxurious, with just enough acidity to preserve the fresh charater of the fruit. The length is very impressive and the fruit dense which perhaps at this stage give the impression of a lack of space in the wine. There is a HUGE level of tannin, though it melts well. It finishes dry but the fruit persists throughout. A little perplexing at this stage but there is no doubt that there is a lot of very good material here. The density and tannin level to seem worrisome but there is so much that is good here it deserves the benifit of the doubt. Certainly has the potential to be truly great...certainly made us think!
A blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, the latter suffering a little coulure (so bunches were cut earlier during the season after veraison to increase homogeneity.) The Merlot were reaching around 14.5% alcohol and the clay/gravel soils inhibited the increased alcohol level at the end. The harvest began on 15th September and finished on 13th October with a major part of the vineyard picked on 7th October. Like many samples, the Cheval Blanc takes a long time to open but eventually reveals a very refined, tightly-knit bouquet with dark berries, espresso, underbrush, the Cabernet Franc dominating the Merlot at present. The palate is medium-bodied and much more masculine compared to the fleshier 2009 last year, like the nose, the Cabernet Franc defining the wine with touches of dried herbs, a little allspice and white pepper. There is a firm backbone to this Cheval Blanc, quite structured towards the spicy finish, fresh but obdurate and broody. This will need a decade to really open up. Very promising, but do not expect fireworks...yet. Drink 2020-2040+ Tasted March 2011. Neal Martin erobertparker.com
Neal MartinScore: 95-97/100
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. jancisrobinson.com
Jancis Robinson MWScore: 18.5/20