|Sub-district||Saint Emilion & Satellites|
|Classification||1er Grand Cru Classé|
53% Cabernet Franc, 47% Merlot. 'In some years Petit Cheval is dangerously close to The Grand Vin in quality, but not this year', says Kies van Leuwen, emphasizing how well they think they have done with the selection. There's a freshness here which has nothing to do with unripeness. More richness of tannin and a racy saline minerality and liveliness, all expressed though broad plum and tight damson fruit, long and fine and very attractive. 2020-2035+ Rating: 93 L&S (Apr 2014)
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Medium garnet colored, the 2013 Cheval Blanc has a captivating, open-knit nose of roses and lilacs over a core of fragrant soil, charcuterie, kirsch and raspberry preserves plus a waft of stewed plums. Medium-bodied, chewy and with tons of spring to its step, the palate is delicately fruited with an earthy finish. Drinking range: 2018 - 2031 Rating: 92 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, RobertParker.com (Aug 2018)
The final blend of the 2013 Cheval Blanc is 53% Cabernet Franc and 47% Merlot. It is a light- to medium-bodied, but stylish, perfumed, complex wine exhibiting hints of forest floor, raspberries and underbrush in a gentle, nicely textured style that builds incrementally in the mouth. Attractive fruit and substance give the wine more completeness than many of its peers. Administrator Pierre Lurton compares it, in a positive manner, to the style of the 2001, but I do not think it has quite the richness of that vintage. Nevertheless, this is an early-maturing, easygoing Cheval Blanc to drink in its first 10-12 years of life. 2014-2026 Rating: 89-91 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (Aug 2014)
(53% cabernet franc and 47% merlot): Luminous ruby color. Captivating aromas of strawberry, raspberry, minerals, violet and graphite: very cab franc! The palate offers an uncanny combination of sweetness and penetrating power, with brisk acidity framing and lifting the fine-grained flavors of blackcurrant, spearmint and aromatic spices. The very long, slowly mounting finish conveys an impression of energy and great finesse, and the firm tannic spine suggests that this will age better than most 2013s. This reminded me of the 1993 Cheval Blanc, but it has a little more meat and depth than that wine, not to mention greater precision. Lurton suggested it is more like the 1988. Rating: 90-92 Ian d'Agata - Stephen Tanzer website (May 2014)
Château Cheval Blanc
Château Cheval Blanc sits at the pinnacle of the St Emilion meritocracy, unarguably alongside Château Ausone and arguably alongside Château Angélus and Château Pavie, the two estates elevated to Premier Grand Cru Classé (A) status in 2012. But, whilst the other three are clustered around the village of St Emilion, Cheval Blanc is far to the north-west and possibly only a St Emilion by accident of human geography. This is not classic St Emilion limestone and clay territory, Château Cheval Blanc (and neighbouring Figeac) sits on the gravel band that benefits its northerly neighbours across the road and across the border in Pomerol, namely Château Conseillante and Château l’Evangile. Next door Château Figeac was once a mighty estate of some 200ha, but by the early 19th Century the extravagances of the Comtesse de Carle-Trajet had taken their toll and large portions of the estate had to be sold off. Jean-Jacques Ducasse bought a plot of Figeac in 1832, and then a little bit more; his son-in-law, Jean Laussac-Fourcaud bought some more; and by 1871 Château Cheval Blanc had been carved out of the Figeac estate. Initially the wine was still sold as Château Figeac but from 1852 the name Château Cheval Blanc was used. The Laussac-Fourcaud family, morphing into the Fourcaud-Laussac family, owned Cheval Blanc until 1998. With the first classification of St Emilion’s vineyards in 1954, Cheval Blanc and Château Ausone were given special status as Premier Grand Cru Classé (A). New owners in 1998 brought Pierre Lurton in to manage Château Cheval Blanc, something he does alongside managing Château Yquem. A new space-age looking winery was completed in 2011. The 39ha of vineyards are planted to 58% Cabernet Franc and 42% Merlot, with an average age of 40 years. They were augmented by a 1.4ha block added from Château Tour du Pin in 2012. Another block of vines from Tour du Pin appear to be destined for white wine production.
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