Chateau Cheval Blanc   Le Petit Cheval

1996 Le Petit Cheval

By Chateau Cheval Blanc

1996 Le Petit Cheval from Château Cheval Blanc, Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux

A thorough look at the esteemed 1996 vintage of Le Petit Cheval from Château Cheval Blanc delineates just how gracefully a satellite label can mirror the pedigree of its famed progenitor. As one dissects the climatic nuances and intricate winemaking of this reputable estate, the investment potential of such a wine becomes emphatically clear. The year 1996 was heralded for its relatively dry, hot summer in Bordeaux, setting a stage for wines of both power and poise.


Embodying Elegance with a Vintage Twist

This vintage is a paragon of structure and balance; indeed, the 1996 Le Petit Cheval showcases the precision that Château Cheval Blanc's vineyards can achieve even in their younger vines. There exists an interplay here between ripe merlot and the assertive character of franc – black currants and plums pirouetting with graphite and hints of cigar box, all born on a backbone of firm yet integrated tannins.


Intellectual Investment

The keen investor will note that as this wine approaches its quarter-century mark, it steadily ascends to its plateau of maturity. It embodies a treasure ready to unveil its full complexity to those patient enough to explore its evolution. The climatic conditions of 1996 contributed to the creation of wines with robust tannic structures and an acidity that ensured longevity. This is reflected in Le Petit Cheval’s endurance and current accessibility.

In essence, the 1996 Le Petit Cheval stands as a testament to what the Saint-Émilion terroir can accomplish under commendable vintages. Its deep garnet hue has begun to mellow slightly on the edges, while its aromatic bouquet continues to sing with vigor. The poised amalgamation of Old World finesse with New World energy makes this vintage a captivating find for connoisseurs and collectors alike.

Whether destined for immediate uncorking or further cellaring, this investment-grade offering from Château Cheval Blanc presents a luxurious opportunity to partake in Bordeaux’s historical tapestry through the lens of an exceptional vintage. The 1996 Le Petit Cheval elegantly captures an aromatic snapshot not merely of its DNA but also a notable year that has carved its place within fine wine chronicles.

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Scores and tasting notes


Ruby red. Nose closed down now. Well-balanced, cedar-infused palate and fine subtle oak, not overwhelming - understated. Another two years. Tasted Jul-98.

Neal Martin - Wine Advocate - Wine Journal

Vintage performance