Chateau Cheval Blanc   Le Petit Cheval

2003 Le Petit Cheval

By Chateau Cheval Blanc

2003 Le Petit Cheval from Château Cheval Blanc, Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux

Among the lush corridors of Bordeaux's captivating right bank, the 2003 vintage of the mythical Château Cheval Blanc crafts a narrative that speaks to both the heart and palate. A season noted for its sizzling climes, the 2003 Le Petit Cheval emerges with a resolute spirit, embodying the resilience and adaptability of Saint-Émilion's cherished terroir.


An Exceptional Year with a Singular Expression

The steadfast stewardship of Château Cheval Blanc coaxed elegance and balance from the year's ripe fruit. This accomplishment is a testament to careful investment in skill and patience—virtues that seasoned collectors admire. The 2003 Le Petit Cheval bursts forth with succulent notes of black cherries and plums, these components deftly juxtaposed against a backdrop of spiced cigar box and dried herbs - an articulate expression of refinement amidst robustness.


Investing in Resilience, Enjoying Refined Exuberance

In the glass, one apprehends the prowess of merlot-dominated blends—an exuberant plushness tempered by the firm handshake of cabernet franc's structural finesse. This vintage's undeniable concentration provides a leathery, savory dance on one’s palate while maintaining an aristocratic poise that persists long after the final sip. The yield was modest, but what the 2003 Le Petit Cheval lacks in quantity it compensates with concentration—a boon for wine investment connoisseurs.

The depth found within this Saint-Émilion jewel presents a compelling case for those seeking wines that tell a story as complex as their investment portfolios. With tertiary hints increasingly coming into the fore, this vintage matures gracefully and is poised to continue its ascent in both stature and value.


Conclusion: A Vintage Meriting Your Attention

In sum, embracing the 2003 Le Petit Cheval from Château Cheval Blanc opens an avenue to not only diversify one's wine investment collection but to celebrate the triumphs of Saint-Émilion’s winemaking heritage during a meteorologically challenging yet memorable year. An astute acquisition for now and years to come.

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Scores and tasting notes


A sleeper of the vintage, the 2003 Le Petit Cheval includes the highest percentage of Cabernet Franc used in this cuvee to date. Composed of 77% Cabernet Franc and 23% Merlot, it displays an incredibly complex nose of sous-bois, freshly chopped porcini mushrooms, blueberries, raspberries and coffee. The beautiful aromatics are somewhat of a let-down once the wine hits the palate, but there is enough fruit, texture and interest to hold the taster’s interest. This lovely second wine may deserve an outstanding rating. Enjoy it over the next 3-4 years. One of the principal theories of the bizarre, historically hot and dry summer of 2003 is that grapes planted in gravelly and sandy soils were the least successful. If that was true 100% of the time, Cheval Blanc would have made a horrible wine. In fact, both the grand vin and second wine at Cheval Blanc did well in this vintage. It was the earliest harvest in over 110 years at this estate, and the resulting wine is a beauty.

Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 27 August 2014


The 2003 Le Petit Cheval is soft, round, and ready to drink. It needs to be consumed over the next 5-7 years.

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #164

Vintage performance